Thursday, February 25, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly: Sweets for the Sweet

The Challenge:4. Sweets for the Sweet (February 12 - February 25) It’s sugar, and maybe spice, and definitely everything nice. Test out a historic recipe for sweets, sweetmeats and candies - but don’t let them spoil your appetite!

The Recipe: (where did you find it, link to it if possible) Take one hundred cocoa beans, two chillies, a handful of anise seed and two of vanilla (two pulverized Alexandria roses can be substituted), two drams of cinnamon, one dozen almonds and the same amount of hazelnuts, half a pound of white sugar and enough annatto to give some color. And there you have the king of chocolates from What's Cooking America?  You can read some of the book it is from here.

The Date/Year and Region: 1631, Spain

How Did You Make It: (a brief synopsis of the process of creation) I obviously didn't use the amounts the original author indicated. Half a pound of sugar is a bit much. Also, I don't like hazelnuts.

  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 cup of vanilla flavored almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a pinch of anise

I mixed this together and I had hot chocolate!

Time to Complete: A couple of minutes
Total Cost: I had everything on hand

How Successful Was It?: (How did it taste? How did it look? Did it turn out like you thought it would?) The chili powder really changed the taste. However, the rest of it isn't too terribly different from how I make modern hot chocolate so....I loved it!   It's spicy because of the chili powder I used but it's really quite good if you like a rich chocolate taste.

How Accurate Is It?: (fess up to your modifications and make-dos here) I used store bought almond milk and store bought  ground ingredients. I also used the microwave. ;-)  I used almond milk rather than almond flour because, once you add water to the almond flour, the only real difference is that the almond flour would make the drink slightly more thick.   Since the kind of almond milk I buy already had vanilla in it, it makes sense to use that rather than crushing up a bunch of almonds and using vanilla extract (or the vanilla beans I have on hand that are not cheap!).


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