Be sure to fill the flavor injector pipettes with shelf stable liquor. Shelf stable means anything that can be stored in the pantry at room temperature rather than being refrigerated. That means no drink mixers such as grenadine or fruit juice. These are not shelf stable.
8small paper or plastic cupsor an 8 cavity (4 oz. capacity) silicone mold
8wooden spoonslollipop sticks, or wooden craft sticks
8small flavor injector pipettesvolumes will vary, I used 6 ml pipettes
Your choice of shelf-stable liquorsabout 1/2 cup
1lbdark chocolatechopped evenly (Valrhona, Trader Joe’s Pound Plus and Callebaut are all good choices)
1/2cupnatural cocoa powdersifted
Swedish pearl sugarfor sprinkling
Microwave version: Place chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 30 second increments at 100% power, stirring well between heating until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Stove top version: Place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Simmer a pot of water filled 1/3 full and place bowl over water. Stir until chocolate is almost completely melted, with just a few lumps remaining. Remove bowl from simmering pot and wipe the bottom of the bowl with a dish cloth to avoid getting water in the chocolate. Continue to stir until chocolate has melted completely.
Stir in cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar. The mixture will be very thick and it may take a few minutes to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.
Divide the mixture between 8 cups/cavities. This should be a little over 3 ounces of batter per container. You can also divide the mix into smaller 2 ounce servings (yielding about 12 servings), if desired.
Give each cup or mold a tap or two on the kitchen counter to remove air bubbles and to level the mixture. Place a ‘stick’ upright into each cup. Place a pipette into the mixture upright beside the stick – don’t push it all the way to the bottom! Hitting the bottom of the mold with the end of the pipette could break the chocolate seal. Sprinkle the tops with Swedish pearl sugar, if desired.
Place cups in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes, or until chocolate has hardened. If using paper or plastic cups, remove hardened chocolate by snipping the side of the cup with a pair of scissors, and peeling it away from the chocolate. If using a silicone mold, push the cocoa blocks out from the bottom-up.
Package in cellophane bags for gift-giving or display on a fancy platter on your holiday treat table.
Attach a note with prep directions:
For 3.5 oz. blocks, dissolve in 1 1/2 cups milk, for richer hot chocolate, use 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk.
For 2 oz. blocks, dissolve in 1 cup whole milk, for richer hot chocolate, use 1/4 cup heavy cream and 3/4 cup whole milk.