Chocolate Sauce of …

How really to describe chocolate sauce, especially one that works out so nicely.  This one uses cream, but I could see it using a coconut or almond alternative.  That I should try at some point to see how those flavors play in this.  I’ve been making this for a few years as a drizzle for angel food cake, and recently as a way to make my own chocolate sauce for mochas.

  • 1/2 C Baking Cocoa
  • 1 C Granulated Sugar
  • 1t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 1/4 C Heavy Cream (Light works as well)
  • 1T Kahlua

In a small saucepan [1] combine the cocoa, sugar, cinnamon and water.  Mix well [2].  Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir constantly for 5 minutes once it boils.  Remove from heat and add the cream and kahlua.  Let it cool completely [3] and then store it in a tight sealing container.

And now for some notes.

[1]  I use a saucier.  This is far from being fancy, more of an accident, but now I can recommend it and seem fancy.  This distributes the heat well, but also by design it is a lot easier to stir in.  If you get the right shape one, these are also great for steaming things in (with a basket) or heating soups in.  Mine in an integral part of my cooking routine for a lot of things outside of sauces due to the distribution of heat.

[2] Yeah right.  Ever try to mix cold ingredients?  Just turn the heat on and stir.  Ideally you have it all mixed before this boils.

[3] I find this is easier to pour when molten.  I store it in a 1 pint Ball jar, and put a spoon in it prior to pouring in the hot liquid.

When making a mocha with this, I’ll use about 1T of the sauce — maybe 4t.  It’s all ‘ish’.  I’ve also taken to putting a few drops of peppermint extract to have my own peppermint mocha.  Yum!

Exquisite Power Drink of Chilling (aka Iced Cafe Americano)

Trying to keep up here a little so, like adventuring, a little something is better than nothing at all.  A peek around a corner, an undiscovered treasure, or simply that room you’ve walked by dozens of times and never bothered to peek in.  And the latter is what this is for me.  I have an espresso machine.  I have ice.  I know what cafe Americano is (espresso + hot water so it is the same volume as a “cuppa”).  But I have never, until recently, made this … exquisite power drink of chilling.

What I didn’t know is that this can be done wrong.  You can either have something very tasty and chilled, or something bitter, vile, cold, and perhaps mistaken for that jar of dragon urine you keep around for disintegrating trespassers.

After no experimentation, and some reading, here is what happily hit on the first time.  Fill the intended glass with ice (typically a pint glass) and then empty that ice into a Pyrex measuring cup.  Brew the espresso, typically a double (i.e., doppio).  Place a metal spoon into the measuring cup and slowly pour the espresso over the ice.  The hot espresso will melt some of the ice yielding cafe americano.  The remainder of the ice compliments what is now an iced cafe americano.

Drink.  Enjoy.  Feel teh powah.  Roll save vs. caffeine rush.  Failure results in 1d10 turns spent talking like Cornholio.

Maxed Out Haggle Mule

Not to brag, but I was truly at the vanguard of the current cocktail (often mistakenly referred to as martinis) renaissance. Seriously, I was becoming focused on mixology almost 20 years ago, when most people were still barely aware of craft beers. As a result, I have been, at times, more than a bit pedantic about cocktails, and more than a bit of a snob about what I will and will not drink. Despite growing up surrounded by male relatives who, to my young mind, seemed to be fueled by gin and tonic, I rarely, if ever, have mixed drinks if the option exists to have a cocktail.

However, of late, I have become increasingly interested in “bucks”, often called mules. These are mixed drinks made specifically with ginger ale or ginger beer, citrus, and hard liquor. Blame my budding curiosity on relentlessly scorching heat and laziness when it comes to cranking out an endless supply of mint juleps.

But, ever shackled to my cocktail roots, I find myself rarely able to simply order a Moscow mule, or a dark ‘n’ stormy without trying to put my own twist onto it to “up the ante”.

My current obsession is a varient on the dark ‘n’ stormy which began with a particularly good one I had at a very fine restaurant in Telluride Colorado about a month ago.

My version goes like this:

  • Gosling’s Black Seal Rum [1]
  • Canton ginger liqueur
  • Reed’s “Extra Ginger Brew” ginger beer
  • slice of lime
  • sprig of mint

I would say 3:1 with the rum and liqueur. Ratio of those combined to ginger beer is predominantly to taste, but the goal is something which has the perfect balance of sharp ginger bite to soft rum sweetness. I include Canton in addition to Reed’s “extra” ginger beer because pre-bottled ginger beer just isn’t as strong as freshly made. If you can get ahold of properly fresh ginger beer, then you can just make dark ‘n’ stormy’s and not worry about the rest.

Muddle the lime and the mint. Pour the spirits over the muddle. Pour on soda. This order of operations should allow you to avoid any need to mix with a spoon or straw, which drives out a lot of carbonation. Add ice last, as it gets in the way of the combinatorics — just don’t forget to leave room in the glass. An iced tea glass is ideal for this, but a high ball will do just fine.

 

[1] This is my go to rum of choice unless you absolutely have to have clear rum for something like a mojito. Gosling’s is cheap, readily available, and has a very soft, round flavor which is neither exclusively sweet, nor exclusively spiced. I prefer it to all but the most premium of dark rums — which I can’t afford to make cocktails with.

Vegan Elixir of The Dude (AKA a Vegan White Russian)

Man… sometimes you just need some existential contemplation while ponderously crunching ice flavored heavily of coffee, drenched in a creamy flavor, and backed up by the liberating aspects of a good vodka.  Therefore, after trial and error, I bring you The Dude’s favorite beverage cast into a vegan form.  Polymorphed, if you will, but not transmogrified.

It’s simple, man.  Instead of cream, use Silk soy-milk.  It is, like, thicker than other soy-milks so it makes that creamy goodness that is enjoyable in a white russian.  My preferred mix is 1:1*, coffee liqueur to vodka, and then put in whatever amount of Silk I want which is usually at least twice the mixed amount.

Remember not to drink and adventure.  And, above all, remember… The Dude abides.

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