Hot chocolate is the most popular drink this time of year. It has many versions and different ways of preparing as well as countless spice additions. In Mexico they add a touch of cayenne which in my opinion is the best version of hot chocolate out there… especially if made with good quality dark chocolate. But not many people agree with me 😊 and not my kids. So I had to adjust to the liking of our house members. And accordingly you can do the same. Cinnamon is the most commonly used spice. Cardamom and nutmeg are also delicious additions.
For starters you need a milk base. Usually hot chocolate has a slightly thicker consistency than plain milk, I like to add cream which gives it the richness you want in your hot cocoa. But corn starch is a good alternative especially if you do not want the added calories. Today I will be making it with cream. Of course, the thickness could be achieved through the chocolate you add to the milk also. So please use good quality chocolate. You can use dark which is my choice, or semi sweet.
To finish off the goodness, we top the hot cocoa with either marshmallows or a generous serving of whipped cream. These are packed with sugar plus the sugar in the chocolate chips, no need to add a lot of sugar to the mix. One tablespoon is more than enough. To balance out all this sweetness I sprinkle in some salt.
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- 1 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee (or a splash of vanilla)
- 1 cinnamon stick (or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- ¼ teaspoon ground nut meg (optional)
- Sprinkle of salt
- ¼ cup dark/ semi sweet chocolate chips (or chopped bar)
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate shavings for garnish
*In your pan pour in the milk and cream and whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder and instant coffee. Coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor and is really good in hot cocoa. If you’re making this for your kids use vanilla instead.
*Add the flavorings you like, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg whatever you prefer and a sprinkle of salt to balance everything out.
*Heat everything together until it slightly thickens.
*Remove from the heat and drop in the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate of your choice.
*Once it melts, pour in your mug. Top with some marshmallows or a swirl of whipped cream, and garnish with chocolate shavings or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy while still hot. Delicious!