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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Budget Tips ~ Homemade Chocolate Milk and Mocha’s

This past week I’m guilty of hitting up Dunkin Donuts 3 days in a row for iced mocha’s (pregnancy craving)! At $3.06 per day I’m feeling a little guilty and compelled to do something about it.

The first day of homemade mocha’s I found a hot chocolate packet and just added an espresso shot to the powder + milk. The second day I realized we had no more packets and found the only chocolate in the house to be Hersey’s special dark cocoa. Time for my childhood training to kick in! I recalled how my mom would make hot chocolate on the stove with unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s a little extra work but so worth the effort because it actually tasted better then packets and syrups (and without additives like colors and corn syrup).

Here’s the recipe:

  • ¼ cup Hershey’s Cocoa special dark
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Stir on stove until it boils for 2 minutes; add 4 cups of milk and heat until serving temperature stirring the entire time.
Now for the espresso, and here’s the really thrifty part:
Background – In my Pittsburgh college days, I worked at coffee shops to support myself. Not corporate coffee shops, small tiny shops that taught me how to make really excellent coffee with fresh roasted beans. I learned that unless you want to invest thousands of dollars into a machine that can force hot water through tightly packed fresh roasted, fresh ground espresso in 19 seconds to produce a perfect creama then you might as well settle for a cheap imitation. Therefore we’ve settled on the cheapest of all possible espresso makers – this lovely stove top for $24.99.

We live in South Florida so there are no lovely coffee shops to be found that roast and sell beans in small quantities so we just buy the store Starbucks bag - I suppose we could order online but then we'd have to pay shipping costs and I'm just not that much of a purist!

Back to the mocha part, I add 1/3 espresso coffee to 2/3 chocolate milk and a pile of ice. A homemade Iced Mocha!


Penelope said...

You are, of course, brilliant to figure out how to do this flying solo. I keep an old cocoa container with a mixture of equal parts cocoa (part dark, part regular) and sugar on the shelf. When the desire for cocoa strikes, I put 1/3 cup of that mixture into a pan w/ 13/ cup water and boil as you so wisely knew to do. Then add 2cups milk and heat. (Only hubby and me at home now.) Cinnamon is lovely in cocoa, if you are into just cocoa. I'm not a coffee drinker. BUT you're right on re: the requisite BOILING before adding the milk. It makes all the difference in the world. You'll never get that out of a packet.

rubberbacon said...

Thanks for helpful comments Penelope! Now if I can just figure out how to get it tasting good the 3rd day, my chocolate tends to settle and get solid which is a little weird! Maybe I just need to make smaller batches!