I love hot chocolate, but the amount of sugar in most hot chocolates makes me dizzy. So, on one stormy day I created this recipe for hot chocolate based on techniques I learned from my mother (who makes absolutely amazing chocolate sauce). It has a really rich chocolate taste that feels a bit like drinking melted chocolate.
In it I used multiple techniques to enhance the sweetness to make the sugar in it go as far as possible, including adding vanilla and spices like cinnamon and adding a small (should be imperceptible) amount of salt. The vanilla, coconut sugar, and spices also make for a rich, multilayered, full chocolate flavor. Personally, I like adding the spices in very small amounts so that their flavors blend in, but some people really enjoy a stronger spiced flavor.
Serves: two people 1 average-sized mug of hot chocolate each
Cooking time: should be about 20min, but a perfectionist cook may take more time
- 2 Cups milk (I prefer whole milk)
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (I prefer Dutch processed cocoa)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- Small pinch of salt (optional)
- Smidgen of cinnamon
- ½ smidgen of allspice
- ½ smidgen of cardamom
- 3 Tablespoons solid dark chocolate (I usually use several different brands of dark and ultra-dark chocolate to make the flavor more complex)
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon chocolate extract (optional)
- Put the milk in a saucepan and add all of the dry ingredients (cocoa, sugar, salt, and spices). Set the burner to medium and whisk in the dry ingredients before it has finished warming up. (Adding the dry ingredients before it is hot reduces lumps and creates a lovely texture).
- Once the dry ingredients are fully mixed in, add the remaining ingredients (chocolate solids, vanilla, and chocolate extract), stirring often.
- Continue to heat on medium, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil. Immediately stir and remove from heat to prevent it from boiling over. Serve and enjoy!
Tips: Milk can boil over very suddenly. This recipe is best made at a time when you can be continuously present to watch over it. Also, technically boiling isn’t necessary and will produce more of a skin, but it does take a lot of heat to fully integrate the chocolate solids into the mixture, so a near boiling temperature is necessary for best flavor.
[Image description: An angular black mug of hot chocolate dusted with chocolate powder sits on a white table cloth with blurry white napkins and silverware in the background]
Image source: Nauticaa on pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/coffee-cappuccino-cup-drink-cafe-799516/