Even my favorite celebrity chef/cooks fall into an annoying fashion of thinking they need to update a recipe with a “twist”. I cringe when I hear that term. It seldom results in an actual improvement.
Case in point, this weekend Ina was going to serve cocoa with a twist: peppermint! No, no, no. I don’t want peppermint in my cocoa! Just make it good. Real, full fat milk, real chocolate, done and done. Maybe if your a froth hound I’ll allow frothing of the milk. Or a nice marshmallow on top. Even a dollop of whipped cream.
Those are not updates and they aren’t twists. Because cocoa doesn’t need an update or a twist. If made with good ingredients it is enough. It is sublime. It is what we want to drink on a cold evening. A really good chocolate and milk mixture served hot is enough. Adding peppermint makes it something else, and not better. Ick.
If you think cocoa is boiling water and an envelope of powder stirred in, then yes, you are in need of an update. At least a correction in how you define the word cocoa. But then peppermint is the least of your worries. Maybe it would help that concoction.
Don’t get me wrong. If an original uses something outdated, unhealthy, or unobtainable, like shortening or instant pudding, an update may be in order. I’m just saying don’t revise it solely for the activity of revising it. You are being too clever by half.
Yes, I am a food snob. And I am not ashamed.