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How to Make Perfect Hot Chocolate

Nov 01, 2012 02:07AM ● By Erin Frisch

How to Make Perfect Hot Chocolate

When the weather makes you want to cuddle up by the fireplace, what better accompaniment is there than a steaming mug of hot chocolate? While it’s not quite wintertime yet, the dropping temperatures are sure to make you want to cozy up with your loved ones and enjoy a cup of heaven. It’s easy to grab a box of Swiss Miss and mix up instant hot chocolate with some milk or water, but it’s just not the same as making it from scratch. Nothing compares to the warm, thick creaminess that comes with each sip. Here is how you can make the perfect cup of hot chocolate, complete with a few variations to tickle your taste buds.

This recipe makes one serving; for more, double or triple.

  •  1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped into very small pieces or shaved
  • 1 cup milk (your preference, but the closer to whole milk, the creamier your cocoa will be!)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1–3 tbsp sugar (optional and to taste)
  • Marshmallows (also optional, but what is hot chocolate without them?)
In a small saucepan over low heat, mix the chocolate pieces, cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup of the milk, stirring continuously until the chocolate is completely melted. Slowly add the remaining milk and the pinch of salt. Continue stirring while the mixture heats through. Taste, then add sugar, more or less, to taste. Add marshmallows if you like, and if you’re feeling fancy, top it all off with some whipped cream!

Looking for something a little different or a little more exciting? Try one of these variations!

  •  Combine different kinds of chocolate (white, milk, semi-sweet, dark) in the same cup.
  • Like it spicy? Add 1 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a Mayan Hot Chocolate.
  • Make it vegan. Nix the chocolate and use 4½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup boiling water, 3 Tbsp canned coconut milk, ½ tsp vanilla extract, and sugar to taste.
  • Whip up a bit of heavy cream with a hand mixer, then fold it gently into your hot chocolate for a creamy, frothy treat.
  • For a minty version, crush some peppermint candies and melt them with the ingredients in the saucepan, then garnish with whipped cream and more crushed peppermints or a candy cane.
If you and your fellow hot chocolate lovers are of age, and you like the minty version, substitute 2 ounces of peppermint schnapps for the melted candy.

Did we leave out any of your favorite variations? How do you like to cozy up with your hot chocolate at the end of the day?

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