One thing I am repeatedly asked for a lot is my homemade hot cocoa recipe. I don’t buy hot chocolate powder mixes and I never, ever, ever make hot cocoa with water (seriously? It’s just chocolate water at that point..). The best way to make hot cocoa is the same way the French make their decadent chocolat chaud – from scratch! I first learned how to make hot chocolate in France back in December 2011.
It was my very first trip to Europe, and we were treated to many culinary experiences including a stop at Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat where I indulged in delicious cookies and mini cakes with a delectable mug of fresh hot cocoa. It doesn’t take much to make a sinful cup of hot chocolate. In fact, it’s pretty easy! This would be the perfect drink to serve on Christmas morning with breakfast and as everyone opens their gifts by the fire.
HOT COCOA RECIPE
– 3 cups milk
– 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or for a true holiday kick, use Andes Mints baking chips instead!)
– 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
– 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (my secret ingredient!)
– extra cup of milk for foam topping
– Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate bar for topping
I brought a special hot chocolate pot from the US which makes making hot chocolate and mochas a lot easier, but you can also use a regular saucepan. Fill the hot cocoa pot or saucepan with 3 cups of milk. Let the milk heat up a bit on medium heat before adding the chocolate chips. Do not let the milk foam up yet! If you see it rising/about to boil over, reduce the heat. After adding the chocolate chips, stir them in the milk until you see the milk start to turn a chocolate color. Add the sugar and stir. Add the cocoa powder and stir. Finally, add the vanilla extract and stir. Keep the hot cocoa in the saucepan on medium heat until everything is smooth. Remove from heat and pour into your mug. Tor and I recently added glass mugs to our collection after drinking the most delicious hot chocolate from glass mugs in Iceland at Deplar Farm.
You can always grab a can of Reddiwhip to put on top as a topping, or you can enrich your hot cocoa by taking 1 cup of milk and steaming it. We use our espresso machine’s steamer to create steamed milk and foam, but you can easily make it with a stand alone milk frother too, such as this one or this one. Just add the steamed milk to your mug, and shave some of the semi-sweet chocolate bar on top using a vegetable peeler or cheese grater for the perfect hot cocoa topping!