Chocolate Milk in the Raw

November 23rd, 2007  |  Published in All, Delectable Dairy, DIY Food Projects, Weekend Projects  |  9 Comments


Orchata de Cacao aka the Ultimate Chocolate Milk
Adapted from a recipe in Sunset Magazine, April 1994 by Myriam Paiz

Note: Look for whole cocoa beans at your local latino market. Unlike cocoa nibs available at boutique groceries, whole beans aren’t too expensive and run about $3 for an 8oz bag

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 cups (about 2/3 lb.) whole cocoa beans
4 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks (each about 3 in.), broken into 1-inch pieces
8 cups raw milk (or pasteurized whole milk if raw is not available)
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 cup sugar (add up to 1/2 c more, to taste)

Cover rice with cool water in a medium bowl, and soak overnight. Drain.

Preheat over to 500 degrees.

Place cocoa beans in a 9-inch baking dish.

Roast beans for approximately 10-13 minutes, shaking after 5 minutes. Beans should smoke, and some skins will split. Don’t be alarmed at any popping sounds! Once beans are roasted, remove from oven, and cool slightly.

In a blender, place half the rice, cocoa beans, water, and cinnamon. Whirl unti ingredients are very finely pureed. Place a large, fine strainer over a bowl; pour cocoa mixture into strainer and stir to extract liquid. Discard residue. Repeat with remaining rice, cocoa, water, and cinnamon.

Rinse strainer, then line with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth. Pour cocoa liquid through strainer into a bowl, stirring to extract all liquid; discard residue.

To cocoa liquid, add milk, vanilla, and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Serve plain or over ice. Alternatively, add vanilla and sugar to cocoa liquid and reserve. Combine approximately 1/4 c. cocoa mixture with 1 c cold milk for a single serving of the ultimate chocolate milk

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Have you ever tried raw milk?

Before a couple weeks ago, I never had. Raw milk cheese, yes, but plain raw whole milk? I don’t believe I’d ever even taken notice of its existence at the grocery store. Raw milk is something that comes from cows, not from stores, right?

Not so! well, the store part :)

Raw milk first made an appearance on my radar not too long ago while reading a post on about the passage of California legislature bill AB 1735, which by adding eight words to the current wording, effectively bans raw milk sales in California starting Jan. 1.

SEC. 2. Section 35781 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:
35781. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this article, market milk shall not contain any of the following:
(1) More than 15,000 bacteria per milliliter or more than 10 coliform bacteria per milliliter if to be sold as raw milk to the consumer.

Raw milk has quite a following in the Bay Area, and it’s relatively easy to find. Apparently there is a whole community of raw milk drinkers that tout the many health benefits of raw milk, not the least of which being that it helps to regulate the good bacteria in your digestive system. It also seems that this community is fighting mad and isn’t going to let this issue go quietly.

‘So no more raw milk after January 1,
‘ I thought to myself. I decided that I should try it as soon as possible, and also that I would try it both plain and ‘enhanced’ in a way to accentuate its heralded luscious creaminess. Of course my mind jumped immediately to chocolate milk. I would make the “ULTIMATE chocolate milk” with this liquid soon going the way of whiskey during prohibition. After a little exploration, I found this 13 year old recipe from Sunset Magazine for Orchata de Cacao, a Nicaraguan version of Chocolate Milk.

The recipe calls for long grain white rice soaked overnight, whole roasted cocoa beans, whole cinnamon sticks, vanilla, water, sugar, and of course, milk. What really piqued my interest is the recipe’s inclusion of cinnamon, which when combined with chocolate, is heavenly. The recipe is an involved endeavor, but since my love of chocolate milk runs deep, I decided to give it a go. I began the Ultimate Chocolate Milk on Friday evening, and finally enjoyed a glass on Saturday afternoon.

And oh! how I enjoyed it! It was rich and chocolate-y with a hint of cinnamon; not too sweet, and the texture was simply fantastic–I attribute this to the creamy nature of the raw milk and the starchiness of the rice. In fact, it was so good that I immediately sat down and wrote letters to all of my representatives voicing my opposition to this change in legislation, and could they please do whatever is in their power to reverse the situation. OK, maybe I didn’t do this immediately, but I did write to my representatives voicing my frustrations and concerns, because put very simply–I would like the government to stay out of my kitchen. And besides, it seems absolutely unfair to cripple small organic dairies in basically a cottage industry.

Politics aside, raw milk is really delicious, and if you per chance see it in its large nostalgic glass bottle in the refrigerator section of your local grocery, pick it up and give it a try.

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