by Ben Stallings [Becca’s brother]
I’ve just discovered the simplest, cheapest way to make really good organic chocolate!
I like chocolate a lot, but I’ve cut way back since I learned that most chocolate that isn’t certified organic and/or fair trade is made from cocoa processed by child slaves in Cote d’Ivoire. When I asked my favorite chocolate chip manufacturer (Guittard) whether their product was made by slaves, they said, “We’ve tried buying fair-trade cocoa, but it’s just not up to our quality standards.” So I don’t buy from them anymore.
But here in Fairfield, my only organic chocolate options are high-end candy bars and chips (about 3x the price of slave chocolate) or bulk Dutch-process cocoa powder, which is affordable but not very versatile. Cocoa powder works in baking recipes where it doesn’t need to dissolve, but in more liquid recipes like hot chocolate it refuses to stay in solution, falling into a bitter sludge at the bottom of the cup. And when I just want a bite of chocolate, powder doesn’t hit the spot!
The solution (so to speak) hit me today as I was about to put some sweetened condensed milk into my coffee. I tried putting cocoa powder in the condensed milk, and what do you know, it dissolved perfectly, making a smooth confection the texture of frosting that tasted like the center of a chocolate truffle. Then I put a sticky spoonful in my otherwise black coffee, and in a few seconds I had something resembling a mocha. No precipitate, no high price tag, and no slavery!
But then, my standards aren’t as high as some people’s. I rushed a spoonful to my upstairs neighbor, who relies on chocolate to maintain her trademark optimism, and she pronounced it “awesome.”
I hope you’ll give it a try! Enjoy!
UPDATE: Katie at Kitchen Stewardship wrote a great article about why fair-trade chocolate is important.
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