Have you tried making hot chocolate? I’m not talking about ripping open a package and dumping the mix into some boiling water. I’m talking about delicious, warming, sweet and satisfying hot chocolate you make from scratch.
This recipe is super simple, really quick, and you can easily add ingredients to suit your cravings. And I promise, this recipe for hot chocolate is just as easy as opening one of those packets!
Hot Chocolate: The Breakdown
Like I said, making the hot chocolate is quick and easy. You add a liquid, some sort of cocoa, and usually some sort of sweetener. The ratio I’ve found that makes the best hot chocolate for us is usually 2 heaping tablespoons of chocolate to every cup of liquid and then sweetener to taste (I like 3 to 4 teaspoons of maple syrup—I leave that decision up to my sweet tooth). I also add vanilla to add another dimension of flavor.
The trick is to heat the liquid on low heat in a pot. When you heat the liquid in the microwave, it never quite gets hot enough and it’s more difficult to blend the cocoa/chocolate well. You’ll end up with chunks and lumps and no one wants a bitter bite of cocoa when you’re expecting sweet hot chocolate.
As the milk or other liquid heats, you’ll begin to see small bubbles form just around the outside. You’ll know the liquid is warm enough when the small bubbles travel to the center:
Yes, you can certainly make hot chocolate with actual chocolate pieces, but that’s another blog.
Blending the Cocoa and the Liquid
I’m putting this step in a separate section because it’s really that important—don’t add the cocoa directly to the liquid!
This is how I ensure the cocoa and liquid are completely blended together for that sweet, creamy finish I’m craving and there aren’t any unblended pieces.
The beauty of this recipe is how easy it is to make more, make less, make it more decadent, make it less decadent, add flavors—you get the idea.
The basic recipe is below, but here are some variations on a theme:
- Add more cocoa to suit your taste
- Use raw cacao for a slightly healthier version
- Use any type of liquid:
- Whole, 2% or skim milk
- Heavy cream, half and half, or a mix of the two
- Almond/coconut/hazelnut milk
- Add cinnamon or any type of your favorite spice (even a pinch of chile powder!)
- Add a liqueur like Bailey’s® or Kahlua®
You can even add a spoonful of espresso powder or even a splash of brewed espresso or coffee. I won’t tell anyone if you even start your day that way—I can tell you it’s great from experience.