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Thread: Adding chocolate before steaming?

  1. #1
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    Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Gday all

    I just found this website and it looks great. Ive got lots of questions but most seem to be covered, so Ill have to spend some time searching the posts.

    My first question is slightly off (coffee) topic since I want to ask about adding chocolate to cold milk before steaming. Hopefully I have the right section. it seemed more appropriate to milk frothing than Off Topic.

    (Im asking because my partner doesnt drink coffee and to justify the coffee machine I had to promise to make her hot chocolate).

    When making hot chocolate, I used to steam the milk, pour a bit into a (cold) glass, mix in two teaspoons of Alpen Blend chocolate powder and sometimes a small amount of Cottees Choc topping into the glass, and then add the rest of the steamed milk.

    But then I thought Id experiment and add the chocolate to the milk jug before steaming to improve the mixing. It mixes the chocolate very well but Ive noticed that I dont get nearly as much froth (and my partner loves the froth).

    Ive tried getting more aggressive with the steaming to get more bubbles but I just end up with big yucky bubbles and lose the silkiness of the small bubbles.

    Help! Why would I lose the small bubbles by adding chocolate before steaming? And most importantly, how do I get around it? Do I need to give up and go back to adding the chocolate to the glass rather than steaming it in the jug?

    FYI: I have a Rancilio Silvia (and Rocky grinder) and use straight unfiltered tap water. (I hear that I need to filter my water which I will hopefully get around to one day).

    Cheers,
    Double Espresso Man (thats my drink of choice)

  2. #2
    Junior Member Squeeek's Avatar
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Same thing happens to me. I dont think theres much that can be done about this so my tip would be to concentrate on making a base of chocolate and hot water.

    Try and achieve a consistency with your base that is similar to espresso and that the milk can cut through nicely.

    Keep adjusting your water to chocolate ratio until you find what works best!

  3. #3
    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Welcome D.E.M.,

    I mix the chocolate powder with a very small amount of hot water first, stir it to make a kind of paste. Then texture the milk (nice n silky), add about one quarter to the choc and stir through, then pour the rest as per a latte.

    Re using unfiltered water - dont! Get a Brita jug or similar at least. And give Silvia a descale (with a good quality product such as- http://www.bomborasupplies.com.au/product.php?productid=286&cat=0&page=1).

    Cheers.

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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A7F686A475A0D0 link=1255391293/2#2 date=1255392976
    Re using unfiltered water - dont! Get a Brita jug or similar
    Hi Greg, I think the jury has determined that the Brita is pretty useless after a week or so of use in protecting any unit against scale. ;)


  5. #5
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Quote Originally Posted by 060D17000E07071112100711110D620 link=1255391293/0#0 date=1255391293
    Help! Why would I lose the small bubbles by adding chocolate before steaming? And most importantly, how do I get around it? Do I need to give up and go back to adding the chocolate to the glass rather than steaming it in the jug?
    The particles of cocoa stop the bubbles from foaming. If you want foamy chocolate your previous version is the only one that will work, i.e. dissolve the chocolate in a bit of milk (steamed or otherwise) and then add the steamed milk to the cup.

    I used to know the technical name for the phenomenon (??nucleation something????) but its gone from my head at the moment.

    Greg

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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Heterogeneous nucleation?

    In any case, the best method is pre-mix the choc powder with some hot water and store them in your fridge in little easy to squeeze bottles, then the method I use for the hot chocolate is as such:

    1. Choc sauce into cup.
    2. Little bit of steamed milk.
    3. Work a whirlpool in the cup with your wrists, to mix up that initial choc sauce + milk.
    4. Pour rest of the steamed milk in.
    5. Top off with a chocolate dusting.
    6. Ask the gf if she wants marshmallows. :P

    Try not to mix choc powder with the milk and texture together.

  7. #7
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Thanks everyone for the replies

    Looks like Ill be mixing up a choc syrup in hot water and frothing normally from now on.

    GregW and Robstar, thanks for the tips on nucleation. I did a bit of wikipediaing & nucleation seems to involve the creation of bubbles. Im seeing loss of small bubbles? Someone at work said it might have something to do with sugars in the chocolate killing protein in the milk, which apparently is needed for bubbles to form - does anyone know anything about this?

    Thanks all

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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Ideally, on a chemistry level, Ive always felt sugar and protein work hand in hand. Although Im going to have to confirm that with myself and some research today.

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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5345404051535F56565555300 link=1255391293/3#3 date=1255394321
    Hi Greg, I think the jury has determined that the Brita is pretty useless after a week or so of use in protecting any unit against scale.
    Hi Chris,

    Im very interested in your comment here as I often use a Brita jug. Can you provide links to some factual reading on the subject?

    cheers,

    CH

    ps. to the original poster, I second creating an emulsion of choccy/cocoa powder and hot water, then pouring it as though it were a latte.

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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0825242F35283538410 link=1255391293/8#8 date=1255475040
    Hi Chris,

    Im very interested in your comment here as I often use a Brita jug. Can you provide links to some factual reading on the subject?
    Cuppacoffee is actually Dennis, not Chris.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D464D555E43191B2C0 link=1255391293/9#9 date=1255478405
    Quote Originally Posted by 0825242F35283538410 link=1255391293/8#8 date=1255475040
    Hi Chris,

    Im very interested in your comment here as I often use a Brita jug. Can you provide links to some factual reading on the subject?
    Cuppacoffee is actually Dennis, not Chris.
    Here you go....

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1249039307/10#10

    Dennis ((cuppacoffee) Not Chris) ;)

    I add African Red Cocoa combined with sugar to milk - then texturise. And guess what? I still get microfoam. :)


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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    If you add chocolate before you steam microfoam is still possible but you wont get as much as not adding the chocolate. That being said you can end up with about as much foam as you would for a latte (my preference for texturised H.C) but not as much as say a capp. Horses for courses I suppose.

  13. #13
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Excellent answers.

    I did the chocolate hot water mix thing to get a choc syrup as suggested and then frothed the milk straight and the wife said it was much better.

    Happy wife, happy life.

    DEM

  14. #14
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    I use the put choc powdr n the cup, add water and then stir (mix) them to make a "shot" Texture straight milk then pour. with practice you will be ablble to have art on your hot choc as well as your coffee.
    Regards
    Crisp Image

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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E5F545453493A0 link=1255391293/10#10 date=1255485699
    I add African Red Cocoa combined with sugar to milk - then texturise. *And guess what? *I still get microfoam. *:)
    Might have to give that a go! I usually make a chocolate paste/liquid first, it gives me more practice for latte art.
    One thing I did find is if I mixed the sugar with the coco powder first, then the hot water, the paste has far less lumps in it.

  16. #16
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    the red african cocoa is very earthy if its not cut with something. making a squeeze bottle full of syrup to keep in the fridge works well. A bit of boiling water on some sugar and cocoa, leave it for a good 10 minutes and then give it a good stir. Easy to add to an espresso shot for a great mocha, or in the cup for a rich hot choc. The other option is to put the powder and sugar in the cup, and get two spoonfuls of microfoam to blend it before adding the rest of the milk. nothing worse than gettting a lump of dry, undissolved cocoa to the back of the throat!

  17. #17
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    I use the same method as Chris and it seems to work well - cocoa+hot water+sugar to make a paste, and add the microfoamed milk later.

  18. #18
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    You MUST add choc 2 your milk then texture... Vast majority of pros like myself will say the same i think?? Unless your using actual blocks or chunks of chocolate, different for that situation obviously...

  19. #19
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A697A7A696B63080 link=1255391293/17#17 date=1260347389
    You MUST add choc 2 your milk then texture... Vast majority of pros like myself will say the same i think?? Unless your using actual blocks or chunks of chocolate, different for that situation obviously...
    MUST?
    Each to their own I think
    What ever works for you.
    Regards
    Crisp Image

  20. #20
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    In answer to MUST

    When trying to work out the best way to make up hot chocolates for our little commercial venture (a few years ago) experimented on our volunteers (20 odd visitors for breakfast and of course The Machine had to come out).
    Tried
    1) chocolate textured with the milk
    2) a little hot water on the chocolate, mixed well and then again mixed with a little of the textured milk before filling to top with the rest of the milk (latte art can be done this way if you want to be tricky)

    Both ways were considered acceptable, but when given the preference the vote seemed to go the way of method 2, But you have to make sure that you do mix thoroughly, nothing worse (well maybe for some) than having a milky weak chocolate drink with all that yummy choc unmixed and stuck to the bottom of the cup.

    Have made hot chocs this way since and had no complaints (hot choc lovers often came back for seconds)

    denhamia


  21. #21
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    I put the chocolate powder in the jug, add some hot water, then stir to wet all the chocolate.
    I then add milk and steam.

    This makes sure none of the chocolate is left on the bottom as the whirlpooling of the steaming milk mixes it thoroughly.

  22. #22
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    Re: Adding chocolate before steaming?

    I dont like adding water 2 any milk beverage. Unless its through a porta filta with around 20grams of coffee inside ;)



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