Gourmet Hot Chocolate
What is better than Gourmet Hot Chocolate ideas? Most of them can even be made with the contents in your very own pantry.
Did you know that their is a National Hot Cocoa Day? The date tends to varies from year to year, but it tends to be in the winter between December 1-February 1, so be sure to check your calendar. What a perfect way to celebrate the winter months! I love hot cocoa this time of year. I can not find a better reason to celebrate this snow day, especially since it’s a National Day after all. Dexter has always been our official snow cat, as long as he does not have to out step into it, he loves it. As you can see we had a little bit of cold winter weather last weekend which worked out great for the photo shoot. I just moved everything outside and was super happy we were photographing hot chocolate. One cup for me two for the pictures, it worked out great .As a grown up, I wanted to create a gourmet list of Hot Chocolate ideas similar to what I did with previously with my S’mores Recipes I posted back in the fall. I really love the idea of taking ordinary childhood treats and elevating them to be extraordinary. Make them special, and bring them to an elevated level for a real culinary experience but still keep it fun. This is my basic base Hot Chocolate Recipe, which makes about 4-6 cups:
- 10 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons (Brown) Sugar
- 4 cups milk (you can also substitute in 2 cups of half & half, or 1 cup of heavy cream for a richer texture)
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt (this brings out the chocolate flavor)
PREPARATION – Mix together the dry ingredients – chocolate, sugar, salt, and add 3 tablespoons from your milk cup, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk until cocoa and sugar are dissolved, then add in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot. Stir in the vanilla, top with whipped cream and serve.
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If you are not feeling up too making your own Hot Cocoa let me introduce you to another one of my favorites Godiva Hot Chocolate. This will take all the work out of the equation to give you more time to relax. So even if you decided not to make your own from scratch and use a packet or pod, Here’s how to take your hot chocolate up a level. Theses add in recipes are per cup – so you can use these on a hot cocoa bar for the holidays:
- Hazelnut –Stir in 1 Tablespoon of Nutella – Sprinkle with Crushed Hazelnuts. (Grown Up version add shot of Frangelico.)
- Chocolate Orange – Melt in 1 square of Orange chocolate Garnish with orange peel or slices. (Grown Up version add shot of Grand Marnier.)
- Peppermint – Add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Add mint leaves and crushed peppermints to the top, a peppermint patty would also be a fun cup garnish. (Grown Up version add shot of Peppermint Schnapps.) I also like to garnish with Harry & David’s Peppermint Bark.
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry – Stir in 1 Tablespoon of Strawberry Jam. (Grown Up version add shot of Amaretto.)
- S’more – Top with Mini Chocolate chips, marshmallow and graham cracker sticks for dipping. (Grown Up version add shot of Baileys Irish Cream.)
- Spicy Aztec – Add 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon & nutmeg, plus a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper. (Grown Up version add shot of Patron Cafe’.)
- Pumpkin Spice – Stir in 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice and gingerbread cookie garnish. (Grown Up version add shot of William Wolf Pecan Bourbon.)
- Cookies & Cream – Add whipped cream to top with crushed up Oreo and Chips Ahoy. (Grown Up version add shot of Godiva White Chocolate Liquor)
- Peanut Butter Cup – Stir in 1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter – Garnish with whipped cream and a Reese’s cup. (Grown Up version add shot of William Wolf Pecan Bourbon.)
You may have noticed that I added the “Grown Up” adult add ins above in italics. I found this just to be simpler way to show that these recipes can be altered and revamped into a sweet grown up treat as well.
A couple more adult versions that can not be translated into a non alcoholics version include:
- Stout Chocolate – add in a a stout beer of your choice in a 50 % ration to the hot chocolate base mix. Chocolate covered pretzel stir sticks are a must for this one.
- Choco Vino – add in a rich deep Merlot wine to a semi sweet dark chocolate base. Top with dark chocolate shavings.