Cocoa is the fruit of a small tree which grows in Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. The fruit is shaped like a large, thick cucumber, and contains from six to thirty beans. The beans are roasted, like coffee. The husks or shells are taken off, and used in that form as cocoa shells. They need longer boiling, and are preferred by many persons with weak digestion. They are sometimes ground with the bean, making an inferior article of cocoa. Starch is also used to adulterate cocoa. The best cocoa is made from the whole bean after the husk is removed. Cocoa nibs are the beans broken instead of ground.
Chocolate is the finely ground powder from the kernels mixed to a stiff paste with sugar, and sometimes flavored with vanilla. It is the most nutritious and convenient form of cocoa; a small cake of it will satisfy hunger. It is a very good lunch for travellers. If the oily scum which forms on the surface after boiling be removed, it is less indigestible.
Chocolate does not produce the injurious effects which render tea and coffee objectionable, and is far better for children and working-people.
Put half a cup of broken cocoa into a pot with two quarts of water. Boil gently two hours, until reduced to one quart; or use half cocoa and half shells. Serve with sugar and cream, or scalded milk. It is more digestible if allowed to cool and the globules of fat removed, then reheated.
This ground cocoa comes in many forms, and some are recommended to be prepared at the table; but all kinds are better boiled one minute in a very little water, the same as chocolate, and thinned with hot milk.
Steep one cup of shells in one quart of boiling water three or four hours, adding more hot water as it boils away. Strain, and serve with hot milk, or cream and sugar.
Put one square of Baker's chocolate, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, two tablespoonfuls of hot water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan, and boil until smooth; stir constantly; add gradually one pint of boiling water, and when ready to serve add one pint of hot milk. Use all milk and two squares of chocolate, if liked richer; or thicken with one teaspoon-ful of cornstarch wet in a little cold water, and boil five minutes before adding the milk.
Melt two sticks of chocolate in two or three tablespoonfuls of hot water. - Stir to a smooth paste; add gradually one pint of hot milk and stir or mill it five minutes. Serve in cups three quarters full with two or three tablespoonfuls of whipped cream on the top. Sweeten and flavor the cream before whipping.
Heat the milk over boiling water until it is barely hot, but not scalded. Test the heat by tasting. Shake in a few grains of salt, and sip it by the teaspoonful. One of the best "nightcap drinks."
Boil one cup of sugar and one pint of water ten minutes; add thin shavings of the yellow peel of one lemon, and pour it hot over the juice of three lemons. When cold, strain it, and add chipped ice and water as desired.
Boil two cups of sugar and one quart of water twenty minutes. Pour it boiling hot over the following mixture: half a cup each of lemon and orange juice, one cup of strawberry juice, half a cup of canned cherry syrup, and one cup of chopped pineapple. When ready to serve, strain it, dilute with ice water, and add one cup of fresh strawberries quartered, one banana sliced, and half a cup stoned cherries. Dilute with Apollinaris if preferred.