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Recipe for Hot Chocolate

Since becoming a grown-up a, um, couple of years ago, I have ruthlessly and steadfastly applied myself to developing and perfecting certain recipes. Among them is hot chocolate. I have experimented with every kind of chocolate I could get my hands on (legally), messed around with condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream. For a while my preference was chocolate chips instead of powder, I dipped my toe into peppermint pools, but I have finally come to this…and I share it with you. So this amount is what I’d make for my family of seven on a typical chilly weekend morning (this one, for instance). This allows everybody to have some with a smidge left over. When I prepare to host a celebration of some sort with several more people I know I’ll be making another batch or two this size. And, because of the size of the batch and the coldness of the milk, plan on it taking a long time, maybe even up to an hour, to heat up. Don’t be tempted to raise the temperature, or you’ll likely wind up with scorched-scalded chocolate that no one will drink, and I just can’t be held responsible for that!

Ingredients

¾ C Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder (I really like Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, which is a blend of Dutch processed and natural. I like this very much. Alternatively, natural is fine.)
½ tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ C Hot Water
1 1/3 Cup Sugar
12 Cups Milk
2 tsp Vanilla

  1. Mix together the Cocoa Powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large Dutch oven-sized pot.
    Stir in the water and heat on Medium until smooth and well incorporated. Add the sugar and continue stirring until smooth. It doesn’t have to boil, but the sugar should be well on its way to dissolving, and the mixture should remind you of chocolate syrup from a bottle (but soooo much better—and, fear not, it won’t taste salty when it’s all done!)

  2. Add the milk and stir to combine. Reduce heat to Medium low and cook, stirring occasionally until very hot, but don’t boil.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in Vanilla. Garnish with—please, like you really don’t know what to put in hot chocolate?

  4. May your tummy be warm and full enough to be happy, but not warm and full enough to be sick!


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