Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Decadent Hot Cocoa Mix

Yield:  Just under 1¾ cups mix, enough for 9 cups;
packs up well in a 2-cup jar
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

We’ve had a few snowflakes and very cold temps this week and so I was in the mood for a hot chocolate treat.  I liked the idea of this recipe because it uses real chocolate as well as the cocoa powder.  Well, this turned out to be just as good (in my opinion) as the fancy hot cocoa mix from William Sonoma.  It’s very rich, chocolaty and somewhat thick, especially if you whisk it until you get a nice foamy top.  Serve it as is (which is quite rich) or top if off with some Homemade Marshmallows or whipped cream.  This recipe can be doubled.  You can then scoop some in Mason jars and tie the recipe onto the jar to give as hostess gifts for the coming holidays.

3 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used bittersweet chocolate chips and chopped them fine in the food processor.)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup cocoa powder, any kind you like
¼ teaspoon vanilla or the seeds from a tiny segment of fresh vanilla bean
1/8 teaspoon sea salt or ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until powdery. Mixture keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

To Use:  Heat one cup of milk (coconut, almond or others would work here too) in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy.  Add 3 Tablespoons Decadent Hot Cocoa Mix to the milk.  Whisk over heat for another minute or two, until it begins to simmer and the mix is completely dissolved. (I use a small battery powered whisk that I use for making milk foam for my coffee. This makes a lovely thick foamy-topped hot chocolate.  You can also use your muscle power and a good whisk for this, if you wish.) Pour into mug, top with marshmallows or a dollop of whipped cream.

Other Flavors: 
·      Mexican Hot Chocolate—add some chile powder, cayenne and cinnamon
·      Mint Hot Chocolate—substitute peppermint extract for the vanilla
·      Mocha Hot Chocolate—add a couple of tablespoons of espresso powder

(Don’t have a food processor?  Chop or grate the chocolate until it is as fine as you can get it, and stir it into the remaining ingredients.)

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