Now that my family is getting used to the idea that many of the store bought products are being made in-house by me, I decided that I would try my hand at chocolate syrup again. Perhaps it will be an easier sell. Also, because I do have strong feelings about protecting the environment, I would be quite happy to strike yet another Nestlé product off my shopping list given this company's stronghold on the bottled water industry; an industry that I think has horrific ramifications on our planet. Stepping off my soapbox now... And back to yummy chocolate syrup.
The store bought chocolate syrups have chemicals put in them to enhance flavours and extend shelf life. Most certainly, these are things I would prefer not to ingest. In case you were wondering, the ingredients list on, hopefully the last, bottle of Nesquick is as follows: sugar, water, maltodextrin, cocoa, colour, salt, citric acid, potassium sorbate, artificial flavour, and ferric phosphate. Between you, me and the fencepost, matodextrin, potassium sorbate, artificial colour and flavour, and ferric phosphate sound SO tasty... NOT! True, chocolate syrup is super high in sugar, but if we are going to indulge in a sweet treat like chocolate milk, every now and again, I would certainly prefer to do it without the chemicals.
Yesterday, I made some chocolate syrup and stored it in a mason jar. This morning, I checked the syrup and was pleased to find that it had thickened just slightly AND was still pourable. I transferred it to a squeeze bottle for easy use. The syrup itself tastes pretty darn good too; so far, so good! I even made myself a little chocolate milk today and I thought it was excellent. All that's left is the family taste test! Cross your fingers...
Chocolate Syrup UPDATES 1 and 2
It's been a few days since I made the chocolate syrup. My husband gave it a try the other night and said it was pretty good - much better than my last attempt, especially since it "poured properly" and mixed easily with the milk. Two thumbs up. The kid tried it and said - "Nah - it's too chocolatey". Next time I make her a chocolate milk, I will use less syrup and see how it goes. As an aside, I know when I tried the syrup plain, I found that it certainly packed a chocolatey punch, so it stands to reason that a little will go a long way in a glass of your choice of milk. I'm hoping that by the time this batch of syrup is gone, my family's tastebuds will have forgotten how the Nesquick tastes so we can all enjoy chemical free chocolate syrup.
It's been over 2 weeks now and I have since made a SECOND batch of syrup. The kid has not tried it again, but my husband is quite happy to use it. I would also like to report that this chocolate syrup is excellent with almond milk and it is yummy on a bowl of vanilla ice cream with bananas and walnuts.
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa***
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
Whisk the cocoa, sugar, and salt together in a medium/large pot.
Over medium heat, cook the mixture stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes until the syrup has thickened slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Add the maple syrup, stir well and bring back to a simmer. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let the syrup cool to room temperature.
Once cool, pour into a glass mason jar (I like the wide mouth ones so it is easy to scrape out every last bit of syrup) or your favourite squeeze bottle.
I have done a little research about cocoa. I discovered that the cocoa I have in my pantry is Dutch processed cocoa which is a little different than natural cocoa. Check this out to learn more about cocoa here! From my reading, Dutched cocoa is made from cocoa beans that have been washed with a potassium solution before roasting and grinding. This neutralizes their acidity and results in a darker and less intense flavoured cocoa. The natural cocoa is just roasted and ground cocoa beans, but because the cocoa beans are naturally acidic, the flavour is sharper and and more "fruity" and colour is more reddish. Perhaps, if I used the natural cocoa, the flavour might be more appealing to the kid? I will let you know how it goes when I give it a try!
I really liked the taste of the natural cocoa versus the Dutch processed. Given that the natural has less processing, I think it will be my go to choice for cocoa from here on in!