20 April 2009

Cocoa Nuts

Why is it so funny when people get mad?

Everyone except me, I mean.

I know laughing isn't always the best option in a tense situation, but it's my default one. Because ultimately, what really requires an explosive reaction? I can think of many good circumstances that do, but far less bad ones (your pet-sitter misplacing your cat, someone accidentally burning your house down, anyone wearing Birkenstocks).

If that ratio is askew in your life, then just make this hot chocolate, and take a sip. It's scientifically impossible to be in a bad mood when you meet such a luscious, soothing drink. The coconut milk base was inspired by a NY Times recipe back in February, and the unexpected addition of Earl Grey from Tea Spot's live tea-hot chocolate tasting at City Bakery right around the same time. Truly comedic anger- which this city endlessly provides- was the catalyst.

Coconut-Earl Grey Hot Chocolate

In glass measuring cup, mix 1/2 cup boiling water and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder until dissolved. In medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine
1 1/4 cups coconut milk, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Earl Grey tea and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in cocoa mixture and 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped, until smooth. Serve immediately or chill several hours.

The fact that it's nearly May yet still cold and gray enough to demand hot milk doesn't hurt, either. (Although extensive experiments indicate it's just as fragrant and delicious served chilled.)

Whatever your motivation, the citrusy bergamot of the tea and rich, sweet coconut milk whisper of warmth and calm as the chocolate slides over your tongue like a silk-lined mink coat. Realizing that you're consuming two stellar foods- tea and hot cocoa- simultaneously only adds to the sense of perfect balance.

And if a cupful of this doesn't provide five minutes of relaxation, you may be beyond help.


kukkaberra said...

I just made this with chai instead of Earl Grey (I was out). It's delicious and just what I needed.

One question -- did you put the tea leaves in a tea ball, or were they just floating around in the cocoa?

ana dane said...

kukkaberra, i used a disposable tea bag (the kind that you fill with the desired amount of loose tea) that i tied with kitchen twine.

you could definitely keep the leaves loose, though, and strain the mixture into a clean teapot or pitcher as soon as the chocolate is melted.

your version sounds delicious, however you did it. glad you enjoyed the cocoa.

kukkaberra said...

Of course! I just ordered some more.

I have yet another question -- did your chocolate solidify a bit when you chilled it? I was excited to have some this morning with my honey coconut muffins, but I had little chunks of solidified chocolate in it -- I'm thinking I either didn't melt the unsweetened chocolate enough, or the coconut milk started solidifying overnight.

It was still delicious, though, and I think I'm going to try this with mint tea this weekend.


Catherine said...

That is comfort food in a cup!

anna said...

Oh wow, that sounds really good! Especially since it's so dreary and rainy outside this morning.

ana dane said...

the cocoa is incredibly comforting hot when it's rainy. and equally so cold when it's nice out.

mine did thicken significantly after a night in the fridge, but i just grabbed a spoon to finish off what i couldn't sip. if there were chocolate chunks (and you don't want that), i'd try chopping the chocolate more finely next time, and letting it simmer gently for another minute or so, as you stir, to ensure it melts entirely.

and i'll take one honey coconut muffin, please. that sounds like such a good treat alongside the cocoa.

christine said...

As a huge fan of coconut milk, I say who needs dairy? Not me. I know you do, though.

Glad I'm not angry!

Anonymous said...

Or as an infamous Madison Ave. creation would say, "Coo-coo for cocoa nuts!"

{Megan} Feasting on Art said...

This sound so wonderful. What a great mix of flavors!