Drip... Drip... BOOM!!!!!
Dec. 17, 2012 11:43 am
Updated: Oct. 9, 2013 2:53 am
Experiments are not always successful. Thank you Mr. Obvious! He is always there to lend a hand in the aftermath of disappointment. (You won't find him lurking about after disaster. There's too much clean up!) One of the reasons that experiments can go
wrong is that we change too many things at one time. The problem with that is that if something goes right or wrong, you have no solid evidence as to what the problem or solution was.
Today I decided to make a Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix. I based it off of the
Alton Brown recipe I blogged on a few posts ago. The peppermint oil I ordered a while back finally came and I wanted to give it a try. I mixed 3 drops of Now Foods 100% Peppermint Oil into a couple of tablespoons of regular sugar. I ground that up as best
I could and mixed it into a scant 2 cups of powdered sugar. It smelled very strong with peppermint.
Here is where the problem comes in. I wanted to try a different cocoa powder. But then I decided that I like dark chocolate and added an extra 1/4 cup of Hershey Dark cocoa to the mix. I also added an extra teaspoon of cornstarch because I like it thicker.
Since I added extra cocoa powder, I had to add some extra sugar to offset the bitterness of the cocoa. Then I filled half a mug with the mix and poured boiling water into it. The odor was amazing! Chocolatey pepperminty goodness permeated the air. Ah! The
sweet smell of success.
The only problem is that it doesn't taste much of peppermint. And now I am left wondering if I used enough peppermint oil in the sugar, or did I screw things up by adding the extra cocoa? I suspect the boiling water drove off the peppermint oil, but the scientist
in me is saying I have no proof because of the multiple variables that I changed. If the hot water drives off the volatile oils of peppermint, how will I ensure the flavor stays in the cup when I add hot water? Maybe I need to age the sugar and oil together
to make the oil really adhere to the sugar? Any food scientists out there?