EPIC FAIL: chocolate egg cream

8 Jun

If you follow me on twitter or facebook, you may have seen that last week I was living in a desperate state of having no chocolate in my house. What I chose to do to alleviate that situation was whip up a batch of Ellie Krieger’s Chocolate Egg Cream. IMG_0144{Please note: Ellie is in no way paying me to endorse her or her cookbook. I just happen to own her cookbook and love every single recipe I’ve ever made of hers.} Anyhoo… I had been eyeing this picture of delicious-looking egg cream in the dessert section of the cookbook for a long while now, so one day after nap we cruised over to the local supermarket to pick up a couple items to complete the recipe.

Here is the recipe:

An egg cream is a frothy, indulgent drink that tastes similar to an ice cream soda. [these are Ellie’s words. She also says it’s required to stir this drink with a pretzel rod.]

1 tablespoon unsweetend cocoa powder
2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon boiling water
1/2 cup very cold nonfat milk
1-1/2 cups seltzer water (not club soda)
1 pretzel rod

In a small cup, mix together the cocoa and sugar. Add the water and stir well until a paste is formed. Put the milk in a tall fountain glass. Slowly add the seltzer water. Stir gently. Drizzle the chocolate syrup in slowly, being careful to disturb the foam as little as possible. Stir gently with a tall spoon. Your drink should be two-toned, chocolate brown on the bottom with white foam on the top. Serve with a pretzel rod.

Okay so, I had everything to make this in my cupboards except for the seltzer and the pretzel rods. I get to the drink/mixers area of the grocery store, and I find NOTHING called seltzer water. I found club soda, ginger ale, nasty flavored sparkling waters, and tonic water, but nothing called seltzer water. I assumed that since Ellie noted that I should NOT buy club soda, that the only other thing that the seltzer water could be was the tonic water, so I bought that. And the pretzel rod stirrers.

Next. We arrived home, and the child began immediately begging for a pretzel rod. Then he began begging to watch me concoct this chocolate egg cream. (Why is it called an egg cream? it contains no eggs!). So we got all set up, Ryan on the counter with his pretzel rod and me trying to decide which glass to make the egg cream in. I do not own a ‘tall fountain glass’ so I settled for a tall(ish) tapered beer glass. (FAIL #1). Then I mixed the cocoa and sugar and water and formed a paste. Then I put the milk in my non-tall, non-fountain glass. Then I slowly added the seltzer tonic water, quickly realizing that the volume of the milk+seltzer tonic, combined with the chemical reaction that occurs when seltzer tonic is poured together with milk, greatly exceeded the volume of my tapered beer glass. (FAIL #2). What occured next was nothing short of an eruption of Mt. Saint Helens. The milk/tonic combination foamed and overflowed over the top of the glass, pouring onto the counter top and flooding the hard-backed cover of my Ellie cookbook. (FAILS #3, #4, #5). Ryan was quite entertained by watching me try to slurp the frothy overflowing mess from the top of the glass before it was too late. And then he thought HE should join in that slurping fun, which he thought was even MORE hilarious. Meanwhile, I’m tryiing to clean up the sopping counter and Ellie cookbook, and the milk is quickly curdling on my dishrag with every swipe.

Have you noticed we haven’t even gotten to the chocolate yet?

Ellie says to drizzle the chocolate syrup in slowly. The word drizzle to me implies a semi-liquid state, of which my chocolate/sugar/water combo was not. It was a thick paste-like consistency. So I plopped, rather than drizzled, my chocolate. Then I stirred all of this, with a much-too-short spoon. (FAIL #6). Then I took a swig, coughed on some foam, and immediately pronounced the Chocolate Egg Cream as a big, fat YUCK. (Ryan loved it though- he drank about an inch’s worth out of his plastic toddler cup. And kept saying “MMMMMmmmm!!! Yumm!!!!! Chocolate drink good!” I ended up dumping the rest. Something about the fizzy chocolately-ness combined with milk just wasn’t doing it for me.


And now, the question remains: Is seltzer water the same as tonic water?? Was this the reason for my epic fail?


Ah so, ah so. This took approximately 3 seconds of googling. Seltzer water and tonic water are indeed NOT the same thing. Apparently tonic is flavored with quinine, giving the water a bitter taste. So NOW the question remains: Where does one buy seltzer water? Wouldn’t it have been stocked in the exact same area where the tonic and club soda and ginger ale and other carbonated soda-type things were stocked??


3 Responses to “EPIC FAIL: chocolate egg cream”

  1. GrandpaJ June 8, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    I did a quick google myself when I read about your issues trying to make the Chocolate Egg Cream. I knew that tonic water was not what you needed, but did not know why club soda would not work.

    It appears you need just plain sparkling water (or charged water) for your recipe. I found a reference saying that club soda MAY be just sparkling water, or it MAY have other additives included. Depends on the individual bottler of the club soda.

    I assume the possible inclusion of these added ingredients is the reason why club soda should be avoided.

  2. JackieO June 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    I do drink seltzer water and you would find in the same area as the club soda, tonic water, etc. Maybe your store was out….or it could have been deeper in the water aisle. I hope you found another way to get your chocolate fix.

  3. Grandma B. June 15, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    This is precisely why I don’t try many new recipes– unless I already have the ingredients or have heard of them before.

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