As a known leader in food trends, Californians have embraced the return to natural, farm-to-table foods and artisan techniques, which has now extended to craft chocolate. To celebrate Chocolate Lovers’ Month and explore the possibilities behind everyone’s favorite sweet, the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB), creator of the iconic got milk? campaign, has teamed up with award-winning chocolatier Amara Barroeta to create exciting new hot chocolate recipes inspired by chocolate’s history and the craft chocolate trend. Ranging from a spicy “Mexican Choco-Latte” with dry chile pasilla to a savory “Popcorn-Crowned Orange Hot Chocolate,” these drinks are the perfect way to celebrate National Chocolate Lovers’ Month while cozying up during the cold weather season.
“Hot chocolate is just one of many ways to enjoy milk, and the possible variations and flavors are endless,” says Steve James, CMPB Executive Director.
This warming, filling and satisfying drink has never gone out of style, and milk has always been the go-to base for the perfect cup. Milk has the ability to tone down spices, balance sweetness and harmoniously bring together ingredients to achieve extraordinary flavors. A quality hot chocolate requires pure and natural ingredients – from the cacao bean to the base. “I always use milk for my hot chocolates because it gives them the richness and creaminess I’m looking for,” states Amara Barroeta, owner of Pasadena-based Amara Chocolate & Coffee.
As the craft chocolate movement continues to grow in the U.S., California’s talented chocolatiers, like Barroeta, are leading the trend. With her passion for quality, Barroeta only uses single origin chocolate for her flavorful creations. Single origin chocolate is made from one variety of cacao harvested in one region, much like varietal (or single grape) wine. And this Valentine’s Day, you may want to put the wine glasses away because according to a Cornell study1, a cup of hot cocoa offers twice as many cancer-fighting antioxidants as a glass of red wine.
An early chocolate drink consisted of just chocolate as the base, and it wasn’t until the late 17th century2 that milk was incorporated. The addition of milk helped tone down pure chocolate’s bitter and spicy flavors, resulting in a more palatable drink. “While developing these hot chocolates, I took inspiration from chocolate’s beginnings and revisited some of the original ingredients. I’m really excited about the results, especially because each drink is so different, yet all have the perfect silky texture and flavor you can only get by using milk,” adds Barroeta. Amara’s experience and travel has awarded her the ability to combine flavors from all over the world and bring them together in each one of her delectable creations.
For all of Amara’s hot chocolate recipes, created exclusively for got milk?, visit: www.gotmilk.com and follow got milk? via social media on Facebook/ Twitter @gotmilk and Instagram @officialgotmilk.