Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chocolate gravy and biscuits

chocolate gravy

A friend and I were comparing notes about our favorite childhood treats. As I was raving about my grandma’s chocolate pie, my friend said, “So how’s your grandma’s chocolate gravy?” Huh? Chocolate gravy—is that like mole, I asked. Nope, it’s spooned on biscuits, she said. I had to admit that I’d never heard of chocolate gravy; clearly I’d been deprived.

Curious why I had been denied the joys of chocolate gravy all my life, I called my grandma and demanded an explanation. “Why don’t you make chocolate gravy?” I asked. She replied, “Because I don’t know what it is.”

I see. Apparently, my grandma was in the dark on this secret as well. My only consolation? At least I wasn’t alone.

chocolate gravy

So what’s the provenance of chocolate gravy? Because I know everything, I assumed that if I hadn’t heard of it, then it must not be Texan.

I was wrong.

I poked around and not only had my friend—a long-standing Texan—grown up eating it within slapping distance of Dallas, but other Texan friends had been eating it all their lives as well. I heard chocolate-gravy stories from friends as far west as Midland and as far south as Houston. Though friends who had grown up in Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia had also indulged, so it’s not particular to just Texas. But no matter, my family had been missing out on a very good thing.

I needed to make up for lost time. A little research revealed that there hadn’t been much chocolate-gravy recipe evolution over the years. The biggest schism I found in the chocolate-gravy community was whether to use milk or water as your liquid. I was surprised that no one had thrown some chipotle or bacon into their gravy, but actually this pleased me as it proved that chocolate gravy was indeed a classic that didn’t need any tinkering. But enough about thinking, it was time to eat.

I made my first batch and it was a deep, dark concoction—smooth, creamy and thick. I sliced a biscuit in half and plopped some chocolate gravy on each half. My first bite revealed this gravy’s pleasures. Its pudding-like consistency is pure comfort on a cold, winter morning. And while biscuits are in no way virtuous, their texture and heft prevents the gravy from sliding into total decadence, which is important as this is a breakfast treat after all, not dessert.

chocolate gravy

Does chocolate gravy and biscuits replace my beloved chocolate pie? No, but I certainly wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to pass an occasional morning with it poured on top of a biscuit. And am I the only one who didn’t grow up eating this? No matter, I am very, very pleased to finally make its acquaintance.

Chocolate gravy
Ingredients:
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of butter

Method:
Mix together in a pot the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon (can sift if it’s too lumpy). Add the milk and while stirring cook on medium heat until it thickens. Stir in the vanilla and butter and serve immediately with biscuits.

Notes: As you can see in the photos I topped mine with some chopped pecans. If you’re not a purist, I highly recommend this; hazelnuts would be delicious as well. And if you’re feeling extra spicy, go ahead and throw in a pinch of Cayenne or chipotle powder!

And this is how fellow-Texan Shawnda makes her Granny's chocolate gravy.

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121 comments:

Erika from The Pastry Chef At Home said...

I'm having herbal tea for breakfast (lazy detoxing) and am really jealous you had biscuits with chocolate gravy which I have never in my life encountered or heard of. I think this shall be my new obsession.

ps: that photo of the gravy bowl is swoon inducing

Paul Martinez said...

@Lisa - I've never heard of chocolate gravy either; don't feel bad and I was born in Killeen and grew up around San Antonio. Don't feel bad. I am curious though if you've ever had rice atole or even chocolate atole. I grew up eating those and they were absolutely the best thing to have on a cold day.

Chappy said...

never heard of chocolate gravy til now.. and i grew up in texas (east texas grandmother).. sounds/looks great though.. thanks for enlightening me!

Pink Panda said...

Never heard of such a thing, but now I must try it :D.

Maggie said...

This is a very, very good idea.

Latter-Day Flapper said...

Somewhere I've got an Amish cookbook that contains a recipe for chocolate gravy and "cottage puffs," which are sort of between a muffin and a biscuit. Shortcake, basically, but the texture is quite striking as it is very light and extremely tender, and gets a bit crisp around the outside. The book clearly states that the two are to be served together, so apparently this is not an exclusively Texan thing.

Jesse said...

I'm expat Oklahoman and I've also never heard of chocolate gravy. That said, you just made my day.

Cowgirl Chef said...

Oh my lord. I wish I can say that I knew about this, and that I'd eaten it before. This sounds amazing. How did I not know about this?

LK said...

I grew up with something similar, but we ate it with "fritter bread" (like skillet-cooked cornbread, minus the cornmeal)

Susan said...

My husband ate chocolate gravy on biscuits as a child. His grandmother, born and raised in Arkansas, made it as a breakfast food.

(I'd never heard of such a thing until he mentioned it a few years ago.)

heather @ chiknpastry said...

woah nelly.... and, no. haven't heard of it, but sure sounds mighty tasty! but really, what isn't good on a biscuit? i used to soak mine in molasses all the time, and that was something!!

snatchdracula said...

Woah. I got my recipe for this from an ex boyfriend's mother who was from Western Tenn. Had never heard of anyone else making it until now. Anyway it sounds weird but it's sooo goood!

Kate F said...

this post brings up so many wonderful childhood memories. you see, i LOVE chocolate gravy and biscuits but haven't had it in 12+ years. my west virginia-born-and-bread-wife-of-a-coal-miner babysitter used to make it for me. to this day, my family still comments on how much i loved it as a kid! i think it's high time i introduce this recipe to my new york city kitchen. thanks for the post!

Pam O. said...

This is a family favorite, passed down from my husband's Grandmother (with Arkansas & Oklahoma roots). Because it's so rich, we only eat it once a year (Father's Day breakfast). Your recipe is almost identical to the one I use. Brought a huge smile to my face when I saw this on your blog!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Erika--Ha! I never thought of herbal tea for breakfast as lazy detoxing, but I like that concept!

Paul--Isn't champurrado another name for chocolate atole? Love that stuff!

Chappy--You're very welcome!

Maggie--Isn't it?

Latter-Day Flapper--Those cottage puffs sound heavenly!

Jesse--Clearly, we've been deprived!

Cowgirl Chef--I'm beginning to think that those in the know have some explaining to do.

LK--Is fritter bread similar to Indian fry bread?

Susan--I've heard that it's extremely popular in Arkansas.

Heather--True that--everything goes well with biscuits!

Snatchdracula--It does sound weird but once you try it you're sold on the concept.

Kate F.--What are you waiting for? I just know that your NYC kitchen will love the introduction!

Pam--It's indeed very rich. I can easily eat two biscuits with cream gravy but I could only eat one of these.

Leades said...

I was born and raised in Arkansas and never heard of chocolate gravy until I was nearly grown. I was introduced to it by a cousin on a trip to the Ozarks. I had forgotten about it until you reminded me. I think that I will make some for tonight.

Lizzy said...

I saw this on another Texan blog last month and I was shocked to find out that it's apparently a "classic" Texan dish. I've never heard of it either, but as soon as I tried it I was certainly glad to be in the know! Yum!

JeannaMO said...

WOW! I can't believe it. Yours is the first blog EVER that I have seen that even remotely describes what I recall as a standard dessert at my house growing up. The other "standard dessert" was 'anana puddin'.

I grew up in Central Florida and we had lots of homemade biscuits at my house. My mom made a box of hot chocolate pudding (I now make my own scratch version) and we would gobble it up over hot biscuits. We called it "puddin -n-biscuits" but its the same as you describe.

I've even been known (horrors) to eat at the KFC buffet (recently) and take a big hot biscuit and slather it with some of the chocolate pudding (instant) they serve. Its not as delectible as I'm use to, but it does the job! And you should see the looks I get from the other customers at the restaurant! (But, I bet they try it and LOVE it!)

Thanks for devoting some "air time" to this delicious recipe!

lisa said...

I was in the dark on this one too! Sounds like a fantastic idea though, and now I need to make some biscuits.

Dusty Matthews said...

In North Texas I only knew one family that would make this (for breakfast). Luckily their home was my second home. We always put butter between the biscuits and the gravy. A ridiculous meal, but sometimes the best ones are. Works well with bacon or eggs over easy or both, if you ever feel like going all out.

I feel chocolate and biscuits would be perfect for Momofuku Milk Bar. Seems right up their alley, more or less.

Mad Dog Mel said...

Chocolate Gravy was a classic treat for my family growing up in western Tennessee. Then we moved to Kansas where everyone talked funny. But all of our friends growing up wanted to spend the night at our house on the weekends. My Dad would whip up some homemade biscuits and chocolate gravy. So good it would make you want to slap your mamma!

My Dad grew up poor in Arkansas and chocolate gravy was always a special treat that my Granny would make for him.

We've always made it with milk and water and used self rising flour. We don't add the butter to the gravy. Instead, we open that steaming hot homemade biscuit and put a couple of pats of butter down and pour the gravy over it. My brothers always crumbled their bacon on top of theirs too.

You don't hear of it often, but chocolate gravy is fabulous! A definite must try and I love the thought of adding cinnamon or hot pepper.

beverly said...

Oh Yes! An Arkansas, this was a favorite treat my grandmother would make when all the cousins were together. Made for breakfast, we ate ours spooned into a bowl with a pat or two of butter melting on the top. We would tear our biscuits into pieces and drop on top of the bowl of chocolate gravy. It is one of those great memories. The only person who ever made it in my family was my grandmother. My mother did not carry on the tradition, nor have I. But I might revive it. Especially if I ever have grandchildren. I am totally a foodie and gourmand, but chocolate gravy is sacred. I'd say leave off the chili powder and even the pecans. All you need is butter and biscuits.

julieann said...

i grew up in oklahoma, and our elementary school would serve chocolate gravy for breakfast occasionally (i only had one friend who's mom made it, though, and there's a diner in my hometown that had it on special, as well).

i'm happy to have a recipe for it now, though!

Leslie@ButterMyBiscuit.com said...

We were both deprived as children! I too can't believe I missed out on this growing up. But I do like the cinnamon in your recipe -- a Oaxacan touch (or "Oax-exan"?)

Rob said...

First time I heard of Chocolate Gravy was earlier this month when it appeared as one of the "Saveur 100" in Saveur magazine:

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Chocolate-Gravy

Have yet to try it, but how could I not?

April said...

Great post!! I love chocolate gravy! I grew up in Mississippi, and chocolate gravy was common for Sunday morning breakfasts. It's usually quite thin, made with natural (as opposed to Dutch processed) cocoa. Milk or water work, and the old timey way (as my greatgrandmother would do) is to make it with grease, such as bacon or other pork fat or even shortening, not butter, but butter is more common now. I recently made some with Valrhona cocoa powder bc that is what I had, but it did not taste right. Too rich, more like chocolate sauce than chocolate gravy. My mother always used Hersheys, but any natural cocoa should work. We still have it often at my mother's house and my own. There is a MS recipe for the gravy and extensive background on it (including linking it to the tri-racial Melungeons) in "Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon," which I highly recommend.

A said...

I'm new to the blog, but also an expat Texan....born and raised for 20+ years, now in CO. My ENTIRE family still lives in TX...and I've never, ever heard of chocolate gravy. But now I want some. Thanks for the recipe.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Leades--Please, do. And enjoy!

Lizzy--It's definitely good to be in the know!

JeannaMO--I love the name puddin'-n-biscuits!

Lisa--It's always time to make biscuits!

Dusty Matthews--Oh, you were lucky! And yes, when we see it at Momofuku we'll know that you called it!

Mad Dog Mel--You're dad sounds like a cool guy. And I can't wait to try it with crumbled bacon.

Beverly--Another vote for Arkansas! Perhaps that's where it started? And I'll take your advice on not making any changes.

Julieann--Now that's quite a school!

Leslie--Oh, I just put cinnamnon in everything, that's why I added it. But Oax-exan? I love it!

Rob--Thanks for the link! Though it calls for 8 tablespoons of butter--surely that's a mistake!

April--Bacon grease instead of butter? I can't wait to try that! And I'll check out the book as well.

A--Same here. We were deprived!

Cheri (aka "The Mom Lady") said...

Okay, not so much a fan of the choc gravy thing BUT, make it brown sugar melted with butter, add in some vanilla and a wee dash of cream, through in pecans and have THAT on biscuits, hot rolls, cinnamon rolls, you name it, I'm yours for life!

Brenda said...

I grew up in Pecos and had never heard of chocolate gravy until I married my husband who is from NE Arkansas. My mom's family makes a chocolate syrup to eat over pancakes and waffles. It's similar to your chocolate gravy recipe but without flour or cinnamon. My mother's family is from Central Texas and of German/Norwegian decent.

middleclassmom.wordpress.com said...

I live in Houston, TX, but my family is from Lousiana. We're all crazy cajuns and Cocoa and Biscuits has been a staple in my family for many generations. My grandmother said it came about during the depression when flour, cocoa and canned milk was given to the poor by the government. Its not really that close to the biscuits and chocolate gravy, but I'm sure the origins are similar. For us, the biscuits are crumbled into a bowl and the cocoa is poured over it to be eaten like cereal. Now I'm hungry and nostalgic!

Misti said...

Born and raised in Ft. Worth and I've never heard of chocolate gravy! I think I'll stick to white gravy!

April said...

Middleclassmom is onto something!! It's often called cocoa gravy in MS, too, and it's origins are with poor folks and likely commodity food programs (as is pimento cheese). Folks still make CG with PET (canned) milk.

The Runaway Spoon said...

This summer, I had some folks over for breakfast (brunch really) and I created a biscuit bar. Big baskets of homemade buttermilk biscuits with homemade preserves, cream gravy, tomato gravy, even a little red-eye, and chocolate gravy. Mostly no one had ever had chocolate gravy and they went bonkers. The rest of the group went into fits of nostalgia over chocolate gravy from childhood. I think it's a heritage idea that needs to be brought back, so thank you! By the way, I am from Tennessee!

Paul Martinez said...

@Lisa - The atole my grandma used to make was made with rice, PET milk, sugar, vanilla, and a few other things. It was more like a rice pudding or porridge I think. I'm not quite sure how she made her chocolate atole but her chocolate atole was quite a bit thicker than champurrado. Her chocolate atole was very thick and we ate it with a spoon. She was from northern Mexico, so I'm guessing that's how they prepare it where she was from. Regardless, it was delicious. Tell you what - I'll reproduce her recipe and send it to you. I'm sure you'll love it.

Abby said...

I'm a grit, but I've never HEARD of the stuff; I say this sadly. But a quick Google search shows me it's not unheard of in N.C. I have totally been missing out.

Carol said...

I was born and raised in Texas and I have never seen or heard of chocolate gravy. I too have been missing out! My grandmother and then my dad did make chocolate toast though. Think cinnamon toast but with cocoa powder mixed with sugar rather than cinnamon. To die for!

Anonymous said...

Oh, YES! Chocolate gravy!! Have not made it in years, and had forgotten just how to do it. THANK YOU!

A North Dallas twist to this wonderful stuff is to use croissants instead of biscuits. Perhaps a little high brow, but VERY good!

Pete

dining room table said...

The chocolate looks so yummy and easy to make! I think I saw something to replace my strawberry jams!

Ginger said...

I am a Native-Texas and have lived in Texas all my life. In my 61 years, I have not encountered Chocolate Gravy - but will certainly be trying this recipe! My Grandmother's chocolate pie is almost exactly your recipe! I am not a stellar pie maker, but I do love them. Our family has long enjoyed the Texas Sheath Cake. Our family refers to it as "That Chocolate Cake". My sister makes this cake for family and friends and has for years. This past Thanksgiving, she came to our house for dinner without "That Chocolate Cake" and my 38 year old son (home from Afghanistan) asked where is "That Chocolate Cake"? She promptly went about business - mixed it up and surprised my son with the finished results by desert time!

I love your blog, read it on a regular basis and have used several of your recipes!

Thanks for a new recipe!!!

Anna said...

Dallas girl here (well suburbs, really), and I have never heard of it either, about which I am feeling quite put out. But it does look soooo good. Maybe with some fresh strawberries? Or stir in some Nutella and hazelnuts? Oh. Mah. Gawwwwww.

Laurel said...

Whoa nellie! Chocolate gravy and biscuits!! That sounds a lot better than the hurried bran cereal and yogurt I ate this morning... I'm a native Texan (though also homesick, I live in Milan, Italy now) and have never heard of chocolate gravy either... It sounds, simply, spectacular.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I'd never heard of chocolate gravy before either - and I'm a Texan too - until I saw it in a recent issue of Saveur. So wonderful that you shared this with us - looks divine!

Tina said...

I'm Texan to the bone and have never heard of it before until I started buying cookbooks that focus only on Texas food. I just assumed it was a South Texas thing, since I'm from the North. Thanks for the recipe!

HeadNClouds said...

I'm a third generation Texan and I have never heard of chocolate gravy. Born in Waco, grew up in Dallas, and my momma was an amazing cook. I can guarantee if she knew about chocolate gravy we would have had it! I'll make sure the next generation does not go without!

Hillary S said...

OMG! is all I thought of when I saw this post. I grew up with this being a regular Sunday breakfast meal at Grandma's house. My grandparents were raised in southeast MO and northeast AR, not Texas, so it maybe from that area. My grandpa's family actually prefers homemade chocolate syrup, which is served on anything (biscuits, pancakes, cake) but Grandma always made chocolate gravy. Usually when you tell people about chocolate gravy, they must have this horrible idea of some salty greasy mess...but that's NOT what it is at all. Thanks for all your wonderful post, makes me miss home and good southern food.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Cheri--I could work with that!

Brenda--I'm beginning to think that Arkansas may be where it's from.

Middleclassmom--I like your crumbling technique! And very interesting note about it stemming from Depression-era rations.

Misti--I love white gravy as well!

April--I didn't realize pimento cheese had a similar history. Very interesting--thank you!

Runaway Spoon--That is an excellent idea! Mind if I borrow it?

Paul--Oh, thank you! I'd love to see her recipe!

Abby--I know! We'll just have to make up for lost time.

Carol--I'm a big fan of cinnamon toast so I just know I'd love chocolate toast. Thanks for sharing!

Pete--Perhaps a bit fancy, but I wouldn't say no to a croissant covered in chocolate gravy!

Dining Room Table--Even better, try it with strawberry jam!

Ginger--That's too funny--I always thought of sheet/sheath cake as simply chocolate cake as well. I had no idea it had any other name. What a wonderful way to welcome your son home.

Anna--Yes to both! I can't wait for strawberry season to arrive!

Laurel--Doesn't it? It actually reminds me a bit of the cioccolata calda I drank when visiting Torino.

Tasty Eats at Home--Doesn't it look divine?

Tina--And see, I was thinking maybe it was an East Texas thing? No matter, we know about it now!

HeadNClouds--I agree, my family is so crazy for chocolate I know we'd eaten it often if we'd known about it.

Hillary S.--I know, some people gave me funny looks when I mentioned it. No matter, more for us!

Susan S. said...

I'm a native of Southeast Texas...Lake Jackson, to be precise. I've never heard of Chocolate Gravy but it looks good. I grew up on Bisquits and Jelly or Honey.

I do know that Italians call their pasta sauce/meat sauce...Gravy. It's ALL good to me. ;)

Lisa said...

great day in the mornin! i learned somethin today. born in dallas and raised in Tyler (it's in east texas y'all) i can tell you i never heard squat about this. i swear sometimes you think you know it all about a place but this was a new idea for me. i'm glad to now be indoctrinated into the church of holy cocoa deliciousness! AMEN! BTW i live in NYC now so i admit this is such an easy thing to conjure up, i can't wait to make a bowl, gee now all i need is a darling gravy dish like you have pictured. wow i agree with one comment posted that the gravy dish photo is indeed swoon-inspiring. yum. thanks for your recipe and the one of shawnda. KEEP UP THE GREAT POSTINGS, from one lisa (now in nyc but formerly from texas) to another!

Karly said...

Now I'm craving breakfast! This sounds amazing!

Michael said...

I grew up in Dallas, and my mom made chocolate gravy pretty much all my life. It wasn't overly sweet, just enough, and we would spoon it over hot buttered biscuits. The absolute best though, were day old biscuits, that she'd cut in half, butter and slip under the broiler until they got nice and toasty brown and infused with butter. I haven't thought about it in years! Thanks for bringing the memories back.

Copperchef said...

This makes me think of Nutella in consistency and usage. I can not wait to try this out. Thank you!

The Runaway Spoon said...

Feel free to use the biscuit bar idea! I also served a big platter of bacon and sausage, fruit salad and scrambled eggs to order. If you need a tomato gravy recipe let me know....

suburban housefrau said...

We go back 4 generations in TX and nobody has ever heard of it. I suspect that it's a transplant from our friends just to the east.

Now RED EYE gravy is a different story - and I bet it's not very common in the north either.

Mark Scarbrough said...

Um, my mother wouldn't approve. Which is why I should make this. Sounds absolutely blissful.

Katie @ Cozydelicious said...

OK, my little northern self is extremely jealous. If I grew up in Texas would I have been allowed to have chocolate gravy for breakfast? Up here in New England we ate shredded wheat. Yeah, see? I missed out. Well, no more! I am totally making chocolate gravy and biscuits this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Yep. I live in Arkansas and remember as a kid spending the night at one of my friends house and his mom "fixin' up" a batch of biscuits and chocolate gravy for breakfast. Oh man that is some good stuff! I'm craving it. My mom never made it but it is somewhat common around central Arkansas and north Arkansas.
Surprisingly, I don't know of one restaurant that serves it around here. I've searched.
Floaty

Chris O'Neal said...

My mom used to make this as a kid. Once, when going to my grandmother's house, we had it for breakfast before piling in to the car. Half way there on the highway, my brother puked it up on to a pillow. He was sitting between me and my sister. I haven't eaten it since then, but when I get home from Korea I'm going to make it following this recipe. Thanks!

LK said...

Lisa - A similar taste as fry bread, but a batter, cooked in just a bit of fat, like a pancake. I wonder how this recipe came into my family now... They're mostly from VA, though my Gma lived in NM for a while. I'll have to ask her about it!

Anonymous said...

I guess that I am a lucky dog :) I would go to visit my father every summer in Tenn. He made chocolate gravey every Sunday morn.....fond memories. I have never known of anyone else that has had it before.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Susan S--Gravy is always good! And I also grew up with honey on my biscuits, which I still adore.

Lisa--I got my gravy dish at Fishs Eddy by Union Square. It was a couple of years ago but they always have stuff like that in stock.

Karly--Thank you!

Michael--I love butter-infused biscuits! Will have to spoon some of my chocolate gravy over some next time.

Copperchef--It's similar but more custardy than buttery.

The Runaway Spoon--Awesome. Many thanks! And I'll give you full credit, of course.

Suburban Housefrau--I'm a big fan of red-eye gravy as well. And like you, that's definitely something my family has heard of.

Mark--You're such a rebel!

Katie--Yep, if you'd grown up in Texas you'd be swimming in gravy!

Floaty--I'd suspected that it was mighty popular with Arkansans.

Chris--Oh, no! What a horrible association! I hope your welcome-home batch is a much more pleasant experience.

LK--Ah, sounds like your grandma may have been influenced by her time in NM.

Anon--You are a lucky dog!

natalie said...

Wow, I feel so cheated. I am a Texan from a family that goes all the way back to the Old Three Hundred and I've never heard of nor had chocolate gravy. I'm so glad you posted this so I will not be in the dark anymore!! Also, this sounds like a fun addition to a Valentine's brunch...or like any brunch, breakfast or snack!!

Lily said...

Wow, does that look tempting! I love hearing about unusual things like chocolate gravy, but I admit to feeling just a tad deprived. All you lucky people growing up in Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Arksanas and the like got a real treat. Growing up in south Alabama, I never heard of such a thing, but perhaps it was, as my Dad would have said, "a North Alabama thing!"

Ina Pickle said...

Texan from generations of Texans -- my great-grandmother came to the state in a covered wagon. Absolutely NEVER have I heard of or seen chocolate gravy! Looks good, though.

What we DID do, when I was a counselor at summer camps in the Hill Country, was eat large pans of chocolate pudding on left over brown-and-serve rolls-- the kind with the four rectangular sections? On nights off, the counselors would congregate at a picnic table outside the mess hall to eat whatever Miss Viola left in "our" fridge as a treat. Banana pudding is awesome on brown-and-serve rolls, too.

But I had no idea we were engaged in a widespread Southern tradition when we did this! I thought we were just starving teenage girls with few options. ;)

Patricia (Brownies for dinner) said...

Growing up I lived in both Texas and Georgia eating more than my share of biscuits and gravy, but have never encountered chocolate gravy. I feel like I need to whip up some in the morning now that I know of its existence...

Cookie said...

I just had a chance to read your blog this week, so I'm kind of late commenting, but I LOVE chocolate gravy!! I grew up in the panhandle, then moved to the Dallas area at age 16, and as a kid I thought our family was the only family who ever ate it. No one else I knew ate it. We always ate it on buttered toast, the kind of toast you put five dots of butter on, four on each corner and one in the middle of white bread and broil under the broiler until the butter is bubbling and the remaining bread is toasty. Then we would pour our warm chocolate gravy over the buttery toast. It was pure heaven. I now make this for my five year old grandson. He loves it too! I did see a recipe online a couple of years ago for chocolate gravy. I think it is actually in some cookbooks that go back to the deep south, which is where my ancestors migrated from to Texas in the mid 1800s. I live in Arizona now and when I mention chocolate gravy to my friends they think I'm nuts. Thanks for sharing chocolate gravy with everyone!

Georgia.Pellegrini said...

what an unsual combination- Grandmothers always provide the most inspirational and memorable recipes! Gotta love them...

Christy said...

I grew up eating chocolate gravy in California. My one grandma (from Arkansas) made it with water and my other grandma (from OK) used milk. I prefer water.

Anonymous said...

I made this on Sunday...oh my, how heavenly!! Thanks for introducing us to such a fabulous gravy!!

janelle said...

LOL! Makes perfect sense! We are living in FLorence for a year and eat nutella on toast constantly, nutella with nuts for a snack... and if you order hot chocolate here in any cafe? Hot chocolate pudding.

Worker Bee said...

My aunt... whose family was from Atoka, Oklahoma (S.E. area) and some ties to Arkansas used to make Chocolate Gravy. I had never heard of anyone else making it before and would get the funniest looks when I would tell my friends as a kid what a treat it was. Very cool to hear more stories about it! Thanks!

Sarah@fitography said...

This looks awesome! I just discovered your blog and I made your King Ranch casserole this weekend. A spicy Texas dish sounded like a great thing to make in cold Vermont this weekend. It turned out great!

laura said...

I lived in Texas for a year - no ground to have any authority, and I also never heard of this, but if you can give me an excuse to eat chocolate in the morning - I'll take it!

Tommy said...

Isn't this just another name for fondue ?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Natalie--It would be perfect at a Valentine's brunch!

Lily--Ha! It may indeed be very popular in the north (of Alabama).

Ina Pickle--What is it about being a camp counselor and eating tons of pudding--we did the same thing as well! But never did have it on brown-and-serve rolls. Sounds delicious!

Patricia--I know! The minute I learned about it I ran to the kitchen.

Cookie--It's always great to hear from those of y'all who actually grew up eating it! I love it with lots of butter on the biscuits as well.

Georgia--Aren't grandmothers grand?

Christy--Interesting--I'll have to try it with water.

Anon--Yay! So glad you liked it!

Janelle--I know, I've long love pain au chocolate and Nutella on toast so chocolate gravy isn't much of a stretch.

Worker Bee--See, I'm convinced its most popular in Arkansas.

Sarah--So happy to hear y'all enjoyed the King Ranch casserole!

Laura--I'm with you! Any excuse to eat chocolate I'll take!

Tommy--Isn't fondue made with fine dark chocolate, heavy cream and no cornstarch? This isn't as fancy.

Johanna said...

Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that #1 -the chance to make your chocolate gravy got me through my Saturday morning run in the 20-degree-weather. So thanks. And #2 - I posted about it, and linked back here.
Thank you for letting this Yankee in on a wonder like chocolate gravy. Swoon.

hautenthekitchen said...

Great Post. I grew up in North Carolina but we were transplanted Yankees. I remember the first time one of my friends mothers made chocolate gravy for us girls (age 10ish) for breakfast. I thought this had to be like the biggest sin of all and I dared not tell my mother :)
Had chocolate gravy many times growning up in NC and later even Mom made them when she got into the whole southern cuisine thing.
Funny part is I just moved to Brooklyn after living in Austin TX for 7 yrs. Never once in TX did I see chocolate gravy. Ha!

Caroline said...

I have never seen anything like this before! But of course it makes sense - chocolate on anything has to be awesome :) I would even use kamut Khorasan Wheat flour for the biscuits - yummy! Our family loves the stuff :)

Lyn said...

You can add Alabama to the list :) In fact, my hometown has a little tea house called The Chocolate Biscuit! http://www.thechocolatebiscuit.com/

Lily, I guess it must be a "northern" thing. ;)

Texcilla said...

Gosh, haven't had this in years! We moved to New Mexico several years ago from FW, and I was mighty pleased to find your blog (rolled from my siters blog PieBite). I'm thinkin' Valentines breakfast!

Anonymous said...

There used to be a Mexican Restaurant, in Tucson, Az., that served this with their sopapillas. I believe the name of the restaurant was Tia Elana's. Anyway, it was to die for. We would go in there sometimes just for the sopapillas and coffee or hot tea. I will have to make this gravy, and like the idea of adding a pinch of cayenne. Yum!!!! Thanks for the recipe.

physicschick said...

I'd never heard of Chocolate Gravy until I met my sister in law. My husband's family has roots in Arkansas, and I believe that is where the tradition began for their family. Sadly, the recipe was lost in their family when their grandmother passed.

I'm having a girls' lunch tomorrow with my sister-in-law, and I plan to surprise her with chocolate gravy and biscuits for dessert! Thank you, and I love your blog!

Howdy from Texas City!

Tavern on the Concho said...

What a large and beautiful idea. I've always preferred my strawberry shortcake made with sweet biscuit - but never considered a chocolate gravy. I only wish I had come across this before Valentine's Day.

Heather W said...

YEA!!! It cam out perfect!! And that was with me making it. It was so simple, fast and we loved it.. Thank you again, this post made a whole family extreamly happy this morning and maney more to come i am sure of that..

DragonFly said...

I see this so rarely. My granny made chocolate & biscuits (We never called it, gravy.) for us when we were children, for breakfast, whenever we stayed with her.

We use milk in it, (But use enough cocoa to make it dark.) and while it's not by any means thin, yours looks a tad thicker than ours.

One very important thing, is to use lots of butter on the biscuits. The butter, which melts under the chocolate, is a big part of the experience, we think. We split the biscuits in half, and butter each piece. For children, we cut the biscuits into smaller pieces then, before pouring over the chocolate.

Then, we have a tall, frosty glass of milk with it. I don't drink milk with much, but always do with chocolate and biscuits.

At home, we had them for dinner, once in a blue moon when my father had to work late, and it was just my mother, sister, and I.

While my mother was born in S.E. Okla., her parents, my Granny, and Grandad, were both born, and raised, in Texas. So the recipe comes from Texas, actually.

Wonderful, wonderful food. I feel good...and hungry...just thinking about it. Tonight, however, we're having chicken fried steak; the tamales can wait one day, though I feel pulled in 2 directions! I'm a native Californian, btw, and my tamales are either shredded meat with red chiles, or chicken with green chiles, and cheese. Generally, I make both.

Excellent blog, thanks!

Misty said...

i've been reading your blog for about an hour tonight (i'm new to it, but i just love it!) and came across this post and had to reply! i LOVED chocolate gravy as a kid! it was such a treat! i'm from TN and we all knew about it! :) did y'all ever do the Karo (light kind) and butter mixed together and serve that over biscuits as well? that was also a treat in our home.
i'm new to texas, an expat from memphis and i long for memphis much the way you do--the soul, the food*, the flowers/trees (y'all do have some sky, tho!), so i just can relate so much to your blog even tho i live in (and like) texas now.
i can't believe i have introduced chocolate biscuits to my sons yet. that might be corrected tomorrow morning!!!
*and by food i mean barbeque. the real kind. w/ sauce and rub. and coleslaw. yum!!!!!

Sweettea said...

I am from the Texas Panhandle and we most certainly had chocolate gravy at my grandparents house. It was always a favorite. It wasn't until I wrote a paper in culinary school about chocolate gravy and biscuits that I realized that most folks haven't had the experience. To bad for them. Lucky for my family.

baking.serendipity said...

I just stumbled across your blog and this recipe, and while it's not the most recent, couldn't not comment. What an awesome biscuit topping! Can't wait to explore your site more :)

jenn said...

People look at me like I am nuts when I talk about eating this growing up! I was starting to think it was something my dad just invented because we had nothing left in the pantry (yes, the pantry is in Texas)! There are several people who will be getting a link to this page in their inbox tonight! I think we will be revisiting the chocolate gravy very soon in our house...might try a spicy version.

Shreela said...

I grew up in Houston, and no one around us had heard of 'chocolate and biscuits' that my Alabama Grandma made us when we visited.

Hubby's from the Panhandle area, and he never heard of it either, until I told him about it. Mine is similar to yours, except I use starch instead of flour, and no cinnamon.

My opinion, based on the other comments, is that chocolate and biscuits is more a Southern thing.

Dianna said...

Finally someone else knows about this wonderful gravy. My ggreat grandma would make it for anytime , mostly breakfast then would add a little more to what was left over some eggs and presto there was tonights pie. never can get her pie crust right, been trying for years. Blessings from tenessee.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with chocoate gravy, but we put it over bread & butter. Thanks for the recipe - my mom lost it and it was my grandmother's recipe who passed away 5 years ago.

kati said...

i just discovered your blog and want to try so many of your recipes! i am an american living in mexico at the moment and it's hard to get certain ingredients where i am. but, i managed to make your biscuits and chocolate gravy for breakfast (after daydreaming about it for several days). SO GOOD!! my 10 month old also had a taste and was sad she couldn't have more :)

i will be discovering more of what you have on here very soon. thanks and good luck with your cookbook, can't wait!

Lisa said...

My Mom's family is from Northern Alabama and they had it as a special treat for their birthdays every year. We grew up with it as a special treat and we now have it every Christmas morning. I was telling some friends of mine about Chocolate Gravy last night and one of them found your blog. We eat ours over biscuits with butter on the top. It is fabulous! My Mom's recipe that was handed down from her grandmother to her mom and then to her is very basic and was never measured. They just include cocoa, sugar, flour and milk. We look forward to it every year. Thanks for the post.

Keylime said...

What are odds? I was searching for a recipe for chocolate gravy that was similar to what I remembered and found this blog. I am from Texas but I did not have this until I moved to Arkansas and my boyfriends grandma made it. I remember how bizarre it sounded and the the moment of revelation-how wonderful. I too felt horribly deprived to have not ever had it before. I had the same feeling when I was introduced to nutella and peanut butter sandwiches.

Randy said...

oh I can't wait to try this recipe out ... i live in Kuwait and my wife is Kuwaiti so I'm jonesing for some Texas cuisine :-)

Foodiekatz said...

I'm from Oklahoma and grew up on Chocolate and Biscuits. While for us it was a treat. It started out a way to stretch leftover dinner biscuits at breakfast the next morning for my very poor family (Great Grandmother, Grandmother etc....) While we were in heaven eating it we never knew we were eating a poor mans treat. YUM. Haven't found many who knew about it over the years. While our recipe differs some, the idea is there and is still a breakfast staple in my house. You can't be family if you don't get introduced to Chocolate and Biscuits. Oh, and you have to like it. We serve it up with a pound of bacon a person. Ok, maybe not a pound of bacon but close. My fondest childhood memories are of waking up at my Grandmothers house and smelling bacon, warm biscuits, chocolate, and coffee. The smells would mix into a blanket of warm love that enveloped me. Great stuff.

Mrs. Means @ Vintage Means on Etsy said...

I just got back from vacation in Arkansas last night. Encountered chocolate gravy on a menu for the first time ever. Never heard of it before then but was delighted to find that my favorite food had been made into a GRAVY! I did not have a chance to try it unfortunately as we were camping and not out to eat often. So I googled it when I got home and was led to your blog. Loved reading about it and I'm going to have to try the recipe you give. Thanks much!

Anonymous said...

I grew up eating choclate gravy, but it is made different, my family is from Alabama. I can still make it like mom did. My kids love it too.

Mellissa Ybarra said...

I'm from Houston and I grew up on something rather similar. Biscuits and chocolate sauce. My mother made homemade biscuits and topped with butter. Over that went fresh fruit, usually strawberries or peaches, then chocolate sauce (cocoa powder, a dash of milk, sugar to taste and a sprinkle of salt), and finally, some homemade whipped cream beat with a bit of cinnamon. If we didn't do biscuits, toasted sour dough or French bread were just as lovely. I make it for my own family now. It's truly one of my fondest childhood memories.

DeLane Phillips said...

this recipe is one of my favorite memories of visiting my Granny Ashe... she would sneak off into the kitchen after dinner and whip up a batch of this gravy... sometimes she added cornstarch to make a chocolate custard style pudding we could pour over her white cake.

lonestaroftejas said...

I am a native Texan and have just learned about this by reading your blog. Can I use the gravy on other foods?, like broiled shrimp?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

lonestaroftejas--It's sweet so I don't think it would be very good on broiled shrimp.

Anonymous said...

I am 53. I grew up eating Choc. Gravy several times a week for breakfast. And it must be eaten on hot biscuits that are slathered in butter, so that when you cut into it, the butter gushes out the sides. And we always had either bacon or sausage as a side...and those two items dipped into the chocolate gravy...heaven.

Anonymous said...

I grew up loving chocolate pie in West Texas and had never had chocolate gravy either and asked my mother, who grew up in Arkansas where most of my relatives are, about it. I was flabbergasted to hear her say that my grandma used to make chocolate gravy for them for breakfast as kids. Can you imagine the betrayal I felt? It seems that just about all my cousins know about this too. I couldn't believe it. I'm still reeling! Not only that, it seems there was also a chocolate fried pie that I'd missed out on too. I've had peach fried pies, apple fried pies, apricot fried pies...but where were MY chocolate fried pies? And I always thought I had a good childhood up to now...
Lana in Wisconsin

Debra Kapellakis said...

Yep, biscuits made by Granny smothered in her chocolate gravy with bacon on the side. I miss it so much it hurts. I saw the title of this recipe and started crying. My mouth is watering and my tears are falling. thank you for hosting this blog

Natalie said...

My mother came over today and made breakfast for us, which included chocolate gravy which she makes about once a year! My grandma used to make it for us when we'd spend the night. My mom's family is from Kentucky. Most of my friends have never heard of it. It is delicious!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Indiana but my grandma was from Kentucky near the Tennessee border. I remember her making homemade biscuits and chocolate gravy when we went to visit. I can still see her cutting the biscuit shapes out with an upside down drinking glass. Wow...if only I could go back in time and relive one of those days.
Kevin

Anonymous said...

My Mom made chocolate gravy for us and I loved it then and still do. It is now a Christmas morning tradition. Instead of butter, we now put peanut butter on the biscuits and top with the chocolate...yummy.
Audrey

Deborah Templin said...

i was born and raised in south texas and never heard of chocolate gravy until i was older and moved to arkansas, where some of my kids' friends told me about it. sounded odd to me and i have never tried it, but i defly will now!

Susan M said...

Ah, chocolate gravy! My Arkansas granny used to make this for us with her wonderful biscuits! She was Arkansan by way of Indiana and Illinois, mostly Dutch & German and I know it was an oft-used dish in those communities. I remember the first time I saw her make it, I said, "Um, no thank you." Because chocolate+gravy did not sound good. AT ALL. My older cousins said, "You don't know what you're missing! Try it!" I did. I was hooked. My mother only made it for us a couple fo times, and then we asked her not to anymore. She always scorched it! Blech! I do make it for my kids occasionally, though. And for me, if we're being honest - two-three days before my period it starts to sound REALLY good! LOL

Susan M.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Alabama and my mom made it all the times. All my friends had never heard of the dish, but all loved it. We make it with water and I much prefer it than the milk chocolate taste. No cinnamon. Just water, sugar, flour, and cocoa.

katz said...

I grew up in Oklahoma. Every Saturday morning we went to my Grandmother's house and had "chocolate and biscuits." My Grandmother would fry up tons of bacon and then make a huge pan of biscuits and the all wonderful chocolate gravy. I have raised my children eating it on weekends. It became a right of passage before marrying into our family that you had to eat and like chocolate and biscuits. We/I use water and never cinnamon. It is my Great Grandmothers recipe and I have never wavered (don't know why. Guess if it aint broke broke don't fix it.) On occasion in my world travels I have found people who know what it is but it is rare. It is childhood comfort food for sure.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Love the site.

Sorry if this is a naive question but on some recipes it just states flour or sugar.

What types is it referring to?

Thank you,
:)

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--All-purpose flour and granulated sugar unless it says otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I recall driving into Mena, Arkansas, some years back after hiking the nearby Ouachita Trail and signs in every diner advertised that THEY had the best chocolate gravy. I have not seen it anywhere else. I wish now that I had tried it, but alas...

Anonymous said...

My mom who would be 90 if she were alive used to tell of her mom in OK during the Depression making chocolate gravy. My mom said it was a treat but she herself did not make it due to the sad memories of the times then.

Sherry....aka redneck cook said...

I am surprised that something I grew up eating a lot of people have never heard of in their lives! My mom raised three kids on a very small amount of money. Chocolate gravy would make all of us happy. We had homemade biscuits every morning g because her theory was a 5lb bag of flour was cheaper than a loaf of bread. If you haven't tried it, do it today and I promise you will make your tummy happy! We just didn't put cinnamon in it.

Anonymous said...

Yep, chocolate gravy is mmm..good. Grew up on it. Mama got up and made at least two big cookie sheets of biscuits from scratch every morning. And one of us youngest would get to stir the chocolate gray while mama cooked the eggs ( if you had them) which we usually did (we had our own chickens). Crumble up your buttered biscuit onto your plate and drown in the chocolate gravy and if you had bacon you crumble it up in there too ( if you didn't you did not feel deprived).
Mama fed all eleven of us kids with such good ,good food. I have many penny pinching recipes, that I make all of the time ( does not feel like cheap stuff, better that sirloin steak). My kids and grandkids love mamas chocolate gravy. Oh, I'm number 10 in the family. Cindy A. Farmersville,Tx.

Anonymous said...

No, water use milk and if you don't have enough regular milk in the fridge use half can milk half water mixed together , no cinnamon.........

Leatherwing said...

I grew up in Arkansas and my mom used to make it fairly often. She had grown up eating it as a child in the 30's. The old Church outside Benton, AR published a recipe book that has 3 different variations (all pretty similar, just the proportions of the ingredients changed). I now live in North Carolina and have introduced it to my friends here.

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