This comes from a typical Italian recipe for chocolate liquor. Funny how those Italians love to add pure alcohol to normal everyday beverages and call it a liquor. Well it works because this stuff is extremely delicious and perfect for ice cream, coffee, or just sipping straight. At over 25% alcohol, most people will probably prefer to mix it with something. Perhaps, some cream and a little cinnamon?
Warning! For those of you looking for a quick way to get drunk, just skip the chocolate and buy Everclear. It will save you a few steps.
Good now that I got that warning out of the way, we can proceed.
Step 1: Ingredients and Materials
To make 750ml:
4 oz baking chocolate. Make sure it says baking chocolate, I've had bad luck with stuff like Lindt chocolate bars.
1 cup sugar, I prefer raw or turbinado, but if you wish you could use white.
1 pint whole milk. The wholer the better.
1 cup Grain alcohol 190 or 151 proof (75-90%). Its hard to find 190 proof in the states, it generally can only be found as 151. The typical American brand is Everclear. It probably shouldn't be too hard to find elsewhere.
You'll need a large pot for melting the chocolate into milk
A fine meshed strainer. I have yet to find one I like, but I found a non-disposable coffee strainer at Vons (supermarket) that worked pretty well.
Bottles (0.75-1 liter is good size), I'm not sure what to call these kinds of bottles, but I found the ones used in this instructable at Sur le Table (its close to work, don't judge me).
*Edited to add actual quantity of chocolate needed. I figured this was important.
*Edited a second time to add the quantity of alcohol needed. Turns out its also important.
Step 2: Caramelize Sugar (mostly Optional)
Since, you are a fan of instructables, I suggest you make the most out of this and carmelize your sugar. Its not absolutely necessary, but if all you want to do is get drunk, you're best off skipping this instructable entirely. Also, if you're capable of multitasking you can do this while you mix the chocolate and milk, and just turn off the heat to the one that finishes first.
To caramelize the sugar, mix the 1 cup of sugar and about 1 cup of water in a separate pot then what you are using to melt the chocolate. The sugar will dissolve easier as you heat the mixture, so don't try to mix it before setting it on the stove. Basically just keep stirring the mix as it heats up even once its mixed. It will start boiling and bubbling and will require much more frequent stirring. I guess there is a fine line between making caramel and making candy, but it will all dissolve into the end mix anyway. Its tough to tell when enough is enough (ok, I'm not a professional caramelizer), but you'll notice eventually that the stuff is thickening. Thats probably a good point to add it to the chocolate mixture.
Like I said, its difficult to determine the point of caramelization because you are stirring while hot when the stuff tends to flow the best.
Uhh, I guess I looked it up, and this is not the way to make caramel. Its the way I made it for the liqueur, so I'm going to leave it until I try differently. There isn't an instructable that gets at it, but Wikihow suggests just melting sugar.
Step 3: Mix Everything But Alcohol, Then Add Alcohol
Heat up the milk on a stove, careful not to burn it. Mix in the baking chocolate. It will start melting into the milk as the temperature increases. Also mix the caramel and ensure that everything is well mixed before taking off the heat.
Reduce the temperature down to about ambient. Placing the pot in the sink and running cool water around it can help to bring down the temperature.
The last step is to add in the alcohol and again ensure everything is well mixed. Like I said, wait til the temperature is low, because the alcohol will tend to vaporize off if its too warm.
Step 4: Filtering
I haven't quite discovered what this stuff is, but without fail a crust of sediment forms on the top. It takes about 4-5 days for the stuff to fully form, but you'll notice it after a day or so. Take all your chocolate liqueur and run it through the filter/strainer. It will go pretty slowly, and will probably be a messy painful process, but its pretty important. Wash the bottle to remove any sediments that didn't escape. You'll probably lose a small amount of this stuff during the process as it tends to stay behind in your pots and funnels. Re-bottle your concoction and notice its glamorous appeal.
Step 5: Let Sit and Wait
its that easy, just let this amazing bottle full of sin and alcohol sit on your shelf well sealed for a couple weeks to a few months. This is a confectionery Italian product, and can be extremely delicious depending on how well you make it. I gave you the basic recipe, but there is much more to it that I haven't quite yet discovered. If anyone else has done this before and has further suggestions (especially any Italians with secret family recipes!), please feel free to post comments.
For consumption, drizzle a small amount over your ice cream (or gelato!). Pour on top of fresh fruit. Mix it with coffee, or sip it straight. There are plenty of uses to get this stuff from the bottle to your belly.
The most important step is creating your own labels. I bought printable packing labels from Office Depot and designed what you see here. Its pretty simple, but it sure adds your own authenticity.
P.S. I hope you enjoy this for your birthday Kelly!