Orange juice comes from it. Lemonade, limeade, pineapple-banana-orange drinks do too. Chances are most people are familiar with the “from the concentrate” labels stamped on many favorite juices and drinks. You can even go deeper into the frozen section of your grocery store and find THE concentrate: the frozen, potent base to which you add water. So it brings us to the question of what the “concentrate” truly is and what it means. By definition, it is the just the base of flavor, sweeteners, basically anything besides the liquid you add once you make it. It can also be used as a burst of flavor in a dish or sauce without drastically increasing the amount of liquid. Yet, why is “concentrate” limited to just fruit juices? The term could surely be extended to other condensed products.
The homemade chocolate syrup I made last night was a decadent river of sweet chocolate that ran right into my cold glass of milk. With the twirl of my spoon I had rich and tasty chocolate milk, and the ingredients required to make this syrup were all found in my pantry.
This afternoon though, I wondered if I was limiting myself by considering this a syrup, and adding it exclusively to milk and ice cream. Thus, the experimenting began. Although I would eat the stuff straight, I assume that most would like to have options. First, I tried it in my vanilla yogurt. It turned out to be a nice sour twist on the super-sweet chocolate, and offered far more protein than if it were ice cream or frozen yogurt. Then I tried dipping apples in it: delicious, of course. Therefore, I’m sure strawberries, bananas, cookies or marshmallows would sing the same tune as well. It might even work as a coating if you were to freeze your chocolate covered treat; I have yet to try that once. I am still looking for more creative dipping or mixing ideas, but I think I might have over-binged on chocolate for the past day.
For now, I do consider this homemade recipe a chocolate concentrate, just because it is SO sweet and can act as a base flavoring for other things. I need only add about a spoonful to a glass of chocolate milk – and I like mine chocolatey! I urge you to expand your view towards chocolate syrup, and give it a go in other mildly flavored things. It surely will pump up the chocolate flavor.
½ c cocoa powder
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
1. In a medium size saucepan, add cocoa powder and water. Whisk until well mixed.
2. Whisk in sugar over medium heat. Heat to boiling, make sure that sugar is dissolved: 3 min. [BE CAREFUL – IT WILL BOIL OVER IF UNATTENDED]
3. Add in salt and vanilla. Take off heat. Let stand and cool.
4. Put in glass jar or container.
5. Will stay fresh a lot longer than it will survive in a house full of chocolate lovers.
Makes about 2 cups.