The East India Company Drinking Chocolate is prepared from flakes of real chocolate and makes a wonderful drink, which is more authentic and more rich and delicious than any modern powders. Originally in Aztec cultures, chocolate was only consumed as a savoury style drink. Gradually it evolved in Europe to a sweet beverage with the addition of sugar and vanilla. Rediscover chocolate’s earliest hold on your senses with this delicious recipe.
Dating back to the ancient civilisations of the Aztecs and Mayans, chocolate slowly rose in popularity until it was eventually sold in all the principal cities of Europe around 1650. Introduced to England in the mid-17th century, London’s chocolate houses quickly became haunts of intrigue and indulgence.
Soften the gelatine in cold water for a minute or two and add to the milk mixture. Stir to dissolve the gelatine. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Combine the chocolate mixture with the cream.
Pour into cups or glasses and chill for a couple of hours.
Garnish with swirls of 7-minute icing and a sprinkle of drinking chocolate flakes.
This is a forgiving, snowy-white icing that will hold its shape for a long time without slumping. Yes, it does demand 7 minutes of beating, so an electric hand-whisk at the very least is essential. The ingredients are inexpensive and you will likely have them to hand; the corn syrup or liquid glucose is a useful addition to any dessert-maker’s larder.
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine 225g sugar, the corn syrup or glucose, and the water.
Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, periodically washing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, to prevent the sugar from crystallizing.
Continue boiling until a sugar thermometer reads 235°F. The liquid will have turned to a light syrup.
Meanwhile whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1 tbs sugar. Pour the hot syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl into the fluffy egg white mixture, while you continue to whisk.
Continue beating the icing with the electric whisk on medium speed until cool. This should take from 7 to 10 minutes but the process can be speeded up if one puts the bowl into a sink containing a couple of inches of cold water to cool down the bowl; but ensure that no water touches the icing.
The icing will be thick and glossy when finished and can be used for icing desserts and cakes.
Note: This makes a large volume of icing so consider baking some cupcakes to use the excess to delicious advantage.
For Light East India Drinking Chocolate Cups:
Replace the double cream with skimmed milk.
Whip 3 egg whites to stiff peaks and fold in the drinking chocolate and beat again.
Pour into glasses – the egg white will create a foam, like the froth on a mug of hot whisked drinking chocolate.
Allow to chill for a couple of hours and serve with a swirl of 7-minute icing.
Note: The egg whites can be omitted if you want to avoid raw egg.