I love European drinking chocolate, a thick and sinfully rich version of hot chocolate that kicks Swiss Miss in the ass. It is dark and flavorful, just a little sweet, and oh so creamy. But, it is made with lots of dairy and is sweetened with sugar. Hmn. A substitute was needed. Tonight. So, here it is. This is a sugar free, dairy free, fat free, half-ass version that at least starts to satisfy my longing for a proper cup of chocolat chaud.
Hey, sometimes you just have to take what you can get.
Since rice milk doesn't really thicken the way milk does, I thickened my hot chocolate with a bit of sweet rice flour (yup, still housesitting, and still using the mystical sweet rice flour I found in the pantry). I sweetened it with bit of stevia, added a dash of cardamom (my favorite), and drank it with a smile. Satisfying! Tasty! Just slightly sweet! Yum!
As I took spoonfuls of my hot chocolate, I wanted a biscotti for dipping. Hmn. Maybe that's next on the list of gluten free things to make. Biscotti are totally dry. Gluten free baked goods are often way too dry. Perhaps it could be a match made in heaven. Time to convert my old biscotti recipes to gluten free versions, I think. Stay tuned! In the meantime, enjoy a cup of chocolate. Don't want the acid, oxalates, or caffeine? No worries, use carob. Truth be told, I almost like carob more than cocoa, because it is naturally sweet. Hot carob drinks kind of rock.
The measurements below are totally approximates, you know how I cook. If it seems to thin, add more flour. If it seems to thick, add more rice milk. Want it more cocoa-y or carob-y? Add more. You get the idea. I'm going to keep working on this recipe - there must be a way to make it thicker and richer.
If only I could find vegan, gluten free, corn free, soy free, sugar free marshmallows to drop in my hot cocoa. It seems like an impossibility; anyone know of any? : ) Maybe I'll try to figure that out, it could be my claim to fame and riches.
HOT COCOA OR CAROB DRINK (vegan, sugar free, fat free)
1 c unsweetened rice milk (or soy, almond, hazelnut, etc)
1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder or carob powder
1 1/2 tsp arrowroot starch or 1 Tbsp sweet rice flour (I prefer arrowroot, it dissolves and thickens better)
stevia to taste (or use agave if you want)
optional: 1/2-1 Tbsp coconut oil (it adds great flavor and body)
optional: dash cardamom, ginger, or cinnamon
- Dilute the sweet rice flour or arrowroot starch in liquid. If using sweet rice flour, dilute in 1/4 c of rice milk. If using arrowroot, dissolve in 1-2 T of rice milk.
- In small saucepan, whisk together the remaining rice milk, coconut oil, and cocoa/carob powder. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring a few times to mix in the coconut oil as it melts.
- Reduce to a simmer, and add diluted flour/starch/milk mixture. Whisk together and let simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
- Add stevia/agave and optional spices to taste.
- Pour into a small cup, and let cool to drinking temperature. It will thicken slightly as it cools.
- Enjoy on its own or with your favorite gluten free cookies or baked goods. Serve with a spoon and savor it slowly.