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I've tried a lovely chocolate milk (cold, not to be confused with hot chocolate) from Marks and Spencer (a supermarket in the UK) and I'm trying to emulate it's rich Belgian chocolate taste.

My recipe so far looks like this:

-Mixture of dark (bittersweet) and milk chocolate

-Whole fat milk and Condensed milk

-Espresso powder

-Cane sugar (or honey)

My questions:

  1. I'm thinking of using a mixture of condensed and whole milk because the chocolate milk I tasted seems thicker than whole fat milk, but not TOO thick or cloying. The consistency I'm going for is the same as milk with a 6% or so fat content. Is this recommended or should I go with whole fat milk with a little cream?

  2. I've decided to use espresso powder because I'm hoping a tiny bit of this will give the chocolate a teeny weeny hint of roasted coffee/espresso notes that I seem to detect from the drink. Is there any other way I can enhance the flavour of the chocolates in the drink?

  3. I'm thinking of using a cane sugar or honey, as hopefully this may give the chocolate a slight caramel-ly taste, is this the best way of doing this?

  4. The main part i'm stuck on is this: I'm not sure whether or not to go for a milk chocolate/dark chocolate combo (35% milk chocolate and 65% bittersweet chocolate) or just use a high quality cocoa powder like Valrhona? The aim is to go for a Belgian chocolate taste here.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

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I cannot speak to the product from the UK, but here in the US, many chocolate milks are thickened with carageenan or a starch based thickener. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 16 at 0:56
    
@SAJ14SAJ: Ewww! –  Cerberus Mar 16 at 1:05
    
@Cerberus i am not endorsing it, but I don't buy chocolate milk. If I wanted it, I would make it. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 16 at 1:18
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Starch-thickened hot chocolate can actually be quite delicious. It is common in Spain, often served with churros to dip in the chocolate. The following recipe uses a lot of corn starch, way too much for my taste. I would probably cut it down to a teaspoon or so. foodnetwork.com/recipes/churros-and-hot-chocolate-recipe.html –  Henrik Söderlund Mar 16 at 12:58
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@Cerberus starch thickened hot chocolate is common in Europe too. Both in cafes and in supermarket "one cup" packages. –  rumtscho Mar 16 at 17:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Chocolate and cocoa powder are two different things

For drinks go with cocoa powder (Dutch process). Emulsifying the fat in chocolate is pointless and not particularly tasty. Chocolate is about 40% to 60% fat, cocoa powder is 10% to 20% fat

For the chocolate milk taste you generally want the milk fat favours, not the cocoa fat

If your cocoa powder is not bright enough, adding a little coffee will help, as will a little more roasting of the cocoa powder, but be careful, it burns quickly. I think many commercial chocolate milks use a little salt (Sodium or Ammonium) as a brightener**

In some countries you can buy "extra" or "premium dutch process" cocoa powder, it is very dark in colour, and has a lot more of that dark chocolate style flavour

** The "that tastes nice and different" reaction

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Nice, I'll try this and a few other things next week and report back, thank you for your input! –  seeker Mar 21 at 22:08

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