Have you ever had a chocolate orange? They’re more readily available in Europe than here in the United States, but you can still find them around. If you’ve never had one, and you come across one – snatch it up! It’s pricey, but it’s worth every penny (well, once in a while anyway!).
It’s been a loooooonggg time since I’ve had one, but I remember well the amazing (and yet unlikely) combination of chocolate and orange. Whoever first put those two flavors together was a genius! Lately, I’ve been experimenting with the combination myself… and having a great deal of fun in the process! This morning, for example, I treated myself to orange chocolate pancakes. Wow. Orange juice in the batter and shaved chocolate stirred in – to die for!
Mostly, though, I’ve been experimenting with an orange mocha drink, or perhaps better entitled, “Chocolate Orange Cafe au Lait“. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
The orange flavor is more of a faint reminiscence than a full-on tastebud explosion, but that’s probably a good thing considering all the other stuff going on in this drink. It starts with a simple syrup, to which is added a very basic hot chocolate, and a splash of coffee, all topped off with whipped cream (if desired). Once you’ve made the syrup, you can enjoy more Chocolate Orange Cafe au Laits for the next couple of weeks (if you don’t share! and I wouldn’t blame you.).
Chocolate Orange Cafe au Lait
Orange Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
rind from 1 small orange or clementine
1 TBSP cocoa
1 TBSP water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup brewed coffee
whipped cream, optional
To make the simple syrup, bring water, sugar and orange rind to boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep as long as you’d like. Strain and store in refrigerator.
To make the cafe au lait, stir together the cocoa and water in the bottom of a large mug until you have a smooth paste. Stir in milk. Heat in microwave on High for about a minute. Stir until well blended; stir in coffee and 1-2 TBSP of simple syrup (or to taste). Top with whipped cream (if desired). Enjoy!
Once you’ve made the simple syrup, assembling the drink is super QUICK: quicker than standing in line at the coffee shop at any rate!
It’s very EASY, too. (That’s why being a barista doesn’t require any kind of culinary expertise!)
It’s also much CHEAPer than purchasing a fancy drink at a coffee shop (or even cheaper than purchasing store-bought orange simple syrup, especially since you’re using a part of the orange that is typically discarded).
It’s a lot HEALTHY-er than coffee shop drinks, too, because all the ingredients are natural, and you can use organic ingredients too!
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