Historical Chocolate Recipes

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These recipes appear in Chapter 8 of Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage by Louis Grivetti and Howard Yana Shapiro.

In 1672 William Hughes published this detail oriented recipe on how to prepare cacao beans:

  • Take as many of the cacao’s as you have a desire to make up at one time, and put as many of them at once into a frying-pan (being very clean scoured) as will cover the bottom thereof, and hold them over a moderate fire, shaking them so, that they may not burn (for you must have a very great care of that) until they are dry enough to peel off the outward crust skin; and after they are dried and peeled then beat them in an iron mortar, until it will rowl [sic] up into great balls or rows and be sure you beat it not over-much neither, for then it will become too much oyly

In 1741 Swedish naturalist, Carl Linnaeus wrote a monograph on chocolate (Om Chokladdryken) that was printed in 1778 and re-published in 1965. Much of his text considered the medical aspects of chocolate, where he praised its use to combat pulmonary diseases and hypochondria. He also mentioned, candidly, that through drinking chocolate he cured himself of hemorrhoids! Also included in his treatise were three recipes used to prepare chocolate:

  • [Recipe 1] 1 pound cocoa beans (roasted); 1/2 pound sugar, salt and rosewater (combined); 1/2 pound corn flour. Crush, cook over fire all the time stirring so it does not burn; form past into a dough.
  • [Recipe 2] 6 pounds cocoa beans (roasted); 3.5 pounds sugar; 7 straws vanilla 1.5 pounds corn flour; 0.5 pound cinnamon; 6 cloves; 1 dracma [i.e. Swedish equivalent for dram] Spanish pepper; 2 dracmas oleana color in rose water. Crush ingredients in a pot, stir all the time over a very slow fire until all mixed; treat it and kneed to a dough, then add amber and musk, according to taste.
  • [Recipe 3] 17 pounds roasted cocoa beans; 10 pounds sugar; 28 units (?) vanilla; 1 dracma amber; 6 pounds cinnamon.

In his 1792 book New Art of Cookery, According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs identified the following recipe for Chocolate Puffs:

  • Take half a pound of double-refined sugar, beat and sift it fine, scrape into it one ounce of chocolate very fine, and mix them together; beat up the white of an egg to a very high froth, then put in your chocolate and sugar, and beat it till it is as stiff as a paste; then strew sugar on some writing-paper, drop them on about the size of a sixpence, and bake them in a very slow oven; when they are done take them off the paper and put them in plates

This 1854 for Chocolate Custards appeared in the popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book:

  • Dissolve gently by the side of the fire an ounce and a half of the best chocolate in rather more than a wineglassful of water, and then boil it until it is perfectly smooth; mix with it a pint of milk well flavored with lemon-peel or vanilla, and two ounces of fine sugar, and when the whole boils, stir to it five well-beaten eggs that have been strained. Put the custard into a jar or jug, set it into a pan of boiling water, and stir it without ceasing until it is thick. Do not put it into glasses or a dish till nearly or quite cold. These, as well as all other custards, are infinitely finer when made with the yolks only of the eggs