Guest Author - Sandie Jarrett
There is something warm and inviting about a steamy hot cup of homemade cocoa. Making cocoa from scratch takes about the same amount of time as it does to open a package of instant cocoa mix and heating it in the microwave. But, once you have experienced a steamy hot mug of scrumptious full flavored homemade cocoa, the stuff in the envelope will never quite do it for you again!
Hot Cocoa Recipe for 2
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
whipped cream or tiny marshmallows (optional)
Mix the cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a saucepan; slowly blend in the boiling water with a wire whisk. Set the sauce pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Bring the mixture to a gently boil, stirring about 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the milk; heat slowly over low heat until the cocoa is scalding hot, stirring frequently.
Remove hot cocoa from heat, add vanilla extract and beat with an immersion blender or wire whisk until foamy. Serve hot cocoa in preheated non metal cups topped with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired.
Preheat heatproof cups or mugs by first filling with very hot water and allow to stand for 3 – 4 minutes.
Remember – cocoa or hot chocolate is HOT. Take care so as not to burn you lips or mouth!
Now is not the time to skimp on ingredients! Use the best that you can find. Dutch process or European-Style are less acidic.
Spice up your home brew with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and then top one or more of the following or use your imagination! It is all about enjoyment.
> a sprinkle of cinnamon or freshly ground nutmeg.
> shaved dark chocolate
> crushed candy canes
> a drizzle of caramel syrup
For a spicy brew, using the recipe above, substitute 1/2 of the granulated sugar with brown sugar. Add a pinch each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and chili. Taste and adjust spices as necessary before pouring into preheated mugs. Omit the marshmallows. After topping with a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkle with cinnamon or a mixture of cinnamon and nutmeg.