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Borovan for Beginners


by ellipses4k

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Your average Neopian might know that mixing asparagus and hot chocolate at the Cooking Pot yields Borovan, but there’s so much more to this tasty beverage!

The first thing you need to know is that you can’t just throw some asparagus at a cup of hot chocolate and expect a desirable result. If you’re using the Cooking Pot with Jhuidah’s assistance, magic takes out most of the steps. But, in order to infuse the hot chocolate with the subtle flavors of asparagus from the comfort of your own Neohome, you’ll need a few simple items and at least 30 minutes.

**If you’re not yet of age, be sure to ask your guardians for supervision when making Borovan!**

Equipment:

Large heat-safe pot with lid

Medium size heat-safe pot or bowl (preferably metal or maractite)

Medium size metal Sieve

Stove or fire breathing petpet

Cheese cloth

Knife

Cutting board

Basic Hot Borovan:

For those chilly winter evenings in Happy Valley

Ingredients:

One to three bunches chopped asparagus, depending on how strong you want your Borovan.

Two cups water

Four cups Kau milk (Kau Kau Farms preferred)

¼ cup cocoa powder

½ cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To begin, pour the water into the large pot and place it on the stove, or over your petpet. Put the medium size bowl in the pot. Place the sieve in the bowl and pour in as much milk as will fit without the bottom of the sieve touching the surface of the milk. Put the lid on the pot. Place the Asparagus in the sieve. Increase the heat until the water begins to boil.

Let the water boil for about 7 minutes, then use a fork to press the asparagus against the sieve to let the juices run into the bowl of milk. Don’t press so hard that any asparagus solids end up in your milk, or you’ll need to use a cheese cloth to strain them back out!

Once you’ve infused the milk with the asparagus, remove the pot from the heat and pour 1/3 cup of the hot water into the bowl with the milk. Stir slowly as you add the cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Continue to stir until all the ingredients are dissolved, then add the remaining milk and the vanilla extract.

If you add the vanilla before the milk, it will evaporate due to the heat of the mixture. If you add the remaining milk before the other ingredients, the mixture won’t be hot enough to dissolve them very well. But don’t worry too much if you get things out of order on your first try! Borovan is fantastic, and any way you make it will be someone’s favorite.

In fact, Borovan varies greatly, especially between the various regions of Neopia. In the City of Sakhmet, you’ll find an extremely strong, thick Borovan flavored with the berries of the Cheops plant and a variety of native spices.

Hot Sakhmet Borovan

To quench your thirst in Lost Desert

Ingredients:

Three to five bunches chopped asparagus

Two chopped Cheops (be very sure to remove all leaves!)

Three to five crushed mint leaves

Two cups water

Three cups Kau milk (Kau Kau Farms preferred)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2/3 cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In order to replicate a simple version of the flavorful, aromatic Borovan of the Lost Desert, do away with your sieve and, instead, wrap your mint, Cheops and asparagus in a cheese cloth. Tie the corners of the cheese cloth to a dowel or large wooden spoon which comfortably sits across the top of your large pot.

Set one cup of milk to the side for the drinkers to dilute their Borovan if they choose. Let the cheese cloth sit directly in the other two cups of milk in the bowl, and let the water simmer for twenty minutes, pressing and stirring the cheese cloth about every seven minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, remove the bowl from the pot, and lift the cheesecloth from the milk. Press all the liquid from the cheesecloth and dispose of the remains of the asparagus, Cheops and mint. Add the dry ingredients, stirring until they have dissolved into the milk.

It should be a very thick, dark mixture which smells sweet, bitter and exotic. Serve in small cups, as a little bit goes a long way! You may want to keep a sugar bowl nearby, as Sakmet Borovan can be quite bitter.

If any of the pulp from the Cheops got in the milk, strain the mixture through the cheesecloth again. Repeat as needed.

Basic Borovan and Sakhmet Borovan are generally served hot, but that’s far from the only option. Many Neopians prefer Iced Borovan. Now, you may be tempted to just make Basic Borovan and then throw some ice in it. While that’s technically Iced Borovan, it probably isn’t going to taste like what you expect from Iced Borovan.

Iced Borovan:

For those hot summer days

Ingredients:

One to two bunches chopped asparagus, depending on how strong you want your Borovan.

Two cups water

Four cups Kau milk (Kau Kau Farms preferred)

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Start off the same way you would with the basic Borovan, but once you have your infused milk and have mixed in the cocoa powder, sugar, salt and the remaining milk, fill an ice cube tray with the mixture and place it in an ice box to freeze.

Taste the remaining mixture. If it’s a little strong, add some water and sugar, but be sure not to overdo it. You can add more sugar and water, but you can’t take it back out! When you’re satisfied with the balance of flavors (it should be a little sweeter than you would normally drink hot Borovan, since chilling beverages makes them taste less sweet) set the remaining mixture aside to chill until your ice cube tray has frozen.

The advantage of freezing Borovan to use as ice is that your drink won’t be watered down as the ice melts. If you don’t have time to wait for Borovan to freeze, regular ice cubes will do, but you’ll want to drink your Borovan before most of the ice has melted. Alternatively, some Neopians like to add Berry Fizzers to their chilled Borovan. Keep in mind that the fizzy texture is an acquired taste, and your guests may prefer regular ice.

Of course, Iced Borovan is a rather recent innovation. If you’re more of a traditionalist, you may be interested in trying out Super Spicy Borovan.

This may sound like a new, experimental combination, but Super Spicy Borovan actually originates in Geraptiku, and is still quite popular with many of the inhabitants of Mystery Island. In order to make Super Spicy Borovan, you’ll want to make basic Borovan, then simmer for an extra ten minutes, use ½ cup less milk and ½ cup more water and add red pepper flakes and cinnamon to taste.

Not for the faint of heart, be sure to keep a cup of milk handy when you try Super Spicy Borovan for the first time!

Once you feel comfortable with your basic Borovan skills, feel free to experiment. Try adding some orange extract, or improve the visual appeal of your drink by garnishing the finished cup with a stick of asparagus or sprig of mint. And, of course, remember that you can use Borovan as a substitute for a similar quantity of milk and sugar in many recipes, such as the popular Borovan Layered Cake.

For even more ideas for this excellent holiday drink, refer to “365.25 Borovan Recipes.” And be sure to have a warm and festive holiday!

 
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