Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cotton Candy Day: Cotton Candy Hot Chocolate

Today is Cotton Candy Day which seems odd since I always associate Cotton Candy with summer. Growing up we bought Cotton Candy fresh from the spinner at Fairs, the Circus, and the Amusement Park, all summer activities in my hemisphere. Now, you can buy Cotton Candy already made and packaged at the candy store or supermarket. You can also make your own using a Cotton Candy home machine available on Amazon and elsewhere. Cotton Candy used to be pink only, but now Cotton Candy comes in all kinds of bright colors -- pink, blue, yellow and more. It even comes in a chocolate flavor.

I've seen a lot of recipes for cotton candy truffles and cotton candy fudge, but they all use even more artificial flavors and colorings than the cotton candy itself has. So because it's winter, I'm posting a recipe for Cotton Candy Hot Chocolate. The cotton candy is used as you would use marshmallows--on top of the cocoa. The cotton candy also acts as the sugar for your cocoa, so you can reduce the sugar in your hot chocolate recipe. This would be a great recipe for Valentine's Day. Just add some sugar heart candy! Bookmark the recipe. Of course you can always just make your own cocoa your own way and top with Cotton Candy, but I always like to have an alternate cocoa recipe.

Where did Cotton Candy originate?

Most people think the origin of cotton candy (also known as spun sugar" "fairy floss" or "candy floss") is a simple documented fact. It's not. There are several stories recounting the invention of cotton candy. All are interesting. None are definitive. Most accounts credit the invention of cotton candy to enterprising American businessmen at the turn of the 20th century. The Cotton Candy machine was patented in 1899 by William Morrison and John C. Wharton. The 1904 Louisiana Exposition in St. Louis is often cited as the place where cotton candy was introduction to the American people. The truth? Spun sugar was known long before this time. Mid-18th century master confectioners in Europe and America hand crafted spun sugar nests as Easter decorations and webs of silver and gold spun sugar for elaborate dessert presentations. At that time, spun sugar was an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor and was not generally available to the average person. The invention of modern machines changed all that.

COTTON CANDY HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients 
1-1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1-1/2 ounces unsweetened cocoa
3/4 Tbsp cornstarch (or flour)
1 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 cups milk
Cotton candy

Directions
In saucepan over low-medium heat, combine cocoa powder, chocolate, cornstarch, and sugar with small whisk. With a little bit of milk, whisk chocolate to avoid lumps. Add milk gradually while whisking continuously. Turn off heat when hot chocolate thickens and reaches consistency you like. If it's too thick, add more milk. Serve hot with cotton candy on top. The cotton candy serves as the sugar, so adjust the sugar amount to your taste.

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