Hiiii it’s been nothing buy grey and rain here, and I’ve been shivering for 3 days straight, so I think it might be time for a banger of a hot chocolate recipe. My method is a little strange on the surface, but I swear it yields an incredible end result. I like hot cocoa and cocoa/cacao powder-based drinks, but sometimes you need the richness that only full-on chocolate can bring. I can’t be bothered to batch cook a syrup/homemade dry mix for my hot chocolate needs because I’m a do-it-in-the-moment-while-it-still-feels-special kinda person (slash I never plan ahead for anything in life lol). So after casually throwing together some evening sips for my man and I, I figured it would be time to take notes and share my “research” here.
Basically I ask you to blend all the ingredients, including non-melted chocolate, in the blender before heating. You hear clicks and pulses coming from the blender as it negotiates the chocolate and coconut butter chunks. Once the chocolate is visibly integrated throughout as little flecks, you heat the mixture up. Those flecks and coconut butter bits slowly melt away dreamily into the milk as you whisk. There is steam and froth and the most luscious texture. Coconut butter and dates make this almost caramel-y. The instant and deep gratification with this one is so real. Maybe if you make this one, you’ll want some reads to cozy up to as well? Here’s a few below that I enjoyed this week. Be well, all <3
The new Bon Iver album is dope. This interview with Justin Vernon about the years that went into its creation and the weirdness of fame is also great.
Sometimes, if I’ve been on a long streak of photo editing or just general computer use, I start to get that weird double/blurry vision, and know that I need to step back into the real world for a bit. Lauren spells out so many great tips to protect your eyes from excessive screen exposure.
I’ve never trusted a recipe labelled as “best” because I know that it’s all for clicks. The utter deluge of “ultimate” versions of all kinds of recipes has rendered the terms meaningless for me–even from a source that I trust! Sometimes you just have to do your research and come to a personal conclusion on what’s going to be your preferred, go-to recipe. I totally failed to go with my own intuition last weekend, trusted a banana waffle recipe in the top Google search results, and effed up my waffle iron so badly. Learn from my mistake, guys!
On cooking with MSG at home. It’s weird to me that MSG is still sorta taboo given the feverish obsession with umami in food media. Also, a choice quote: “Chinese-American restaurateurs were unfairly maligned for a Japanese invention widely present in American foods.”
Even more on that umami tip: everything you’ve ever wanted to know about traditional soy sauce, its origins, and classification. Kind of makes me want to seek out some premium, more traditionally produced brands. Also, Fuchsia Dunlop is the coolest.
The “Life Skill” series on Rookie Mag’s site is the perfect mix of fun and wise, and this breakdown of the Minor Life Emergency Kit (modelled on a bride’s survival kit) follows suit: “…a kit for a person who has no interest in marriage but is very interested in spilling taco sauce on any and all new shirts.”
This article UNDERSTANDS. I think it’s incredible that there’s a wellness movement celebrating positivity and optimism in the face of stress/adversity/self-doubt/life sometimes. But also, it creates this pressure, this force telling you that you HAVE to see the good, you have to love every second of your life, to deny your truth. Somehow, allowing yourself to feel sad when you need to can also make you feel like you’re coming up short on living your best life. Adhering to a cliché poster that screams “Love your life. Every minute of it.” seems empty, kinda delusional, and a lil’ messed up if you’re asking me.
COCONUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: I used cartoned coconut milk as my milk of choice. It has just the right level of viscosity for this, and it also compliments the coconut butter in obvious ways. There are plenty of ways to customize this hot chocolate. You could add some ground cinnamon or cayenne, some reishi powder/extract, or even steep some lavender tea while you heat it up.
1 ounce dark, dairy-free chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut butter (this is a product that has both the flesh and the oil–I use Nutiva’s Coconut Manna)
pinch of sea salt
2 soft Medjool dates, pitted
2 1/2 cups unsweetened, non-dairy milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In an upright blender, combine the chocolate, cacao powder, coconut butter, sea salt, dates, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Blend the mixture on high until the chocolate is scattered throughout and looks like tiny flecks.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a small saucepan. Warm the coconut butter hot chocolate on the stove over medium heat, whisking it frequently. When it’s almost simmering, steamy, and frothy on the top, it’s ready. Pour the coconut butter hot chocolate into mugs and enjoy! I grated chocolate on top of mine, but that’s optional!