Coconut Hot Cocoa

coconut milk hot chocolate

It’s official; I’m an old fogie.

I’d rather be curled up on the sofa with a mug of cocoa than partying it up at a bar.

When did that happen?  When did my PJs and a James Bond movie marathon become my idea of a perfect evening?

At some point along the way, a steamy mug of really great hot chocolate eclipsed tequila shots as my New Year’s Eve drink of choice.  And this coconut hot cocoa is about as great as cocoa gets.  It’s incredibly creamy and full of deep, rich chocolate flavor.  But best of all, it smells incredible. The combination of coconut and chocolate is addictive.  And it’s so easy to make!

You could certainly top this cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream or a few mini marshmallows.  But I’m a hot cocoa purist.  To me, whipped cream detracts from the chocolate, and elusive little marshmallows distract me from my chocolate desires. But I do advocate a splash of coconut rum here.  After all, it’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m not THAT old!

Happy New Year!

Coconut Hot Cocoa

Serves 2

1/2 cup low-fat milk

4 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup canned lite coconut milk

2 tablespoons coconut rum (optional)

In a small saucepan, wisk together the low-fat milk, sugar and cocoa powder over medium-low heat.  Once the sugar has dissolved, wisk in the coconut milk and heat, stirring, until hot but not boiling.  Add the rum, if using.  Pour into two mugs and enjoy. Great with ginger snap cookies!

Published in: on December 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm  Comments (10)  
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My Grandmother’s Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

zucchni bread

Nannie (my grandmother) made the most wonderful chocolate zucchini loaf.  Sort of a bread, sort of a cake, it’s the perfect afternoon snack. I love the unlikely combination of chocolate and zucchini, and the hint of cinnamon and cloves here makes this recipe so very comforting. And given that the season for overflowing kitchen gardens is almost upon us, I decided to share this decadent recipe with the Dedham Transcript for the June “Cozy, Delicious” article – which you can read here.

recipe card for chocolate zucchini breadAs a kid, I could devour slice after big, thick slice of this rich, fragrant quick bread.  But as an adult I have come to realize that one thin slice carries with it more than enough butter and sugar for an afternoon snack.  I’ve always thought that a bread chock full of bright and healthy summer squash should be healthy. And more than once I’ve convinced myself that since it contains veggies, I can have just one more morsel. But the reality is that Nannie’s recipe, despite it’s reliance on diced zucchini, shows her generation’s characteristic adoration of butter. 

So while I have a nostalgic connection to the original version, I couldn’t resist tinkering a bit with Nannie’s recipe.  And with some whole wheat flour and a bit of apple sauce, I managed to up the fiber content and reduce the fat and sugar.  And the best part is that the flavor is right on.  The texture may be ever so slightly less luxurious, but I actually have enjoyed this healthier chocolate zucchini bread all the more for its heartiness.  It makes a wonderful breakfast, and even works great as a muffin instead of a loaf (just be sure to reduce the baking time if you choose to make muffins – about 25-30 minutes will do).  

zucchini muffins

Healthier Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

Makes 2 loaves or 18 muffins

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 egg

4 egg whites

½ cup fat-free buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large)

3/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided (optional)

1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, oil and sugar. Beat in the applesauce, egg, egg whites, buttermilk and vanilla. Sift together the flours, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt (Nannie was big on sifting – don’t skip this step). Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture and beat just to combine. Fold in the zucchini and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, if using. Spread the batter into two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with the remaining walnuts and the chocolate. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

zucchini and bread

Published in: on June 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm  Comments (35)  
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