You know hot cocoa – the dry, powdered stuff you pour into hot water or milk, in a dusty stream from a ripped paper pouch while your cheeks are still red from an unexpected chilly morning on the soccer field. Maybe it even came with stale little marshmallows in it. But do you know about drinking chocolate yet?
Drinking chocolate, a.k.a. “hot chocolate,” is completely different from hot cocoa, although many use the terms “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa” interchangeably. The difference is this: Drinking chocolate is actually made with real chocolate (partially tempered for meltability), and comes in either in disks, shavings, pellets or – in the case of Twenty-Four Blackbirds’ drinking chocolate – thick, heavy, luscious bars that you chop up, melt down and blend with milk. The result is an intense, rich, thick and chocolatey drink you only need a little of to sip on. (No, it’s not just you… Our hearts are fluttering just thinking about it, too.)
If you’re new to the drinking chocolate game, or like beautifully designed things in general, we highly recommend getting the kit from Twenty-Four Blackbirds. It comes with four one-ounce bars of chocolate, each individually wrapped in recycled, brown paper all tied up with string. The old-fashioned index card with a typewritten recipe for both chocolate syrup and hot chocolate completes the insanely perfect aesthetic.
This kit is intended to make two extremely rich servings, but if you like a less intensity (all the better for marshmallows), it can easily make four cups. Here’s how: In a small saucepan, bring six tablespoons water to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and whisk in four coarsely-chopped one-ounce bars of Twenty-Four Blackbirds drinking chocolate until smooth. Add 1 ½ cups of milk (or up to three cups as desired). Whisk constantly and heat gently to desired drinking temperature.
Oh, and did we mention how perfect a gift this would make? Hint, hint…
All we know is, we wouldn’t be caught on a snow day without it.