So, I believed the hype (in Gourmet, in the WSF, and elsewhere) and shelled out 12 dollars (yes, that's 12 US$ legal tender) for a can of Schokinag Triple Chocolate Drinking Chocolate.
(Readers of other boards may remember that I've been on a little bit of a drinking chocolate bender. I blame Starbuck's Chantico -- and it's oh so satisfying to blame a large corporation for something.....)
Blah blah blah the "finest milk chocolate and dark chocolate mini chips dusted with cocoa powder" -- "one of the few family-owned independent chocolate producers" etc. "European style" hot chocolate.
My Aunt Fanny.
It says on the super-expensive cannister (just over a dollar an ounce -- jeez!) to put 5 tablespoons in a mug with 1 tablespoon milk, microwave for 1 min, stir, then add 7 ounces of milk and heat to desired temp, stir, and drink. This all sounded promising. I was hoping for something approaching the "chocolat" I had in France (not necessarily at Marriage Freres, mind you, but just a good basic Parisian hot chocolate). I was very hopeful!
And very dissapointed. This is a good idea that doesn't work. I've had better hot chocolate at (don't be shocked)
-the baseball game
-the concession stand at the football stadium at Stanford
-definitly orders-of-magnitude better in France
-made at home with just Ghirardelli powdered chocolate and milk
-and not even close to real hot chocolate, made with unsweeted chocolate, vanilla, sugar, salt, milk, and boiling water
Ok, so very few hot chocolates have been worse than this one. Swiss Miss in a packet is worse, but not appreciably so. The chocolate flavor interestingly ran the gamut from too bland to too bitter, without that lovely perfect area in between. The cocoa powder dusting the micro-chips gave it a flavor of having fillers in it (as Chantico does, to some extent, but Chantico is much more unctuous and far more enjoyable). The chocolate paste made from the chips and the milk would not stay emulsified no matter how many times I dumped it in a bowl and whisked it. It kept settling on the bottom in a sweet, sticky, blackish paste.
Mr. Smith asked me what I was drinking. "Looks like motor oil on the bottom, baby" said he. Indeed.
Ok -- I know Schokinag has other flavors -- are they worth trying? Did I mix it incorrectly, missing some critical step? Is there any way I can make this into half-way drinkable hot chocolate?
I'm telling you -- this is the last time I believe the hype!