Hot Chocolate Heaven

October 24, 2013

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