Uggh. Snow again and cold winter air this weekend. What’s a chilly girl to do? Drink hot chocolate of course! There is just something about chocolate all warmed up that just makes you feel good. I often have a cup at night. It’s a great alternative to serve for dessert on a chilly night. I even have an entire cookbook devoted to Hot Chocolate. It is so easy to make a luscious hot chocolate you will forget all about those packets of dry cocoa mix. Oh and in case you are wondering about the difference between Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate – hot cocoa is made with raw cocoa powder (without cocoa butter and a lower fat option), while hot chocolate is made with cut up or ground chocolate.
Another thing I love about serving Hot Chocolate is the variety. You can offer a make your own hot chocolate bar. Serve toppings such as whipped cream , marshmallows, toasted marshmallows, cinnamon sticks and peppermint sticks. For adults you can set out Peppermint Schnapps, Butterscotch Schnapps, Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Grand Marnier etc. All are fabulous in hot chocolate. Offer dark chocolate and white hot chocolate and let guests customize their hot chocolate of choice.
You can experiment with the add-ins and toppings. You can also heat the milk and steep it with a cinnamon stick and cloves to give it a slightly spicy note. You can use confectioner’s sugar in place of granulated to make it thicker. I like to froth mine with a milk frother before I serve it.
RECIPE: Basic Hot Chocolate
- 16 oz. Milk
- 4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, broken up into small chunks
- 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- A pinch of Salt
- Heat the milk in saucepan over medium-heat. Bring to just a simmer do not let it boil.
- When it is just below a simmer whisk with a wire whisk for 3o seconds or until it is frothy on top.
- Stir in chocolate, sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.
This is one of my favorite White Hot Chocolate recipes. It is very rich and from the the book Hot Chocolate by Michael Turback.
RECIPE: White Hot Chocolate
- 8 oz. Milk
- 4 oz. good quality White Chocolate (like Ghirardelli, Scharffen-Berger, Lindt)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Orange Slice
- Heat milk to just below a simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Gently stir in chocolate with a wooden spoon until melted and smooth.
- Stir in Vanilla.
- Froth with a frother or whisk with a wire whisk.
- Place the orange slice in the bottom of a mug and pour the white hot chocolate on top and serve.
For more recipes and entertaining tips from Zareen visit her blog Cooking with Z.