The authors of an 1877 cookbook wrote instructions for preparing hot chocolate. There is no mention of adding sugar so it seems they drank unsweetened hot chocolate. I’m sure this was healthier but doesn’t sound tasty.
Here’s the recipe:
Dissolve six tablespoons of scraped chocolate or three tablespoons of scraped chocolate and three tablespoons of cocoa in a quart of boiling water. Bring the chocolate mixture to a hard boil for fifteen minutes.
Add one quart of milk. Heat to scalding, then serve while hot. This serves six.
I decided to make hot chocolate the old-fashioned way.
I used Baker’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate, boiled in water for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. The water thickened to a thin gravy consistency and may have been much thicker had it boiled longer.
I added milk and heated the mixture to scalding, stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pot.
The drink looked very tempting. Though I don’t even like unsweetened tea, I tried it. In my opinion, hot chocolate tastes better with sugar. I added a teaspoon of sugar. Much better but not sweet enough for my taste.
I ended up adding two and a half teaspoons of sugar to my mug of hot chocolate.
I think this would be a fun activity with your children or at a fall party when the weather cools. It will be fun to see how much sugar/sweetener that each person requires for the perfect cup of hot chocolate.
-Sandra Merville Hart
Compiled from Original Recipes. Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Applewood Books, 2011.