Tinned Milk Cocoa

February 24, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Posted in Eating and Drinking, Julian | Leave a comment
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Tinned Milk. Highly unfashionable but simply delicious and also a staple ingredient for those times when fresh provisions are hard to come by (when living on Kirrin Island for example). I have been a convert to evaporated milk since my ex-housemate (who is Greek) first made me a cup of coffee with milk from a tin. Since then I have attempted to win over many Dubious Sorts, including various work colleagues and house guests. Some (but not all) have succumbed and have gone on to spread the word. Others are already enlightened: one colleague recommended evaporated milk jelly which I subsequently tried, tested and enjoyed as part of a Famous Five High Tea. Today, same colleague and I couldn’t help but digress from work matters in order to discuss the merits of cocoa made with evaporated milk. Being sensible types with simple tastes, the Kirrins too enjoy a nice cocoa with milk straight from the tin, especially after a bracing early morning swim, as in Five Run Away Together:

‘The kettle was boiling away merrily, sending up a cloud of steam from its tin spout […] “I’ll open the tin of milk [said Julian]. George, you take the tin of cocoa and that jug and make enough for all of us.”‘

Without wanting to sound quite as commanding as Julian, I would urge readers of this blog to give tinned milk cocoa a try. But, be warned that evaporated milk and condensed milk are not the same thing (condensed milk is much sweeter).  As I am not working with just a camping stove and tin kettle, I would suggest the following method (altered from original published method due to some further cocoa experimentation):

Use half evaporated milk and half water. You can vary this proportion depending on how rich you like your cocoa to be.

Measure a teaspoon of cocoa powder into your favourite cup or mug and mix with a little water to form a smooth paste.  Gradually add the evaporated milk and water, stirring all the time. Pour the lot into a saucepan.  Heat until steaming but not quite boiling, and stir frequently, ideally with a whisk. Return to mug and add one teaspoon of brown sugar, or more if you have a sweet tooth.

Addenda (July 2011)

I’ve recently tried out the simple ‘camping’ method of cocoa and it’s good, and with less washing up (always a happy thing) – 1 teaspoon of cocoa into a mug, add a little boiling water and stir until it makes a smooth paste, add more hot water (about 2/3rds of a mug) and sugar to taste and then top up with evaporated milk. It should be an almost perfect drinking temperature.


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