The Art of Darkness

“Bloody Good” Hot Chocolate Sticks

March 26th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Hot ChocolateI stuck this in my Drafts folder back in December and promptly forgot all about it (my mind is like a steel trap…that’s been pried open and left to rust). Since we’ve just hit spring around these parts, this one is for all you Southern Hemisphere folks. Everybody else can, um, keep it in mind for next winter. Or something.

It’s hot chocolate on a stick that turns blood-red when it melts. I’m really rather pleased with it.

The basic idea is cribbed from 30 Pounds of Apples, who has lots of lovely photos of each step in the process. My changes to the recipe and method are as follows:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb milk chocolate (not chips, which contain stabilizers to keep them from melting as easily), chopped
  • 1/2 C loosely-packed Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 C loosely-packed powdered sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 T red powdered food coloring
  • Candy bones, bats, or similar sprinkles for decorating (optional)

Equipment

  • 5″ long (or longer) popsicle sticks, skewers, or swizzle sticks (see below)
  • Plastic ice cube tray or candy mold with cavities which hold about 1 ounce each (see below)
  • Double boiler or microwave-safe bowl

Instructions

Make sure that everything that will come in contact with the mixture is completely dry: Bowls, spatulas, ice cube trays, etc.

Sift together the cocoa, powdered sugar, salt, and food coloring. Set aside.

Place the chopped chocolate into a double boiler (my preference) or microwave-safe bowl. Heat on stove, stirring occasionally, or microwave on 50% power in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst.

Once the chocolate is about two-thirds melted, remove from stove/microwave and add the dry ingredients. Stir until remaining chocolate melts and everything is thoroughly combined; the mixture will be extremely thick. If it gets too stiff to mix, stir over very low heat until it loosens up a bit.

While the mixture is still warm, spoon it into the ice cube tray or candy mold (the original instructions suggested squirting it into the cavities using a piping bag or sandwich bag with a corner cut off, but I found the mixture too thick for that; just spoon it in and then wipe off any drips. Its consistency is almost like modeling clay). Pack in firmly to avoid air bubbles in the middle. If the tops of the cubes are uneven, just press them down gently with the back of a spoon.

Insert a stick into the middle of each cube (you may need to keep an eye on them until the chocolate begins to harden, since they tend to lean. Just reposition them as necessary). Press a couple of candy bones or bats gently into the top of each cube if desired. Set aside until dry. (The original instructions say you can put them in the fridge if you’re in a hurry. Doooooon’t put them in the fridge. When you take them out, moisture from the air will condense on the sides of the cold chocolate and activate the food coloring and your cubes will bleed.)

Once the cubes are hard and dry, remove carefully from the molds (take care not to crack the corners). Wrap in plastic and store in a cool, dry place. Makes about 16 ice cube-size blocks.

Make hot chocolate by placing 1 cup of hot milk in a mug and then stirring with one of the cubes until the chocolate dissolves. You should be rewarded with a lovely deep scarlet beverage.

To give as a gift, place one or two in a cellophane bag, tie with ribbon, and add a tag with instructions for use.

Now then: There are plenty of ways to spook things up even further. Instead of a plain ice cube tray, look for interestingly-shaped candy molds like brains or fingers. Keep in mind that the hot-chocolate mixture is a bit more crumbly than plain chocolate, so avoid intricate designs; I really like these rat-shaped molds, but you’d never get that tail out in one piece. In keeping with the “blood” theme, you could also try a vampire fang ice-cube tray.

There are also lots of ideas for sticks that go beyond plain popsicle sticks. Novelty acrylic swizzle sticks like eyeballs or skulls would look great, and have the advantage of being reusable so it’s like two gifts in one. If you’re really feeling ambitious, use wooden skewers and then wrap the ends with a bit of twine or raffia to resemble wooden stakes. You can also use edible stir sticks, such as bright-red cherry candy sticks.

For packaging as a gift, look for Halloween-themed cellophane bags at party and craft stores, like spiderwebs or skulls.

Since it’s easy to make these in quantity and they store well, they’d be great party or wedding favors.

I suppose the red chocolate theme is also reasonably appropriate for Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for another excuse to make some.

Fun! Easy! Yummy! Give ’em a try.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. xJane Says:

    I just want us all to acknowledge that this entire recipe was a front for your ability to use the following phrase: “your cubes will bleed”.

Leave a Reply