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With good cocoa, that is. There’s a lot of difference in cocoas. Really good cocoa makes everything better.

Look for cocoa that is at least 14% to 16% cocoa butter. Most grocery store cocoa is 8% to 10%. The cocoa below is 22% to 24%!

Free! Try our cocoa for free with code COCOA2

If your cocoa has enough cocoa butter in it, you can treat it like fine chocolate. It will be amazing.

Hot Chocolate

hot-cocoa

This is an easy foolproof recipe. All you do is mix good quality cocoa and sugar and add milk. You can add a little vanilla if you’d like.

Because there is so much difference in cocoas, you may want to adjust the flavor. We made this with Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa and it is rich and dark, more flavorful than grocery store brands. We used whole milk and 1/2 teaspoon Marsden and Bathe Madagascar Vanilla.

If you want a milder, smoother beverage, try Ramstadt Breda Medium Dark Cocoa.

This is going to richer and darker, not just because of the cocoa, but because of the fresh milk instead of nonfat dry milk.

In a medium pan, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder with a whisk until it is uniformly mixed.

Add 1 cup milk and whisk until combined.

Cook and stir over medium heat just until it comes to boiling. Gradually add another 3 ½ cups milk while whisking.

Heat through until hot but not boiling.

Add a teaspoon of optional vanilla.

Yield: Four to six servings.

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Chocolate Whipped Cream

Top your desserts with chocolate whipped cream, not vanilla. You can make it with or without cream cheese. You can make it with cocoa or with melted chocolate. They’re both good.

If you are melting chocolate, heat the chocolate in the microwave being careful not to burn it. Add the whipped cream a little at a time so that the chocolate doesn’t seize up when it comes in contact with the cold cream. Stir after each addition.

On a Saturday, we made two versions of chocolate whipped cream. The first was a milk chocolate whipped cream. We made it with Ramstadt Breda Medium Dark Cocoa because it has a softer “milk” tone to it.

The second was made with melted chocolate chips. I added cherry pastry and dessert filling to this too to make a black forest whipped cream. It was outstanding!

Chocolate Whipped Cream with Cream Cheese

2 ounces cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa

Whip the cream cheese and sugar together until blended.  Add the rest of the ingredients and whip until stiff peaks form.

Chocolate Whipped Cream with Meringue Powder

3 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa

Whisk the sugar, cocoa, and meringue powder together.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add the dry mixture a little at a time.  Add the vanilla.  Beat until stiff peaks form.

Use the best heavy whipping cream you can find. We used Marigold 40% Heavy Whipping Cream that we bought from Sam’s Club. It whips faster and is more stable than lighter creams.

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Whipped Cream Frosting

It’s a fine line between whipped cream and whipped cream frosting. The difference is a stabilizer. We typically use meringue powder. (Meringue powder goes in royal icing to make those hard, floral patterns on wedding cakes.)

We use whipped cream frosting whenever we can. It’s lighter and not as rich as butter cream with much less fat and sugar. It’s delightful.

In the recipe above there are three tablespoons of meringue powder for two cups of cream. In most cases, that will hold a whipped topping for most of the day without melting. If we are frosting a cake, we would use 1/4 to 1/3 cup for two cups of cream.

Heavier, richer whipped cream will whip better and require less stabilizer.

You can make whipped cream frosting with any color and flavor. Unless you’re really pouring the meringue powder to it, don’t expect your frosting to look pretty beyond a day or so. Even if you stabilize it for longer, it tends to deflate and lose that light and fluffy texture.

fudge-sauce-cream-puff

Hot Fudge Sauce Made with Cocoa

If you are using good cocoa—and yes, there is quite a difference in cocoas—this is excellent.

It’s easy.   Be sure to mix the cocoa and granulated sugar together before cooking to eliminate any lumps and make a smooth sauce.

Quality cocoa is critical to this recipe.  We used Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa with three times the cocoa butter of most store brands.  See the review of this cocoa below.

We made this both with 2/3 cup and 3/4 cup cocoa.  Both work.  Of course, you get a little deeper flavor with 3/4 cup cocoa.

As with other hot fudge sauces, this thickens as it cools.  You can rewarm it in the microwave.  You can also thin your sauce with additional cream.

2/3 cup Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa or equal
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Mix the cocoa and sugar together in a small bowl.  Melt the butter in the microwave.

Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to a small saucepan.  Add the melted butter and cream.  Heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until the ganache starts to bubble.  Remove from the heat.

Let the ganache cool until it reaches the desired consistency.  Thin with additional cream if necessary.

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