Hot Chocolate. It’s a staple drink, isn’t it? The moment the temperature drops, everyone reaches for that, otherwise ignored, can of cocoa in the pantry. Hot Chocolate is the perfect remedy for those gloomy, grey evenings when the cold seems to cling to your skin, penetrating your bones with the achy sorrow of a Greek tragedy.
Well, I’m here to tell you to put that cocoa powder down. Okay, don’t put it down… We can use it. You bought it, I don’t want it to go to waste. But cocoa is not the star of the Ultimate Hot Chocolate. You know what is? Chocolate. We’re going to use some delicious dark chocolate. Life’s too short not to.
It took a fair bit of experimenting to balance the flavours, but the many kitchen disasters, and the ludicrous amounts of cleanup were worth it. This recipe is rich, creamy, decadent, and has a slight twist to it. None of that kinda healthy skim milk pseudo hot chocolate brouhaha here. This recipe is indulgent and pure, a must for chocoholics!
Should you prefer a sweeter hot chocolate incarnation, try my Nutella Hot Chocolate recipe.
Having grown up in the Middle East and Europe, I was not physically equipped for Canadian winters. The coldest weather I had experienced till I moved here was -2 degrees C with a teeny tiny amount of snow. I was not ready for the Canadian winter. Seriously… Canada is cold. Every moment I spend outside in the winter weather makes me feel like I’m living in some sort of thermic melodrama; a world so cold that the warmth of your exhale crackles as it meets the frozen, dead air.
… Honestly, sometimes I think that hot chocolate might be the only reason I tolerate the winter.
Ingredients – Hot Chocolate
¾ cup Milk
¼ cup Table Cream
¼ cup Dark Chocolate chips (or finely chopped)
1 stick Cinnamon
3 teaspoon Honey
1 teaspoon White Sugar
Ingredients – Whipped Cream (2 Servings)
1 cup Whipping Cream
1 tablespoon Sugar
3 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
⅓ teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
To Prepare the Whipped Cream
I’ve prepared the whipped cream recipe for two servings simply because it’s easier to prepare this way – given the size of my bowls and the power of my electric handmixer, a smaller amount would have led to me unintentionally painting my kitchen in cream. Besides, it’s always easy to find something to do with extra whipped cream! Feel free to halve the portions if you only want enough cream for one serving. I’d recommend you prepare the whipped cream in advance of the hot chocolate itself. Add the whipped cream to the hot chocolate, and watch it melt into the chocolate, releasing cocoa and sea salt into the mixture. Mmm…
Whisk whipping cream and 1tbsp sugar vigorously until the cream begins to form soft peaks.
Sift in cocoa powder and sea salt, fold gently till completely incorporated. Be careful not to accidentally over-whip your cream. Final consistency should form soft peaks.
To Prepare the Hot Chocolate
Warm milk (with the cinnamon stick) over a low-medium heat in a small pot. Do not let the milk boil.
I love the smell of the warm milk and cinnamon, there’s just a subtle divinity to it.
Add chocolate and stir until incorporated.
Add the honey, and 1tsp sugar. Continue stirring.
Add ¼ cup table cream. Stir until completely combined. Serve.
Alternatively, you could set up a double boiler to melt your chocolate, and then add the milk and other ingredients, but I find that unnecessary for this recipe. Besides, hot chocolate is supposed to relax you and make you feel happy and wonderful, and all those other goods things. It’s not supposed to worry you about having a bunch of pots and bowls to clean up afterwards!
As with any recipe, you get what you put into it. For this, I recommend using a good quality dark chocolate – you needn’t go as dark as 100% cocoa (that might be overkill!). I used 70% dark but most semi-sweet chocolate chips will likely work too.
The Ultimate Hot Chocolate recipe is a bit of culinary DIY that everyone ought to know. Even if you’re not a die-hard chocoholic, I guarantee you know at least one. This is a treat for the discerning chocolate lover.
So what do you think? Is the Ultimate Hot Chocolate the best thing ever to hit a mug since tea? What would you change? Hit me up in the Comments box below.