Hot chocolate and I share a long lasting deep bonded relationship. This is the beverage I have mainly during mid mornings and lat nights. Come winter, this becomes a regular in our family. During my childhood, there used to be cows in our family and milk was in abundance. We used to have different flavors of milk. But this Cadbury’s drinking chocolate was an ever preferred one.
Chocolate which we consume in different forms were founded much later than the drinking chocolate or the chocolate drink. For thousands of years, however, it was quite a different story. While we tend to think of chocolate today in its solid form, for nine-tenths of its long history,
Chocolate was a drink – the first true chocolate bar as we now know it was not invented until 1839. In the thousands of years before that time, chocolate was seen as an invaluable, sacred, even magical beverage — a symbol of power, a privilege of warriors and the elite, and a satisfying tonic that was consumed daily and offered the sustenance needed to tackle virile challenges.
Contrary to its ho-hum, sometimes even junk food-y reputation, real chocolate is an incredibly complex substance, containing 400-500 different compounds. Among those compounds are several with mind and body boosting benefits:
- Caffeine – a stimulant present in small amounts, depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingredients.
- Theobromine – a mild stimulant distinct from caffeine which provides the lion’s share of chocolate’s kick and energizes without greatly activating the central nervous system the way the former does. It also enhances mood, dilates blood vessels, can lower blood pressure, relaxes the smooth muscles of the bronchi in the lungs, and can be used as a cough medicine.
- Tryptophan — releases the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.
- Phenylethylamine – functions similarly to amphetamines in releasing norepinephrine, which increases excitement, alertness, and decision-making abilities, and dopamine, which releases endorphins (natural painkillers) and heightens mood.
- Flavonoids – antioxidants which may improve blood flow to the heart and brain, prevent clots, improve cardiac health, and act as anti- inflammatories.
- Chocolate has also for centuries been rumored to be an aphrodisiac
In short, hot cocoa is a powerful elixir – one which boosts mood and vitality and combats stress, anxiety, and pain. For good reason is the chocolate tree’s scientific name — Theobroma cacao — ancient Greek for “food of the gods.” For what other drink tastes great, is filling in nature, and stimulates mind and body? (input courtesy : https://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/12/17/the-surprisingly-manly-history-of-hot-cocoa/)
As always, many versions of hot chocolate are made all over the world. I too make different types. With water and milk, with cream and water and cream and milk. This version is my daughter’s version which she says is star bucks coffee style. Half and half is nothing but half milk and half cream. You can opt out for full cream milk too. As this is a rich version, no water is added to it.
Cocoa, drinking chocolate or chocolates are used for making this drink. A rich creamy version needs real chocolate to get that kick. A combination of dark and milk chocolate is used in my version. Those who prefer very chocolate-y kinda of bitter ones, can go for complete dark chocolate and vice versa for a sweeter creamier version.
Horlicks/malt powder is added for that malty nutty flavor. This will also make the chocolate drink a bit thicker. Finally Vanilla will give the extra punch needed for this heart warming drink. This hot chocolate is perfect when you are tired and need a pat to boost yourself and get rejuvenated.
Boil half and half on medium heat
In another bowl, add the chocolates and vanilla.
Pour the boiling milk. Stir to combine
Serve hot with a tad of cream and chocolate shavings