Their dark difference revealed
Mairlyn Smith, PHEc
Hot chocolate and cocoa get bantered around as if they are one and the same hot drink
A hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter day conjures up my childhood. I’m right back in my hometown, after playing outside, and my mom has made me a cup of cocoa with marshmallows.
Hot chocolate and cocoa get bantered around as if they are one and the same hot drink. But to a chocolate aficionado the difference between the two is as different as summer and winter.
Hot chocolate is made with milk and melted chocolate; cocoa is made with milk and cocoa powder. They look similar, but the difference is in the first sip and the calorie count.
Most of us have been drinking cocoa even though it’s been called hot chocolate. Cocoa has a lighter flavour mainly because cocoa is fat free. A cup of hot chocolate is the real deal complete with the fat calories. It’s creamy, rich, full-bodied, and smooth and depending on the type of chocolate used, your steamy cup of elixir can be sweet, semi-sweet, or even bitter.
The higher the percentage of cocoa powder in chocolate the more cocoa it contains. For health benefits choose chocolate that has at least 70 percent cocoa mass. Depending on how the cocoa beans were processed, some chocolate is higher in disease-fighting flavanols.
Choose your favourite organic milk or soy milk for hot chocolate or cocoa. The higher the fat content of the milk, the richer the flavour, but that extra fat content also translates into higher calories and higher total grams of saturated fat as well.