4 Ways to Cool Down with Chocolate
Sitting in my AC-less apartment with the fan blowing hot air in my face, it's hard to think about anything except how frigging hot it is in the Northeast. Record-breakingly hot. Temper-breakingly hot. Now, this doesn't necessarily put everyone in the mood to scarf a chocolate bar, but here are four ways to get your cocoa fix while staying cool.
Aside from the recently blogged chocolate sorbet, you have other options waiting to be made in your freezer. If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can still hack together a granita (or granité). Granita is made by simply placing a flavored sugar syrup—or sorbet base, or whatever dairy-less deliciousness have you—into a shallow pan in the freezer, and stirring it at regular intervals (20 to 30 minutes) to break up the crystals as the liquid freezes.
What you end up with is a light, icy treat. Kind of like a sophisticated slushy. No reason you couldn't make a granité out of the chocolate sorbet recipe from a couple weeks ago either—perhaps with a splash of Kahlua?
Of course, you could always go the nostalgic route and whip up some chocolate ice pops. It's as simple as preparing some pudding and freezing it in ice pop molds. You can find them in all kinds of fun shapes online; but if you don't feel like investing, you can make minis by freezing it in paper cups with pop sticks or skewers. The flavor's easy to mess with, too.
Adding your favorite spice, a dash of booze or a little salt can make a huge difference. Feel like getting fancy? Layering different flavors takes no time at all, and looks really cool. And, you can always just toss your favorite candy bar in the freezer for a quick fix. Hint: stick a skewer in first, and it's a little easier to eat. (Besides, we all know that everything tastes better on a stick.)
Ice Cream Sandwiches
In the mood for something a little richer? It's easy enough to head to your closest shop for some ice cream, but why not grab some cookies while you're at it and make ice cream sandwiches? I like slicing a little banana to layer in there, and drizzling on some chocolate syrup, like a portable banana split.
If you're thirsty, there's always chocolate milk (or its corollaries Yoo-Hoo and Quik) but when it's this hot, straight-up milk is not always the best thing to drink (See: "Anchorman").
I find that egg creams are much more refreshing. You can use skim milk, though traditionally it's made with whole milk. One part very cold milk, two or three parts seltzer (depending on how you like it), and a good half-inch of chocolate syrup. Stir like crazy to froth it a bit, and drink it down.
Ahhh, tastes like summer.
About the author: Liz Gutman co-owns the Brooklyn-based candy business Liddabit Sweets, which means she spends a lot of time around chocolate (and a lot of time eating it). She moved to New York in 2001 to go to, wait for it, acting school. But when the acting life wasn't for her, she wound up in the French Culinary Institute's pastry program while working at Roni-Sue's Chocolates in Manhattan's Lower East Side. She befriended Jen King, aka the other half of Liddabit, at FCI and founded Liddabit in May of 2009.