5@5 - Hot chocolate variations
October 10th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

When temperatures dip, Noah Dan, founder of Pitango Gelato, starts warming up guests with hot Italian sipping chocolate.

“It’s not like anything that comes from a powdered mix,” says Dan, who took inspiration for Pitango’s hot chocolate from the classic cafés of Turin, Italy. “True sipping chocolate must be dark, thick, intense, complex and, like all good things in life, bittersweet.”

The prep is simple, as the recipe contains only three basic ingredients: High-quality cocoa, milk and sugar. The real trick is finding the right cocoa powder because at this level of concentration any negative characteristics in the cocoa will be amplified, making the result less than stellar. Pitango uses organic cocoa from Costa Rica, which has a pure, intense chocolate flavor.

To make the cocoa, combine 2/3 cup cocoa and 1/3 cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Gradually add three cups of milk to the cocoa and sugar over low heat, mixing to avoid lumps. Be sure that the milk is heated but never reaches a boil. Continue mixing the chocolate on low heat until it is fully blended and thickens to a rich consistency.

Thick and potent, hot sipping chocolate is the equivalent of a coffee purist’s ultimate espresso. As such, this “adult” version of hot chocolate is meant to be savored slowly, in small portions (5 ounces or less). If the pure version doesn't cure what ails you, here are a few classic variations that use this hot chocolate as a base.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Christmas • Holiday • Make • Recipes • Sip • Sweet • Thanksgiving • Think

Corn shortage forces farmers to feed cattle candy
October 10th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Cattle farmers struggling with record corn prices are feeding their cows candy instead.

That's right, candy. Cows are being fed chocolate bars, gummy worms, ice cream sprinkles, marshmallows, bits of hard candy and even powdered hot chocolate mix, according to cattle farmers, bovine nutritionists and commodities dealers.

"It has been a practice going on for decades and is a very good way to for producers to reduce feed cost, and to provide less expensive food for consumers," said Ki Fanning, a livestock nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting, Inc. in Eagle, Neb.

Read the full story on CNN Money - "Cash-strapped farmers feed candy to cows"

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Disaster • Drought • Environment • Farms • News

Bourbon maker stirs up party pride
October 10th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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Food in the Field gives a sneak peek into what CNN's team is eating, and the food culture they encounter as they travel the globe. Today's contributor, Senior Photojournalist Mark Walz covers the White House.

With the election only weeks away, we all have a choice to make. Some of us already know for whom we'll be pulling the lever, while others may still be on the fence.

Now there's another choice to make. Red State Bourbon or Blue State Bourbon. The first has a elephant on its label, the other, a donkey. Both bottles have the same hand-crafted bourbon whiskey inside, made in Bardstown, Kentucky.

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Filed under: Campaign Trail • Food in the Field • Sip • Spirits

National angel food cake day
October 10th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Today's food holiday gives you wings! October 10 is National Angel Food Cake Day.

Angel food cake, also called silver cake or cornstarch cake, is a relative of the sponge cake. It’s thought that the light and airy cake was invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch because they were the first to mass produce bakeware, including the specialized pan used to make angel food cake.

Angel food cake contains no fat (meaning no butter, cream or egg yolks). In order to achieve the leavening, egg whites are whipped with cream of tartar until they look like meringue. The egg whites are combined with cake flour, sugar and salt then poured into a tube pan. The shape of the pan is important because the tube in the middle allows the cake to rise higher than it would without it. It's also advised to cool the cake in the pan, upside down, to prevent it from collapsing on you.

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News

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