Friday, March 23, 2012

homemade hot chocolate

On a grey cloudy day like today nothing says comfort than a good book (The Hunger Games) and some hot chocolate.  I've got applesauce cooking on the stove and a bit of extra time before the rest of my day starts so it's time to put on the hot chocolate!

What you need...
2 quart pot
2 C. Milk
1 TBS Cocoa powder (I like to use "Natural High Fat Cocoa" from Penzeys Spices)
1 heaping tablespoon Sugar
Vanilla 
Cinnamon
Fresh ground Nutmeg (optional)
A favorite mug



First...
Instead of measuring out the milk, I usually just pour a mug full and use that as my 'measuring' cup.  If you are making more (doubling the recipe for example) feel free to measure out with a measuring cup.
Pour the milk into the pan and add the cocoa (feel free to add more for a heavier chocolate taste), sugar, vanilla (I just do a 'dash'' so it's about 1/2 tsp), a few shakes of cinnamon, and a few scrapes of nutmeg (I use fresh nutmeg w/ a grater).



Then...
Set your element to about 4 (medium low) and use either whisk or spoon to stir all the ingredients up.  It will take the cocoa a bit to mix into the milk, the heat will help this.  I like to use a spiral whisk  because it's a little smaller and creates a bit of air into the mixture.  Any whisk will do though.

Finally...
Once the mixture is hot throughout (not boiling, this will take about 10min), pour back into your measuring mug and add whipped cream if you so desire and a tiny sprinkle of cocoa on top for decoration sake.
Ideas...
*Add a few drops of mint extract to the mix and have mint hocolate
*Add a few drops of maple extract in place of the vanilla
*Melt a few chocolate chips in the bottom of your pan first before adding the rest of your ingredients for an extra-chocolate taste
*Dissolve 1/2 tsp of molasses in the milk first
(Note: Molasses is a strong flavor and not everyone is going to like this)
*Cut back on the sugar, substitute your favorite sugar replacement, or use agave syrup for sweetener in order to have a low sugar hot chocolate
*Use brown sugar in place of white


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