I'm attempting to make 150-175 small jars (probably 6oz) of hot cocoa dry mix as favors to give away to my wedding guests. After doing some research (both on Chowhound and the amazing world wide web), I have a plan of attack but wanted to get your thoughts on a few questions:
1. DISSOLVING: I plan to create maybe 4 different types of hot cocoa mix, with variations that involve different spices (e.g., cayenne, chili powder). However, I've heard various views on whether spices actually dissolve with the addition of hot water/milk. I don't want people to be drinking a sludge of spicy goo on the bottom of their drinks! Any thoughts on whether certain brands or preparations of spices dissolve better than others?
2. VARIATIONS: I plan to use Alton Brown's recipe as my basic recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...). First, does anyone have a better DRY mix recipe they recommend? 2nd, the variations I'm thinking of are below - any thoughts?
** Aztec: chili, cayenne (see concern #1)
** Salted caramel: sea salt, caramel that I let harden before crushing into pieces (will this dissolve OK??)
** Normal: milk chocolate with marshmallows (where to buy mini marshmallows?)
** Other possibilities: Chinese five spice (see concern #1), mint (would use crushed Andes mint chocolates), peanut butter (does Reese's melt?), mocha (use instant coffee - any recs on brands?), Mexican (vanilla, cinnamon - see concern #1 again)
3. TECHNICAL: Do I need more than one 3-kg bag of Valrhona cocoa powder? Online searches show density of cocoa powder to be anywhere from 0.364 g/cm^3 (converts to 278 fl oz) to 0.641g/cm^3 (158 fl oz). If I assume 158 fl oz, I won't have enough, but assuming 278 fl oz I'll have more than enough. Note: I may increase the cocoa content in Alton's recipe as it seems too little to me vs. the other ingredients.
4. Any other thoughts or advice or recipes or product recommendations are greatly appreciated! I'd love to experiment to answer my own questions, but at this point I'm running out of time.
Thanks in advance!