It’s the perfect snuggle weather. The fall days have been absolutely beautiful and the fall nights have been getting chilly enough to need to snuggle with a warm quilt or a warm special someone. Hot cocoa is a must during snuggle time, isn’t it?
When you’re a kid, and you want hot cocoa, you’re perfectly happy ripping open a packet of mix and adding it to a cup of boiled water. Voila! Hot chocolate! Throw some mini-marshmallows in there and drink up.When you grow up, you realize that’s fine for kids, but there’s more to hot cocoa than ripping open a packet. Good hot cocoa uses real cocoa powder or chocolate, milk and less sugar than the kiddy stuff has. It’s worth a little extra work.When I’m in the mood for amazing, decadent hot cocoa, I turn to a recipe like this
Belgian Hot Chocolate recipe from David Lebovtiz. Real bittersweet and milk chocolates are melted in whole milk or half and half – I told you it was decadent! And it’s oh, so good.
When I want something a little simpler, I keep a tin of good unsweetened cocoa like
Lake Champlain’s Organic Fair Trade Cocoa in the pantry. I prefer it to hot chocolate mix because I can play with it as I like. I can add less sugar for me; a little more sugar for my kids. Or, on a really chilly night, I can add a favorite sweetened liqueur or schnapps to it.
Here are a few tips for really great hot cocoaUse 2% milk or better. Hot cocoa is a rich, luscious treat. You want some cream in it. 2% milk, whole milk, half & half – they’re going to give you a much richer hot chocolate than skim milk or 1% milk.Use good cocoa or
chocolate. Go organic or Fair Trade.
Whisk it good. A good wire whisk will make for a smooth hot chocolate where all the chocolate and sugar has dissolved to make a creamy cup of comfort.Remember low and slow. You don’t ever want the milk to boil. Heat the milk at a lower temperature and allow everything to come together slowly.
Experiment with spices. Cinnamon is an obvious choice, but have you ever tried a pinch or two of cayenne or chili pepper?
What do you add to your hot cocoa to make it special? Pure Love Grows XOXOXO