My mother used to make hot chocolate from cocoa powder. It was a masterful mix of whole milk, Hershey cocoa powder and sugar. She never measured, just simply poured the milk into a saucepan, added sugar and then sprinkled the cocoa powder over the milk sugar mixture as she constantly stirred it in the Revereware copper clad pan, until it was the right color and brought to a bubbling simmer. Once it began to bubble along the edges of the pan, she’d turn off the flame on the stove and let it sit for a few minutes. Often a skin would form on the top of the hot chocolate and if you were lucky you got a big chunk of it floating at the top of your cup after it was poured. There something flavorful about that skin.Sometimes there would be a coating of sugar left at the bottom of the pan. That was extra good snacking, running your finger around the bottom of the pan and licking the almost caramelized sugar crust.
When Nestle’s and Hershey came out with an already combined mix of cocoa powder and sugar, Hershey’s was still distinctive to me, although their packaging was strikingly similar.
After watching commercials for Bosco we begged Mom to buy it for our hot chocolate, it was after all a ‘milk amplifier’, as if it would actually boost the nutritional properties of milk....it still wasn’t the same as the hot chocolate made from scratch with Hershey’s cocoa powder, sugar and milk.
When prepackaged hot chocolate mix became popular, all you need to add is water, I think making real hot chocolate became a lost art.
I find a cup of hot chocolate made from an envelope of premixed and measured powdered milk and chocolate flavoring simply has to be doctored-up with additional milk and sometimes a shot of coffee, or shot of something else, like schnapps. It’s just not as hearty and satisfying and there’s no skin floating on top of the cup.Affection:
I once made hot chocolate from scratch, just like my mother used to, but my grandchildren thought it tasted ‘funny’ to them, it certainly didn’t warm them the same as the memory of my mother’s did for me. Oh well, I made hot chocolate for myself tonight. I did use Hershey’s cocoa powder and sugar, but didn’t have whole milk on hand, we hardly ever do anymore, but I did have some homemade Bailey’s type liquer to ‘doctor-it-up’ and made it a little creamier with a little Half & Half, and I ran my finger along the bottom of the pan to scoop up the left over sugar. It was delicious and affectionately sustaining.