(This article appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
As the country ventures out for more shared meals this summer season, pastry chefs have an opportunity to provide nostalgia and indulgence through unexpected mediums.
A dessert drink offers just that: it delivers the complexity of a specific chocolate or flavor in a largely uncommon format. It’s rethinking the milkshake, reimagining a plated dessert in a sippable format, playing with textures and temperatures to ultimately deliver a burst of flavor or reinterpret a classic dessert as a refreshing takeaway item for the warm summer months. Not to mention that drinks are customizable, providing another means for coffee houses and bars as well as bakeries, restaurants and confectioners to offer sweets throughout the day, all with a good return on ingredients and labor.
When drinks are the vehicle for delivering chocolate, you’re not only providing chocolate in an unexpected way, but can also vary the chocolate flavor greatly. A frozen drink, due to the water content and the colder temperature, will convey a chocolate flavor entirely differently than when delivered in a confection or a plated dessert. In the case of these frozen drinks, because of the high amount of water compared to fat, the flavor of the chocolate used is very distinct and clean, revealing some of the more nuanced notes of the chocolate and powder that may be lost in other applications. This opens up a world of possibility when it comes to pairing flavors, temperatures, and textures.
The following three recipes promise to explore all of these variables so that the pastry chef, confectioner, baker or mixologist can design a finished dessert drink that suits their vision. The recipes offer a look into different ways to craft warm and cold chocolate beverages by isolating or blending a variety of premium chocolates and cocoa powders. We’ve selected the following chocolate and ingredients for the benefit of flavor and texture, though most can be swapped out for seasonality or flavor pairings.
This collection of recipes presents chocolate in unique ways, while also being simple enough to allow for modifications by any pastry chef, barista or mixologist. Any of these recipes can be turned into a dessert in their own right. Tinker, experiment and try different flavor combinations, but most of all, seek to provide guests a world of surprise and discovery.
The following recipes are by Guittard Chefs Donald Wressell and Josh Johnson
Fresh Turmeric White Chocolate Golden Milk
The musky flavor of turmeric complements the creamy citrus notes of white chocolate in this unique drink, which can be served either hot or cold.
Yield: about 2 drinks
- 225 g milk (cow, almond, cashew or oat)
- 15 g freshly grated turmeric
- 5 g freshly grated gingerroot
- 35 g Guittard Crème Francaise 31% cacao white chocolate
- A good pinch of ground Saigon cinnamon
- 3 grinds of freshly ground black peppercorns
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until boiling. Blend well with immersion blender.
- Strain into a mug, glass or other vessel. This drink can also be enjoyed cold over ice.
Guittard 66% Organic Semisweet chocolate Frozen Hot Chocolate
The spice notes and fresh berry acidity of the Organic 66% cacao semisweet chocolate really comes through in this blended frozen hot chocolate drink and offers a nice addition to any summertime menu.
Yield: 3 drinks
Frozen Hot Chocolate Base
- 290 g heavy cream
- 63 g organic granulated sugar
- 18 g barley malt syrup
- 30 g Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder
- 2 g kosher salt
- 55 g Guittard Organic 66% cacao semisweet chocolate
- 5 g vanilla paste
- Combine the cream, sugar, barley malt syrup, Cocoa Rouge and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Pour half of the cream mixture over the 66% Organic Semisweet chocolate, then whisk until smooth. Add the remaining cream mixture and vanilla paste and emulsify the mixture with an immersion blender. Cool the mixture over an ice bath and use when completely chilled or store in the refrigerator for future use.
- Combine 150 g of the base with 150 g of crushed ice in a drink blender. Blend until smooth, then transfer to frozen glassware. Top with fresh whipped cream and serve.
Honey Earl Grey Frozen Hot Chocolate
Earl grey tea pairs very well with the subtle malty notes of the Organic 38% cacao milk chocolate in this refreshing blended drink. Served frozen, this drink can be adapted with other favorite black tea varieties.
Yield: about 3 drinks
Earl Grey Frozen Hot Chocolate Base
- 225 g heavy cream
- 18 g loose Earl Grey tea
- 50 g whole milk
- 60 g clover honey
- 20 g Guittard High Fat Natural Cocoa Powder
- 70 g Guittard Organic 38% cacao milk chocolate
- Combine the cream with the tea and heat to approximately 200°F (93.3°C). Remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain the tea from the cream and re-scale the cream to 225 g.
- Combine the cream, milk, honey, and cocoa powder in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour half of the cream mixture over the 38% Organic milk chocolate, then whisk until smooth. Add the remaining cream mixture and emulsify with an immersion blender. Cool mixture over an ice bath and use when completely chilled or store in the refrigerator for future use.