Laying in bed, under a fuzzy blanket, next to a window to watch the cold winter breeze rustling the leaves. Feels like a dream, doesn’t it? But something is missing. Ah yes! A steaming hot cup of chocolate-y goodness that locks in all the coziness.
Making hot chocolate from the comfort of your home, in your own kitchen, whether it is for you or your loved ones, is not as difficult as it sounds. You don’t even need to have cooking experience to succeed in this task. Just follow these steps and enjoy your cup of joy!
1 ½ cup + 2 tbsp of Milk (whole, skimmed, or semi-skimmed, as per your choice)
1 tbsp of sugar (coconut, castor, or regular)
1 tsp of cornstarch
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup semi sweet 55% couverture chocolate
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of salt
- Take a saucepan, pour in 1 ½ cup of milk and a cinnamon stick for flavouring. Let it boil. In case cinnamon sticks are not available, you can choose vanilla extract instead.
2. While the milk is heating up, prepare a slurry by mixing 1 tsp of cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of milk and set it aside. This ingredient is completely optional, although it is highly recommended as it adds thickness to the hot chocolate.
The reason why the cornstarch is not added directly to the saucepan is to ensure that there are no lumps in the mixture.
3. Once the milk starts to boil, lower the heat to simmer. Now add 1 tbsp of sugar. You can use coconut castor, or icing sugar, depending on what is available.
4. Once it’s dissolved, add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder and 1 cup of semi-sweet dark or milk chocolate chips. Stir continuously to keep the chocolate from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
5. At this point, pour in the slurry and keep stirring on medium heat till it starts boiling. Once it boils, take it off the stove and add a pinch of salt. The salt helps bring out the rich chocolate flavour.
Now, if you are not a fan of decorations, you can just pour this thick goodness into a cup and call it a day. But if you want to add some pizzazz to it, there are a thousand ways to do so.
Here is a list of ingredients to make your hot chocolate look as irresistible as it tastes!
Ice cream (any flavour)
Whether you are a creative genius who wants their creation to look as perfect as one can imagine, or a foodie who does not care what their platter looks like as long as it tastes delicious, you can choose to top off (or throw in) your cup of joy with one or more or simply place a cinnamon stick to make it look chic.
These serving ideas also work wonders if you plan on serving it to kids. Just remember to whisk in half to 1 cup of milk to dilute the thick mixture and to ease up on the bitterness of the chocolate.
A fun serving idea for adults is to add rum, brandy, whiskey, Cointreau or any liquor of your choice to the hot chocolate. Keep in mind that this suggestion is only for adults.
Did you know that there was a time when hot chocolate was used as medicine to cure certain illnesses? Now we can drink it just to unwind after a long day, cozy up on a chilly evening, or for no reason at all. Because who needs a reason to consume something this delicious, right?
We are all grateful to the Mayans for introducing this delightful concoction into this world about 2000 years ago. Who knew it would still be trending after all this time?
So cozy up with your cup of hot chocolate and power through this winter!