Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TCHO Drinking Chocolate Revealed

With a new year and winter, it is time again for our Wednesday series of hot chocolate drink reviews. Some of these will be regular reviews, products your Chocolate Priestess purchased, some of these will be Sacramental Reviews, products that a company or chocolatier sent to us to review.  2011 starts with a a product we were sent from TCHO and which we waited many months of hot, humid weather until it was the right conditions to have hot chocolate again.


The drinking chocolate came in a 10.6oz silver tin box which contains about 7 servings if you go with the 3T of the chocolate per drink. Some of you may want to go with 4T but I can't recommend 2T unless you like weak hot chocolate.  Just the chocolate pieces in this tin have 240 calories per serving made of 9g saturated fat, 1g fiber, 18g sugars, 4g protein, with 4% calcium and 15% iron.  The tin says that you can use water to make this but I've never been a fan of using water for hot cocoa unless the mix I'm using has dried milk in it all ready.  This does not but given the nutritional contents I wanted to try it with just skim milk.


That didn't taste very good.  Look at what is inside the tin.  See that?  It is simply small pieces of dark chocolate with some sugar and some cocoa powder.  Imagine that in water and you can almost feel your lips and mouth tensing up from the bitterness.  The skim milk didn't offer much to curb what would be a nice level of bitterness to me for, let's say, a truffle, but for something I'm drinking, I want more smoothness.

The nutritional information though is a challenge to wanting that creaminess.  Even skim milk added more calories, fat, sugars and proteins.  I made a compromise and decided to try it again with 2% milk but I needed more people to share it with since we have only skim milk 99% of the time in our house.  A wonderful friend came over and so we had her try it with us.  We thought the 2% had a good balance to the bitter dark chocolate but she wanted a bit more of the chocolate.  That's your choice, the directions say 3-4T but remember that if you go for 4T then the nutritional values go up in all categories.

The tin claims that you can also use this to make a cold chocolate drink.  But take a look at what you have to do with this chocolate.  You need the steaming milk to melt the chocolate pieces.  They start melting right away since they are additive free but you do need to stir them.  To cool it down seems like a lot of extra work to me involving both chilling it and adding ice which of course would water it down and lessen the cocoa buzz.  As a hot drink, this does indeed give us that cocoa rush that you want from good chocolate.

We like TCHO because its straightforward in its approach to chocolate and to packaging.  No fancy colors or boxes, no unnecessary ribbons or difficult to recycle packaging, no new flavors combinations or additives.  Only the basics and sometimes that is honestly all you need or want.  Add into that that they practice fair trade policies and you have a good reason to curl up with a steaming cup this winter.

4 comments:

Fred said...

Maybe another approach would be using rice milk or almond milk (tastier but not everybody likes it) instead of cow milk for a healthier hot chocolate?
And rice milk has a rather plain taste so the hot chocolate taste is preserved.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

That might work, Fred, but I couldn't comment on that without trying and it we have other types of milk around even less often than anything more than skim.

Thanks for commenting and reading. I hope you keep doing so.

Maggie @ Vittles and Bits said...

Hmm looks like we both had hot chocolate on the brain :) Thanks for the info!

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Yup, Maggie, this continues the winter trend of reviews about hot chocolate drinks I started last year here. Some will be Sacraments -- meaning the company gave us the products -- some will be things I bought.

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