A Cup of Love + Valentine's Day Picks

We're firm believers in the year round celebration and sharing of chocolate. But this time of year, it seems, our choices - many local - become more plentiful. Below, find a special recipe for hot chocolate and a list of some our favorite Ohio-made chocolate treats with links for purchasing information.Claire Hoppens

Kathy Yannucci, owner of KASA Yoga & Wellness in Worthington, has roots in Colombia, South America. She loves making a traditional form of Chocolate Caliente, a.k.a. hot chocolate, for her family when the weather turns cold. Kathy shares her grandmother’s recipe with us using a brand of Colombian cacao known as Luker. What’s more sweet and satisfying for a quiet Valentine’s Day together than making warm cocoa for the one you love? A very Happy Valentine’s Day to you and those you hold dear. Enjoy. —Colleen Leonardi

Chocolate Caliente

By Receta de Abuela and Kathy Yannucci

“My parents were born in Cali, Colombia. When they got married in 1972 they migrated to the US. I was born in 1973, and due to my parents having to deal with immigration issues in the U.S. my mother had to travel to Colombia to leave me with my abuelos (grandparents). I was about 9-months old at the time and stayed in Colombia for about a year with my abuelos. They helped take care of me, so, naturally, I became very close to them.  

My grandfather worked for 20 years at Luker. He passed away many years ago but I am still very close to my abuela who still lives in Colombia.  

When I make this hot chocolate it brings back memories of Colombia and my family there. It is a grounding experience for me. Chocolate is my ‘little pick me up.’”  

Servings:  4 cups

Ingredients:

·      2 cups water
·      2 cups milk (coconut, almond, or cow’s milk)
·      4 teaspoons cane sugar
·      4 sticks cinnamon
·      4 cloves (optional)
·      4 pieces of unsweetened dark chocolate*

Preparation:

1.     Place water with sugar and bring to a boil.
2.     Then add the cinnamon and cloves to water/sugar mixture and let boil for a few minutes.
3.     Add chocolate pieces and boil until chocolate has melted completely.
4.     While this is cooking, take wooden spoon (bolinillo) and rotate back and forth to make mixture frothy.
5.     Add milk and let it boil for a few minutes.
6.     Serve and ENJOY!

Optional:  Sometimes I like to take the whole mixture after it is finished cooking and place in the Vitamix or other blender to make it extra frothy! Remember to remove cinnamon sticks and cloves before doing this. 

*Editor’s Note: Kathy uses Luker from Colombia, but you can substitute with your favorite brand.  

We put together a list of some of Team Edible Columbus' favorite chocolate treats. If you have any others suggestions, write to us! 

Mmelo Boutique Confections entered the scene with a seasonal pop-up at Easton. They recently settled into their brick-and-mortar store at 445 N High Street, Suite 450, on the corner of Vine and and N. Wall Street across from the North Market. Mmelo specializes in gourmet marshmallows, chocolate bars, buttons and tea cakes along with cocoa mixes, mints and baked goods. Treats at Mmelo are organic, made with all natural ingredients, and largely gluten free. 

Ohiyo Chocolate crafts "bean-to-bar" chocolate from simple, whole ingredients in Columbus, featurin cocao beans sourced from all over the world. Currently in development: single-origin bars highlighting rare, flavorful beans and a coffee collaboration. Keep up to date with new bar releases and retail locations on Ohiyo Chocolate's Instagram page. 

Maverick Chocolate operates their production facility and retail space in Cincinnati's Findlay Market. You can shop Maverick's website 24/7 or find their uniquely packaged chocolate bars throughout Cincinnati and, as of a few weeks ago, at Black Radish Creamery in the North Market. We've got our eye on the 3-bar gift pack featuring single origin or flavored bars (like espresso or chili and spice-infused). 

Photo via Black Radish Creamery on Instagram @black.radish.creamery

Photo via Black Radish Creamery on Instagram @black.radish.creamery

Petru Chocolate operates out of a mobile chocolate truck in Athens, Ohio. Owner Stacy Peters makes fresh truffles and from-scratch chocolate bars, using ingredients from local farmers as often as she can. She also serves hot and espresso drinks from the truck, including a "Truffle Shot" - your choice of chocolate truffle dropped in hot milk. Chocolate bars feature art from local designers and special Valentine's Day chocolates are available. Pick up only.