Gourmet Hot Chocolate
Here is my fun list of Gourmet Hot Chocolate ideas, most of them can even be made with the contents in your very own pantry.
Did you know that National Hot Cocoa Day is December 13th? Well, the perfect way to celebrate is with Gourmet Hot Chocolate. I love hot cocoa this time of year. I find no better reason to celebrate this day, since it’s a National Day after all and we got a little snow. Dexter is our official snow cat, as long as he does not have to step in it, he loved it. As you can see we had a little bit of 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 .I wanted to create a gourmet list of Hot Chocolate ideas similar to what I did with my S’mores Recipes posted back in October. I really like the idea of taking ordinary childhood treats and elevating them to be extraordinary and special level for a fun culinary experience. Plus making them into a adult version of a lot of fun too, wink wink.
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 vanilla extract
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 available at Dillard’s. 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 from Dillard’s.
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry – Stir in 1 Tablespoon of Strawberry Jam. (Grown Up version add shot of Amaretto.)
- Smore’ – 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.
You can also pick up a Harry & David also offers a great Cookie Book from Dillard’s, perfect for snow days.