MIY: Make it Yourself (Chocolate Syrup!)

I'm a chocolate milk fan, y'all. I told my husband years ago that I'd love to have a chocolate milk business, that's how much I love it. And when you've been drinking chocolate milk all your life, you know there are a lot of bad versions that just don't cut it.

Me, I like it to be a rich dark chocolate brown - none of this pale stuff for moi. I'm the kid who squeezed a good chunk of the bottle into my milk, way more than they tell you to do, haha. And I'm the one who still as an adult would choose it in a restaurant off the kids menu, pick the half-pints out at the grocery store, and occasionally splurge on a quart of the gorgeousness that is Strauss Family Creamery Organic Whole Chocolate Milk, knowing that it wouldn't make it more than a few days in the house...at best.

So when the holidays came about and I was planning to make a chocolate Tres Leches cake as part of our Peruvian celebration (and another excuse to make it, as it's always been one of my favorites), I wanted to get some good chocolate milk to go with the condensed and evaporated milks that would be combined to soak the holes in the cake. My husband's natural food grocer? They don't carry it! The competition in the next town? Only had non-dairy versions (now I primarily drink non-dairy milks, but for real chocolate milk taste, everything's gotta be the real deal)! Then I remembered that the local butcher shop carried it in glass jars and...they were sold out!! (Guess that can get added to the pandemic craze lists along with yeast, flour, canning lids and TP!) And sorry, y'all, but I'm not going to settle for that garbage conventional chocolate milk sold in plastic gallons at the big box grocers. This gal needs the good stuff.

Oh and while I admire the organic nature of Holy Kakow and similar brands of higher quality chocolate syrups, the taste in chocolate milk is not as good as the aforementioned lovely stuff in the glass jars (oh and as a former chocolatier myself, I studied a lot of chocolate brands and Hershey is basically the Walmart of chocolate - utter garbage and a horrific record on human rights and sustainability...stay away!).

When I found myself asking my husband to call around to other coastal grocers 30 minutes or further from us? When I wondered if I should take a day trip to the city to get this in the name of all that is good dessert making? I finally woke up and said to myself, dang what is the thing I *always* remind myself (and blog readers!) to do when they want a processed/premixed item from the store? Look up a recipe for it! Hell, it's why I never do store-bought mustard or mayo anymore...why not for this equally delicious condiment? !

And of course there are tons of recipes for it. Yay for Pinterest. Sadly, just like with making a good cookie, a MAJORITY of recipes out there are disproportionately LOADED with sugar. When I bite into a chocolate chip cookie or enjoy a good chocolate milk, I don't want to be overloaded with the taste of 'sweet' - I want to taste the CHOCOLATE for goodness sake! So with that, I cut 25% of the sugar and upped the cocoa, to make what I'd call a 'dark chocolate syrup'. And oh hella yum...

Bonus points? I saved a few bucks as I had all the ingredients in the cupboard (including my homemade vanilla from earlier in the year) AND didn't have to deal with the awful plastic packaging the pre-made syrup comes in. Remember folks, plastic is only downcycled, it cannot be recycled into the exact same thing like glass and aluminum, so the less you bring home, the better.

Homemade Dark Chocolate Syrup

  • 1 cup organic cocoa

  • 3/4 cup organic sugar

  • Pinch salt

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tsp organic vanilla

In a small saucepan, combine everything but the vanilla, whisking over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Simmer a few minutes, stirring, then remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Let cool (it will thicken more as it cools) then pour into a glass jar and refrigerate (where it will thicken even more).

There you go - perfect for chocolate milk makin'! It definitely compares to the beautiful organic stuff in the glass jars, and definitely is something I don't want to keep around long because otherwise I'll be having it with breakfast, lunch and dinner !



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