Sunday, November 27, 2011

Foodbuzz 24x24 : The Great Hot Chocolate Party

Time flies fast's almost December and we are sharing our Thanksgiving Hot Chocolate party we had with our family friends as a part of Foodbuzz 24X24. This post is inspired by the hottest festive ingredient - 'CHOCOLATE'. And what better time to saveur "Hot Chocolate" than the advent of Winters.

A bit of History - Hot chocolate  or hot cocoa/ cocoa/ chocolate milk/ cafe au Chocolat in French) is a heated beverage typically consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk/water, and sugarDrinking chocolate is made from melted chocolate shavings or paste, not as sweet and is a powdered mix that's soluble in water. The first chocolate beverage is believed to have been created by the Mayas around 2,000 years ago. The beverage became popular in Europe after being introduced from Mexico in the New World, and has undergone multiple changes since then (source : Wikipedia)

The special aroma of cocoa can lift your spirits and add gloss to any party. Todays menu for the party is full of great hot chocolate drinks. This Party was organized at our home in New Jersey & we created a Hot-Choco-Bar in our dinning area. No better way to name this party than what my son suggested "The Great Hot Chocolate Party"

For this Party we invited our Family friends who had kids of same age group as ours. All the Hot Chocolate recipes were served fresh from Hot Pot and with various Do-it-Yourself options available at a D-I-Y Hot Chocolate Bar.

Menu for the Party - Our menu included 7 great Hot Chocolate recipes from around the world.....!
  1. Mexican Hot Chocolate
  2. Peppermint Hot Chocolate
  3. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
  4. Belgian Hot Chocolate
  5. Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa
  6. Chai-Infused Hot Cocoa
  7. Hot Chocolate on a Stick  

First thing to come of the Bar was Ina Garten inspired Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe, this was an instant hit & quickly disappeared of the shelves. Best thing I personally love about this concoction is addition of cayenne pepper. Its Hot Hot & Yum Yumm.... :)  Mexican hot chocolate was served with a cinnamon stick as a stirrer, so happy every one loved it. 

Time for a Kids only section - a Peanut Butter inspired Hot Chocolate with a DIY Ice Cream infusion activity. It is safe to say this was the most enjoyble part of the evening & I could see most Adults in the room finding hard to resist jumping in to join three happy kids :P

Kids Delight - Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate with Resse's Ice Cream

This was my Husband's Idea & the session at the bar was led by him, we used Hershey's Hot cocoa along with Salted Caramel Soiree, the bug Coffee mug was topped with some whipped cream, Caramel & a pinch of sea salt
Here's the recipe (inspired by Savoury Sweet Life)

3 tablespoons Caramel syrup, heated to luke warm (else use dulche-de-leche)
Hot Chocolate (4 tablespoons of 
ganache plus 6 oz. of milk, heated)
Canned Whipped Cream
Pinch of Medium Coarse Sea Salt
Method: -
Pour 2 Tablespoons of caramel syrup into a mug so the inside of the mug is coated well.  
Add hot chocolate and stir everything.  
Top off with with cream, drizzle with remaining caramel, and sprinkle with sea salt.

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa, big & sinful !!!

Wittamer inspired, Belgian Hot Chocolate 

Ingredients: -
4 Cups whole milk
4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Method: -
Warm about one-third of the half-and-half or milk, with the chopped chocolates and salt, stirring until the chocolate is melted.
Whisk in the remaining half-and-half or milk, heating until the mixture is warmed through. 
Add the cinnamon.
Use a hand-held blender, or a whisk, and mix the hot chocolate until it’s completely smooth. 
Served very warm with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Light, creamy & Majestic - Belgian Hot Chocolate !

The most Innovative creative of the day was Chai infused Hot Chocolate served in Indian style earthen teapots.

Chai Infused Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate was another Kids favorite and a big hit with everybody, the use of candy canes as stirrers was loved by all

Pepper Mint Hot Chocolate

And Finally - Hot Chocolate on Stick ! We had made these a day ahead as recipe calls for chocolate to cool down over night before cutting into square chunks served on tooth picks.
As one of the guests at the party commented, "A Fitting Dessert @ a Chocolate party".

All my guests went home happy & it was a very satisfying experience for us.
I will be sharing most of the recipes pretty soon in my following posts. 
Hope of you all had wonderful Thanksgiving parties at home with near and dear ones (followed by Friday shopping spree....)

Enjoy the festive Season and Stay Warm... !!!!!!

Hugs, Sonia

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