Adventures in Historic Hot Chocolate

I thought it would be an interesting experiment to try out a variety of 17th and 18th century hot chocolate recipes. I have included notes on what we liked and what we didn’t; we hope you try some of these and let us know the results! If you would like any more information about the books we used, I will include links to where you can purchase them from our shop, at the end of this post.

The Natural History of Chocolate (1724)

Method of making chocolate after the Manner of the French Islands in America:

1 oz chocolate

2-3 pinches powder’d cinnamon (we used ½ tsp)

2 large spoonfuls sugar in powder

1 egg

Heat water (we used 1 cup of milk instead) until just before boiling, pour into the ingredients listed above and then put it back into the pot on the heat until “chocolate rises”. We heated it up, whisking frequently, until the chocolate was melted and everything was well blended and heated through. You might want to strain this mixture before drinking (sometimes there are egg white bits in it). You can optionally add a spoonful of orange flower water to this, but we left it out, as we don’t like it.

This one turned out thick and custard like, spicy with cinnamon and very rich.

The Domestic Coffee-Man (1722)

To make chocolate cream:

1 pint water

3 egg yolks

1 oz chocolate

1 oz sugar

The instructions say to cook until thick, so we combined all of the ingredients in a pot and cooked until heated through, whisking frequently.

This one was lighter, milder and less rich with a stronger chocolate flavour.

The Natural History of Coffee, Thee, Chocolate, Tobacco (1682)

1 oz chocolate

½ pint water

½ pint milk

1 egg yolk

Bring the water and milk to a boil, then add in the chocolate and egg yolk and boil gently. Pour into cups and add one spoonful of sack in each cup.

We did not like this one, as it separated once we added the wine. We tried one small cup without the wine and it was similar to the last recipe.

A Curious Treatise of the Nature and Quality of Chocolate (1640)

180g (6.35 oz) chocolate

3 oz sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

1-2 hot chillies

Small pinch cloves

Small pinch anise seed

Make this into tablets by blending and melting. To drink, heat and mull with water.

I used powdered spices and pureed the ingredients as best I could and added them to the chocolate on a double boiler. I melted everything together and made it into small “tablets”. For the hot chocolate, I heated up one tablet with about a cup of water. I really enjoyed this one (but, I was the only one in our house who did). We seemed really divided on the heat aspect of this chocolate. I found it to be less intense when made into a drink.

Links to the books used in this post are HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE


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