I had a list. A list of items I was coming up to Eid (Norfjoreid, Norway) to make that I thought was fairly ambitious. Over the last few months when Leon and I messaged back and forth the list grew. Still, I thought that I could make it work. Well, I hoped. It has grown, this list, even more since I got here. We’ve made a few things I wasn’t expecting to get to at all, and left a few things that I was excited about behind. I’ve loved the process, and I wish I had more time, more of me to make more of these fun things. It’s in this last week that we’re stuck trying to play catch up to a demand we weren’t expecting that I’m having to pare back down to what feel like the essentials. Or the “best sellers we’ve had so far”. Slowing down a bit on new things. Ramping up on everything we (and that we is mostly me) make, getting ready for Christmas shoppers.
The Hot Cocoa Pops that Chef Leon asked me to make have been the sneaky guys on the shelf, getting sold when I least expect. Almond brittle far outsells them, but I like them just the same. I intend to make time to keep some on the shelves of Minibakeriet for stocking stuffers. They are pretty tasty. Also very simple to make. And I promised I would post a recipe, so that my mom and my cousins (and anyone who wanted, of course) could make them at home.
I want to mention that I have adjusted a recipe I found from The Giver’s Log to suit my personal tastes and the bakery’s needs. I have always loved chocolate that is spicy and rich, and the darker the better. If it was me, I would double the amount of chocolate on one pop, or use two for one 8oz glass of milk, top it off with more spices- stir it with a cinnamon stick even. A good thick sipping chocolate. But I wasn’t just making this for me. So we’ll go with the version I made for the bakery. Something that appeals to even the kiddos, and still evokes in me memories of the Ibarra chocolate I love and have no chance of finding here in Norway. (Mom, mail me Ibarra!)
Spiced Hot Chocolate Pops
- 455 g 72% Valrhona Araguani (Dark Chocolate)
- 40g Valrhona Cocoa Rouge (Cocoa Powder)
- 110g Powdered Sugar (Confectioners Sugar)
- 8g Cinnamon
- 1/8t Cayenne
You will also need: Wooden spoons or popsicle sticks, a silicon mold- a silicon Ice cube tray will work great, and a piping bag.
Method for pops:
- Make sure silicon mold is as clean and dry as possible. I recommend washing it and popping it in the oven for a few minutes. It won’t melt, and should cool down enough to use once the chocolate mixture is ready.
- Sift together the Cocoa Powder, Powdered Sugar, Cinnamon, and Cayenne.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl, either stirring carefully over a pot of simmering water or in a microwave in small increments of 30-60 seconds.
- Mix the sifted ingredients into the melted chocolate thoroughly.
- Pour mixture into piping bag and pipe into prepared molds.
- Once the chocolate starts to set, place wooden spoons in each mold.
- Do not refrigerate. Let harden in a cool, dry place. Package as desired.
A note on Chocolate: In the bakery I use Valrhona or Callebaut. High quality chocolate is best, not “melting chips” or chocolate with a lot of added oil. Valrhona’s 72% is one of my favorites. It may also be harder to get, and a little pricey. Guittard, Scharffenberger, Cacao Barry are all good options. Still, my best recommendation is to use something that you like. And if you’re saving a penny or two: the Trader Joe’s Dark chocolate will work just fine.
A note on Spices: The freshest spices will have the best flavors. This is especially true of ground spices. The ideal is to use a smaller amount of fresh spices, rather than worry about the overall mixture becoming gritty. Cinnamon, cayenne or whatever chile mix that might be available are all good options, adjust to fit personal tastes.
To Make Hot Chocolate:
Heat 1 cup/8oz/2.4 dL of Whole Milk just to a simmer. (I really love using a dash of Heavy Cream with my milk). Stir in chocolate pop until melted. Keep spoon around to make sure you get all of that chocolate goodness from the bottom of cup.
For Peppermint Chocolate: Omit Cinnamon and Cayenne, finish melted chocolate with a 2-3 small drops of Peppermint Oil before adding in dry ingredients. Coat finished pops with powdered sugar OR sprinkle crushed peppermint candy on top of pops before they set.
For Marshmallow Chocolate: Finish pops with mini mallows before set. Make your own if you can. Fresh Marshmallows are fantastic.
For (ALL OF THE POSSIBILITIES): Add what you like. Keep in mind that a few drops of essential oils, extracts, liquor should be okay. BUT too much liquid makes the chocolate seize and discolor. This is a best as a dry ingredient recipe. Add other flavors in as toppings for best results.
A note to my cousins and my mom and anyone who wants to make these: I’m happy to answer questions. I hope you make them with your monkeys and take photos. And send me the photos. And drink lots of Ibarra for me.