Hey all,

 

I'm curious to know how the community is approaching mochas these days. I'm looking for a different approach, or else just more satisfying way of making these things instead of stirring my beautiful espresso into chocolate sauce, top with steamed milk, serve and cry at the loss of a great shot.

 

Anything at all is appreciated. I'm putting some thought into a heated dispenser that keeps the chocolate hot and melty, expenisve though they may be. Any other thoughts? Comments? Observations?

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My initial reaction is that you shouldn't serve something that you do not have confidence in. You're on the right track by looking for ways to improve your methods though.

Either find some good quality (not monin, torani, guittard etc. but REAL good quality) chocolate sauce, or make your own. There are many ways to do this, and most of them are fairly easy. Source some great quality (start with single origins) cocoa powder and combine it with hot water and sugar to make a syrup. Or you could make a ganache by combining chocolate chips with hot cream and whisking. Either of these can be added to the cup first, then espresso, stir together, tap a little cocoa powder on top for contrast, pour amazing rosetta & serve.

Some of the finest hot chocolates that i've ever had have come from Cacao and Coffeehouse Northwest here in Portland. Both are made with Michel Cluizel chocolate, which is some of the best i've ever had. Cacao uses this machine;

http://www.sarahs-sweet-fountains.com/drinking-chocolate-machine-ch...

They combine the Cluizel chocolate with coconut milk and other ingredients that they won't divulge to me. They have three options, drinking chocolate, cinnamon infused drinking chocolate, and spicy drinking chocolate from three different chocolate shot machines.

Coffeehouse Northwest steams Cluizel chocolate, cream, milk, and a dash of salt together in a steaming pitcher. Much cheaper than a machine, but you have to steam the milk to about 160 for the chocolate to melt.

So, my suggestions are a) find great syrup b) make great syrup/ganache/whatever c) get a chocolate shot machine d) get great chocolate and steam it

Just keep in mind that just like with coffee, the quality that you put in dictates the quality that you get out. Start with high quality ingredients, prepare them skillfully and you will end up with a high quality drink.
i use mocafé chocolate and have had good results. it's dominican semi-sweet organic FT chocolate, with belizian vanilla. cane sugar and soy lecithin. i just add a touch of water to make a sauce. it's not single origin or anything that fancy, but it does the trick and it's head and shoulders above guittard/ghiardelli in my opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/MOCAFE-Organics-Dominican-Chocolate-30-Pound/...
that stuff
Valrhona powder, sugar, and hot water from your coffee brewer/water tower. 4:6:5. Whisk the cuss out of it. Stir in a touch more water to fix it to the consistency you want, but go slowly here as it turns from hard to pour into a watery mess in a big, big hurry.

Substitute any kind of unsweetened powder you like. You may have to adjust the sugar content to taste as well. You're looking for basically 2 parts solid to 1 part hot water.

I find that whisking is easier if I add the powder to the water rather than the other way around.
Thanks, guys. that's awesome. I'm gonna play around with some single origin cocoa, and figure out what I like. I started working with a combination of Thomas Haas (a local chocolatier) hot chocolate mix with milk and vanilla, in fairly small portions, but I'm more exited to starte working with the cocoa.

I'll let you know the results!
It takes a minute to do but making chocolate, especially from a ground cocoa base, is fairly easy and you could look at making your own chocolate to directly complement and play off of your espresso (sort the sig. drink approach).
https://www.theochocolate.com/store/products/specialty-chocolate/si...
besides coffeehouse nw's chocolate, it is the best hot chocolate i've ever had.

i would say that grating down a fine quality chocolate bar and making your own sauce is definitely the best option though. you wouldnt necessarily have to buy a heated dispenser though. you could make small batches and keep them warm on top of the espresso machine to keep them all melty and great.
Wow, I hadn't really thought about making my own chocolate and then grating it down. Thanks Alex, that's a killer idea! Now I've just gotta hire someone so I have time to do it... I'll let oyu know how it goes; I'm stoked on that.

I might try a little combo of your suggestion, Alex, and Emily's. Make my own chocolate (om nom nom...), grate it, and melt to order? Hmmmmm.....
I currently make my own chocolate syrup for mochas, and would like to experiment more with it. What i'm doing right now is a simple:

2.5 cups boiling water
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup regular cocoa
1/2 cup vanilla extract

I've been told that its the "best mocha in town" but then again people could just be being nice.

I totally agree that making your own chocolate is the way to go. Especially in drinks where the chocolate taste is as, if not more predominate as the quality of espresso (depending on how you make it)
Hey Alex: How much does that recipe yield?
Add bacon, no pun intended. Everything's better with bacon. ;-)
We've been doing the house-made powder mix of cocoa+sugar route since day one and have been happy with the result. My question for you house-made sauce shops is how do you get a consistent amount of sauce in each drink without using a pumper?
Hey Emily--we are using theo's drinking chocolate, but still having problems with chocolate not completely mixing in, iced mochas, etc. any suggestions?

emily jackson said:
https://www.theochocolate.com/store/products/specialty-chocolate/si...
besides coffeehouse nw's chocolate, it is the best hot chocolate i've ever had.

i would say that grating down a fine quality chocolate bar and making your own sauce is definitely the best option though. you wouldnt necessarily have to buy a heated dispenser though. you could make small batches and keep them warm on top of the espresso machine to keep them all melty and great.

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