Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix–with Seven Variations

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Serving of Hot Chocolate closeup1 Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix  with Seven Variations

I adore Hot Chocolate, as distinct from Hot Cocoa or Drinking Chocolate. Definitions abound, but here are my working guidelines:

  • Hot Cocoa: Made with unsweetened cocoa powder and milk. Usually low in fat.
  • Hot Chocolate: Made with a combination of bar chocolate and unsweetened cocoa and milk, or milk and cream. Higher in fat.
  • Drinking Chocolate: Made with bar chocolate and milk, or milk and cream. Highest in fat.

Hot Chocolate Ingredients1 Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix  with Seven Variations

Which is best? Well, if you had asked me that a couple of years ago, when Drinking Chocolate was new to me, I would have said Drinking Chocolate.

Hot Chocolate ingredients 21 Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix  with Seven Variations

But I have experimented with different combinations since then, and my current favorite is Hot Chocolate with a mixture of unsweetened cocoa and bittersweet bar chocolate. The unsweetened cocoa brings a deeper chocolate flavor to the drink, while keeping it a bit leaner as well.

Chocolate on the stove1 Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix  with Seven Variations

Each batch of Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix makes a perfect holiday gift. Just pack into decorative cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon. Don’t forget to print out the directions for the finished drink below. And if you want your gift to be even more memorable, include your own Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows.

Serving of Hot Chocolate1 Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix  with Seven Variations

Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix

This mix is infinitely variable. Make it as described here the first time (perhaps with one of the flavoring options below) and then adjust sweetness and chocolate levels to your preference. Note those preferences for your next batch of mix.

two 3-3.5 ounce (6-7 ounces total), 70% cocoa, chocolate bars, finely chopped (such as Lindt Excellence Intense Dark)
¼ cup premium unsweetened cocoa
4-6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Optional Flavorings
one of the below flavoring options

  1. In a processor fitted with the knife blade, process the bar chocolate, cocoa, brown sugar, salt, and optional flavorings until mixture is finely ground, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to over process.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Makes about 1½ cups mix, enough for 6-12 drinks.

Variations

Choose one of the following variations and add ingredients in Step 1 of the Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix master recipe.

Hot Mocha
1-2 packets of Starbucks Via Italian Roast Instant Coffee

Mexican Hot Chocolate
one 4-inch length vanilla bean, split lengthwise
tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoons ground clove

Peppermint Hot Chocolate
2 candy canes

Garam Masala Hot Chocolate
2 teaspoons LunaCafe Garam Masala

Baharat Hot Chocolate
2 teaspoons LunaCafe Baharat

Warm Winter Spice Hot Chocolate
2 teaspoons LunaCafe Warm Winter Spice

Chinese Five Spice Hot Chocolate

2 teaspoons LunaCafe Chinese Five Spice

Heavenly Hot Chocolate

I love having this mix on hand. It means Heavenly Hot Chocolate is only minutes away–as quick as I can heat the milk. As far as how much mix to use, my usual preference is for 3 tablespoons of mix per cup of milk. The drink is full flavored with some body but not overly rich or overpowering. However, if you prefer a drink that is closer in texture and flavor to melted chocolate, simply increase the amount of mix.

1 cup milk
2-4 tablespoons Heavenly Hot Chocolate Mix

Optional Garnishes
lightly sweetened whipped cream
-or-
marshmallows, preferably Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows

  1. To make hot chocolate, in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of milk and 2-4 tablespoons of the mix. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until chocolate is incorporated and melted.
  2. If optional flavorings are used, let sit off the heat for at least 15 minutes to steep the flavors. Reheat and then pour through a fine strainer into a 2-cup glass measuring cup with a pouring spout.
  3. Pour immediately into an 8-ounce mug and if desired, top with whipped cream or marshmallows. For added drama with the marshmallows, toast lightly with a kitchen torch.

Makes 1 drink.

Additional Inspiration

I Love Hear­ing from You!

Please leave a com­ment. Include your blog URL and Com­mentLuv will auto­mat­i­cally link back to your most recent blog post. Happy Holidays! …Susan

Copy­right 2012 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.

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About Susan S. Bradley

Intrepid cook, food writer, culinary instructor, author of Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking, and founder of the Northwest Culinary Academy.

Comments

  1. ‘Tis the season for hot chocolate! We’ve been having some very wintery weather here in the foothills of Western Washington and I have been CRAVING hot chocolate. I’d like to make a batch of this mix, but I don’t have a food processor – any suggestions?
    Chris´s last blog post ..Happy Holidays!My Profile

    • Chris, get out a big French knife and start chopping. :-) Seriously, the goal is to simply chop the chocolate so that it melts quickly when heated with the milk. Also, if you don’t get the chocolate fine enough, you might not get a consistent amount of the other ingredients when you measure the mix to combine with the milk. If this is beginning to sound daunting, what I often do is make the entire batch of hot chocolate and keep it in the fridge for a week or more, heating only 1-2 cups at a time to serve. In this case, you can just coarsely chop the chocolate. Hope this helps…

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