Wouldn’t you love to have a recipe for a simple but delicious treat you can whip up to satisfy your chocolate tooth or to give as a cute, homemade gift? This hot cocoa recipe will serve both purposes.
I have never been a big fan of store-bought hot cocoa mixes — they are just too weak. And that’s even after mixing it with milk instead of the prescribed water. Fortunately, I found this recipe that allows me to keep my own homemade cocoa mix on-hand for chocolate emergencies.
This recipe is also great made in bulk to fill cute mason jars and give as gifts — to teachers, neighbors, coworkers, etc. I made gift boxes of homemade goodies for my stepson’s teachers and included this cocoa mix, this Cheez-It Crack, Fantasy Fudge, these nuts from Ina Garten, Spiced Caramel Pear Jam (will try to blog soon), and homemade marshmallows (made by The Marshmallow Fairy).
A few notes on ingredients — since the flavor of the cocoa really shines through, please use the best cocoa powder you can find. I have tried this recipe with both Callebaut Dutch-processed cocoa and Hershey’s natural cocoa, and there is a definite difference between the two. The mix made with the Hershey’s cocoa has a chalky feel on the tongue while the Dutch-processed cocoa was silky and smooth. I assume this is because Dutch-processed cocoa typically has a higher fat content than store-bought cocoa. For the bulk recipe I made to put in jars, I substituted the vanilla extract with pure vanilla bean powder that I bought at my local health food store, but I think regular vanilla bean seeds could be substituted 1:1.
A few notes on serving — it is important to heat the mix with a small amount of cream or milk before you whisk in the rest of the milk. This extra step ensures your cocoa powder “blooms,” or develops its full chocolate flavor. You can substitute low-fat or fat-free milk for the cream, but don’t skip this step. You can also garnish the cocoa as desired. I stirred homemade salted caramel sauce into mine, topped it with homemade whipped cream, then drizzled a little more caramel sauce on top. And cute mugs don’t hurt. Yum!
Below you will find a recipe to make both one single serving and a 1-pint jar of mix for gift-giving (or just pantry stocking). Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Decadent Hot Cocoa Mix for One
Yield: 1 one-cup serving
- 3 Tablespoons high-quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup half-and-half or 1/2 cup whole milk plus 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (or any dairy combination to equal 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all the dry ingredients with 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half and whisk over medium-low heat until the cocoa and sugar have dissolved and liquid has become dark and silky. Whisk in the remaining dairy and heat until steaming, whisking frequently. Pour into a mug, garnish as desired, and enjoy!
Decadent Hot Cocoa Mix in Bulk
Yield: 2 cups of powder (enough for 1 pint jar), roughly 6-8 servings of hot cocoa
- 1 cup high-quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
Combine all ingredients in large bowl, whisking to blend well. Pour into one-pint container and store at room temperature. To serve, whisk 4-6 Tablespoons of mix with 1/4 cup dairy until melted and smooth. Whisk in 3/4 cup dairy and heat until steaming. Garnish as desired.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.