Which is better? Playing in the snow, or grabbing a warm drink afterwards?
I remember my Mom making us hot chocolate as we came in with our red face and hands. Nothing is much better at warming you. I honestly don’t remember if it was something she did every time, or just one time and it stuck in my mind but as my kids were coming in from the snow the other day, nothing else seemed to do.
Though, I did betray my American roots and went for Drinking Chocolates instead of hot chocolate. In case you are wondering the difference, it is about twenty degrees of richness.
A MUG of hot chocolate is fine, but when it comes to drinking chocolates you want a small teacup.
It is an exchange of richness over quantity. I learned this about 1/3 of the way through my first ever cup of drinking chocolates. Mark was a trooper and finished his full mug plus the rest of mine. I am still amazed he was able to do it.
The extreme richness comes from the fact that instead of using cocoa powder, you are actually melting chocolate into milk. This means you get a fuller chocolate taste and feel because both the cocoa powder and cocoa butter are used.
Over slow heat the milk is whisked, whisked, whisked, while the tiny bits of chocolate melt into it. If you happen to have two “super fast stirrers” you don’t even have to do this step yourself!
Note: Unless you are 5 and 3 and only know the speed of FAST slowly stirring is adequate.
Beyond the milk (we used dairy free) and chocolate, there is vanilla a tiny pinch of salt, and a bit each cinnamon and ancho chili powder. Both add an interesting bite to the chocolate. Not spicy, but a little bit deeper then it would be otherwise.
I am now hooked on drinking chocolates, and last time I had hot chocolate it tasted like too sweet hot water. I am a little sad that a childhood favorite drink has been “ruined” for me by having a much richer variety. But, it’s nothing a cup of drinking chocolates can’t soothe.
Now if only I can convert my husband…
- 2 cups milk of choice (I used rich coconut milk with about ½ cup of it being water so it wouldn't be too rich. Almond milk and cow milk also work well)
- ¾ cup enjoy life chocolate chips OR 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (my preferred choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 2-3 tablespoons sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, sucanat, sugar) only if using baking chocolate
- If using baking chocolate, chop finely.
- Put the milk and chocolate in a pot over medium-low heat. Stir and heat until the chocolate is melted and incorporated in the milk. Add the rest of the ingredients sweetening to taste. If using sugar stir for another minute or so to melt.