1 January 2017

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Deeply unimpressed with the Oxfam Fairtrade 'Choc-plus' best-ever Belgian drinking chocolate that I was given for Christmas -- basically, it consists of hard little chocolate chips that can only be induced to melt with the greatest reluctance, and which then congeal on the bottom of the cup at the slightest excuse. Oh, and contrary to the legend on the outside of the tin, it doesn't contain instructions inside, which is a pity, because it badly needs them!

After searching their website, I managed to track down some directions; you were supposed to microwave chocolate chips and mini marshmallows together (I assumed the marshmallows needed to be added separately) in a small quantity of milk, then add the rest of the milk and heat further. I thought I'd succeeded in melting and stirring the chocolate adequately, but when I retrieved the finished cup after the second stage all I had was pale brown milk with a large lump of stuck-together chocolate adhering to the bottom!

On my second attempt, I tried laboriously melting my four teaspoonsful of mix in a bowl over boiling water in the oldfashioned way, to be absolutely certain they were properly liquid. It took an extremely long time, since the chips didn't behave like 'normal' chocolate, going all quivery on the outside and then collapsing into a soft puddle; they remained hard and whitish in the middle, and the pan boiled dry before the mix was more or less ready. I stirred it very thoroughly and added milk before pouring the whole back into the (emptied) saucepan to heat up -- to my digust, the moment the cold milk hit the melted chocolate, it solidified even as I stirred it, and I ended up batting the lumps round and round the pan trying to melt them all over again. And it didn't taste at all special, either.

I wonder if the chocolate had simply gone stale sitting on Oxfam's shelves? Either that, or someone sold them a pup: £3.99 for a tin of this stuff is ridiculous. I've had better results with a giant bar of cheapo milk chocolate that was wished upon us; I've had much cheaper and nicer (and much, much quicker) cups of cocoa using a single teaspoon of Fairtrade cocoa powder and a teaspoon of sugar.

The best destination for the remainder of my Christmas present would probably be baked into biscuits as a substitute for supermarket chocolate chips, where their reluctance to melt or lose their shape might be an advantage...


igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Igenlode Wordsmith

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