How to Make Khaja
- Combine the milk, heavy cream, sugar, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the sugar and cocoa powder dissolve and the milk is steaming; do not boil.
- Whisk in half of the chopped chocolate until melted, then whisk in the remaining chocolate until smooth.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows or whipped cream.
- Nearly all cacao trees grow within 20 degrees north or south of the equator in tropical climates. 75% of all trees grow within 8 degrees of either side of the equator.
- Cacao trees grow in three main regions: West Africa, South and Central America, and Southeast Asia/Oceania. The trees thrive on year-round moisture, heat, and shade.
- Cacao’s birthplace is South America (the upper Amazon basin), from which it spread east. That’s the mirror images of coffee, which originated in Africa (Ethiopia) and then traveled westward. In one year, the world can produce 3 million tons of cacao, less than half the coffee crop.
- 90% of the world’s cacao is grown on small family-run farms, no larger than 12 acres.
Cacao yields are small and labor intensive, in part because no machine exists to harvest it. Everything is done by hand.