Thursday, September 27, 2012

National Chocolate Milk Day

CNN) -- You don't have to be a kid to enjoy this childhood favorite - September 27 is National Chocolate Milk Day!

Would you believe that the man who succeeded Sir Isaac Newton as President of the Royal Society in Britain invented chocolate milk? Well, he did. Sir Hans Sloane, a doctor and collector, not only created this childhood classic in 1687, but he also touted its "health-giving" qualities.

The combination of chocolate and milk is a natural one. Chocolate milk can either be made by adding powdered cocoa and a sweetener to milk, or by dissolving sweetened chocolate syrup in milk.

If you've ever wondered why adding cocoa powder and sugar leaves you with lumpy chocolate milk, whereas powdered chocolate milk brands don't, it's all in the texture. Cocoa powder is coarser than say, Nesquik, and doesn't dissolve as well. If you'd like to make your own chocolate milk powder, simply pulse the cocoa powder in a food processor or spice grinder - and voila!

The alternative is using a store-bought chocolate syrup, or making your own. The process is relatively easy: Sugar and water are boiled together and then cocoa powder, vanilla and a thickener (like corn starch) are added. The cooled mixture can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator, ready to be used for cold milk or ice cream.

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