Every time I attempt to make hot chocolate, there's a grittiness to it, like there's tiny sand grains or particulate matter suspended in the liquid which just won't melt. The culprit is definitely cocoa, but I've tried numerous experiments and simply cannot get rid of it.
The most frustrating part is that no one seems to mention this grittiness. Everyone promises a "silky smooth" result, but nothing I try gets that result and no one mentions it.
The obvious solution is to lower the amount of cocoa powder per unit of liquid, which is the only solution I've found, but this only works in vastly lower ratios than any of the recipes mentioned above. The first recipe, for example, uses a half litre of milk and 100g of dark chocolate, whereas I can't get the desired result with 1.5 cups and 10g of dark chocolate, a mere third of the amount of chocolate they use, and they also use cocoa powder! The result of mine is still gritty.
I've tried a couple of different techniques:
- Whisk in the cocoa powder with the milk before heating
- Lower the heat and add the cocoa powder bit by bit
- Create a cocoa powder slurry with a 1:1 ratio of water to cocoa powder by volume, smoothing out any graininess with my (clean) finger and drizzling that in slowly
- Melt a small amount 70% cacao chocolate into the milk instead of cocoa powder
- Straining with a fine-mesh sieve
- Adding the cocoa powder at different liquid temperatures (I've tested adding cocoa powder from fridge cold to about 200°F in intervals of about 25°)
- Pulsing the final mixture in a blender.
Nothing has worked. This has persisted with different pans and in different kitchens on different burners.
I should also add that it's not merely my own taste: I've had friends try it and confirm that there is a grittiness to it that isn't present in other hot chocolates they've had.
Please! What the HELL is going wrong? I can't believe I'm getting this angry over hot chocolate but I feel like I'm going insane: I cannot get rid of this stupid texture, no matter how many variations I try, and yet it seems like this never happens to anyone else! I've never had so much trouble with a cooking technique before! What sins have I committed to lock me out of the heaven of smooth hot chocolate?