At Sugar Love these past few winters, we kept getting requests for hot chocolate mixes but what I really wanted to provide is a drinking chocolate product, sometimes called a sipping chocolate. This rich and luxurious drink is perfect for chilly mornings and a little bit goes a long way.
So what's the difference between the popular hot chocolate and the traditional drinking chocolate? Cocoa butter!
Cocoa butter is the fat that gets pressed out of the chocolate beans after roasting. The dry cake that is left is pulverized to get cocoa powder which is the main ingredient in hot chocolate mixes (or at least should be!). Drinking chocolate uses the whole chocolate product and so cocoa solids (called liquor even though there is no alcohol present) are in a balance with sugar, cocoa butter and often vanilla. This creates a thick, full taste of chocolate with each sip.
Because of how rich the drinking chocolate is, we really recommend a serving between two and four ounces.
Fun fact! Drinking chocolate locations used to be more popular in Paris than coffee houses, at about a dozen to one. Then the French revolution began and those darn revolutionaries said that drinking chocolate was for the upper class, the lazy (which wasn't true! All classes around the world partook of drinking chocolate most mornings!). And they recommended drinking coffee as an alternative.
And so while the French gave (and continue to give) some of the best chocolate and confections in the world, they are the main reason we don't start our mornings with chocolate! C'est tant pis!