Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Drink like American Founders

If you'll recall, Sisters and Brothers, we've looked American Heritage Chocolate in the past.  I made a few recipes and we tried their chocolate on it's own.  Now one thing to keep in mind is that this is not chocolate as we know it today.  This is made with traditional methods and ingredients just like the colonists and the first American citizens did back in the 18th century.  It tastes different and has a different texture.  You can use it in traditional recipes -- there are many on the website -- or experiment with it in modern recipes.  Your Chocolate Priestess did both for this this, our 4th feature review for the 2011 Winter Holiday season.

The Finely Grated Chocolate Drink came in the larger bag above.  Inside was a resealable plastic pouch so that the chocolate flakes could stay dry.  You can see that some of the grated chocolate has clumped but it wasn't damaged in any way and it all melts very easily in both ways that I tried it.  The first was a traditional recipe printed right on the bag for hot chocolate drink. Number one difference is that we use water, you can see it in the pitcher in the photo, and that the chocolate has no milk of any sort.  Adding milk or using milk with chocolate is very much a 19th century innovation so Benjamin Franklin didn't have milk with his chocolate.

The drink seemed to mix well but it was difficult to tell because the texture of the chocolate is a bit grainy compared to modern chocolate.  From every historical source I've looked it, this is as it should be for the period.  Once I thought it was well blended, it was very dark in color, I split it into three cups and three of us tried it -- myself and two Acolytes (Milk Chocolate and one of our Mocha volunteers).  I warned them that this would not taste like modern hot chocolate but it was a tough adjustment.  This does not taste like modern chocolate; the spices are very strong and you just have to clear your mind of expectations and accept what is actually a very good flavor combination.  One down side was that as the hot chocolate cooled it got more grainy so we kept stirring it.  My advice is to drink it quickly.

I wanted to try a more modern recipe but I also felt like experimenting.  Having my left arm injured is a big downer so my husband helped me make no-bake cookies using the Hot Chocolate Drink as the chocolate in the recipe.  Again we had to adjust expectations and these turned to be very hearty yet sweet cookies.  Here's the recipe in case you want to try it yourself.

No-Bake Cookies with Colonial Twist
1/2 cup light butter
2 cups Splenda
1/2 cup skim milk
8oz American Heritage Finely Grated Chocolate Drink
1tsp real vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats

Melt butter and add in sugar and milk.  Heat on low until smooth then add chocolate and milk until smooth.  Add in vanilla and thoroughly mix.  Turn off heat and slowly add in oats, no more than 1 cup at a time and mix well; oats should be completely covered by the chocolate mixture but you need to mix it quickly.  Then on a piece of wax paper drop tablespoon amounts of the mixture.  You can leaven in rolls or flatten out.  Let dry for at least one hour before eating.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow but any day can be a day to journey back into our past. As a historian I think we all need to take the time to think back and really try to connect with those who came before us.  American Heritage Chocolate let's us do that with food.  This is a more intense and direct way to re-connect so I hope you all give these chocolates a try.  You don't have to be American either, because the recipes are likely fairly similar to European chocolate during the 18th century.


Torviewtoronto said...

this is a yummy snack and dessert looks wonderful I like these beautifully packaged chocolate

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Torviewtoronto. It is a very unique taste and if you think about how it is spiced, you can do a lot with this chocolate.

Christine's Pantry said...

Snacks look good. Great post. You know I love food history.

Curry and Comfort said...

Now that's some good looking hot chocolate! :) I wanted to mention that you have an award at my blog dated 11-22 (Cranberry Chutney post). :) I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Thanksgiving. :)

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Christine, we share a love of history even if I technically left the academic field.

Curry and Comfort, thank you so much. I'll get that up today.

Haley McAdams said...

Thank you so much! I was searching for a no-bake recipe for my whole life. I have no oven so I need to have an alternative. I'll definitely try this recipe at home. Thanks!

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TammyJo Eckhart said...

You're welcome, Haley.

In the future though please do not include websites or links in your comments or I will have to delete them. This overwhelms some services and slow down loading of the pages because I can't control your links and mark them so that systems do not try to automatically follow the link or remember it. This is an issue another blogger warned me about and I've been cleaning up old posts when I can and making sure new ones for all the links we use are set up for "no follow" unless you click on it directly.

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