Cool Hot Cocoa (Marshmallows Optional!)

For thousands of years, people the world over have searched for the ultimate liquid aphrodisiac. The term aphrodisiac is modified form of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite’s, name. Known to rule over the realms of love and desire there is no more potent drink in her arsenal (omitting alcohol for this family friendly “G” rated column) than hot cocoa/hot chocolate.

While both hot cocoa and hot chocolate are delicious there is a difference between the two. The terms are often used interchangeably, but technically they are as different as white chocolate and bittersweet chocolate. Hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder, which is chocolate pressed free of all the fat from it’s cocoa butter.  Hot chocolate is typically made from chocolate bars or chocolate syrup melted into milk or cream.

            I say, what better way to start (breakfast in bed perhaps) or end (in front of a fire is always nice) a cold cold winters day than to prepare a beverage for your sweetie, designed to warm them (and you) up? Oh,you should know that marshmallows are optional.

There are a few of the recipes that do call for a liqueur. If you’re underage or don’t drink alcohol you can always substitute flavor extracts (ie. Almond, cherry, hazelnut)

BROWN SUGAR HOT COCOA

Adding a ton of brown sugar makes this cocoa recipe extra sweet. It doesn’t, however, mask the rich taste of chocolate that’s melted into this hot cocoa.

3 oz unsweetened chocolate

1/3 cup water

4 cups hot milk

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/8 teaspoon salt

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and water together. Slowly mix in the milk, sugar and salt. Whisk until chocolate is smooth and blended. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

INDULGE YOURSELF HOT CHOCOLATE

This recipe calls for two different kinds of chocolate, and it’s whipped frothy. The half and half cream makes for an extra rich cup of cocoa.

1 cup milk

1 cup half and half

8 teaspoon sugar

1 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a sauce pan combine the milk, half and half, sugar, semi sweet and unsweetened chocolate and the brown sugar. Heat everything in a saucepan, whisking occasionally, until the chocolates melt and sugar dissolves. Pour half of the mixture into a blender and mix until foamy. Return to the saucepan, and add vanilla. Stir briefly then serve. Serves 4.

WHITE HOUSE HOT COCOA

I don’t know where I got this recipe but supposedly, it’s the one served, in the White House, when ever it’s required.

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
6 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of cinnamon
Whipped Cream for topping
Orange zest for topping

Cocoa powder for topping
In a sauce pan combine the cocoa, salt, and sugar. Add the milk. Whisk to combine and heat to dissolve. The add the light cream, cinnamon, vanilla. Whisk to combine and heat to a simmer. Whisk just before serving and pour the cocoa into warm mug. Top with whipped cream, cocoa powder, and fine orange zest.

HOT TODDY HOT COCOA

The amaretto adds a smooth mellow flavor to this luscious drink

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 cups milk (not skim)
3 oz amaretto (or 1 teaspoon almond extract)

Chop the chocolate into very fine pieces, no bigger than 1/4″ in size, and put into a small bowl. Combine the milk and cream in a sauce pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds or so then stir slowly to blend the chocolate and cream together. Put the amaretto into 2 large mugs, then pour the chocolate mixture over it. Stir to mix the liquids and serve. Serves 2

MEXICAN HOT COCOA

The addition of the chili powder, while not familiar to most, is a wonderful way to add an authentic south of the border flavor to your cocoa

2 cups evaporated milk (NOT CONDENSDED)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
6 cinnamon sticks
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1/4 cup whipping cream

In a sauce pan combine the evaporated milk, whole milk, liqueur, vanilla, sugar, cocoa, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and chili powder and whisk to combine. Add 2 of the cinnamon sticks and cook gently over medium-low heat until warm. Add chocolate and cook, whisking until melted. Gently bring the mixture to a high simmer; reduce heat and simmer until liquid thickens and reduces slightly, whisking often, 10 minutes. Combine the cream with remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and beat until peaks form. Ladle 2/3 cup hot cocoa into each of 4  mugs top with 2 tablespoons whipped cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serves 4.

CHERRY HOT COCOA

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

2/3 cup sugar

4 cups milk

1 1/2 cups hot strong coffee

1/2 cup cherry liqueur (or cherry extract)

Whipped Cream
Combine cocoa and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the milk. Heat, stirring, until very hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir in coffee, and cherry liqueur or extract.  Cool Slightly. Pour into 4 mugs. Garnish with whipped cream and serve. Serves 4.

HERSHEY’S HOT COCOA

The one company who helped define hot cocoa has a wonderful recipe for hot cocoa as well as lots of suggestions on how to tweak it.

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

Dash salt

1/3 cup hot water

4 cups (1 qt.) milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Miniature marshmallows or sweetened whipped cream(optional)

Directions:
1. Stir together sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan; stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. Do Not Boil.

2 Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. Five 8-oz. servings.

VARIATIONS: Add one of the following with the vanilla extract:

SPICED COCOA: 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Serve with cinnamon stick, if desired.

MINT COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon mint extract OR 3 tablespoons crushed hard peppermint candy OR 2 to 3 tablespoons white creme de menthe. Serve with peppermint candy stick, if desired.

CITRUS COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon orange extract OR 2 to 3 tablespoons orange liqueur.

SWISS MOCHA: 2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee.

COCOA AU LAIT: Omit marshmallows or whipped cream. Spoon 2 tablespoons softened vanilla ice cream on top of each cup of cocoa at serving time.

SLIM-TRIM COCOA: Omit sugar. Combine cocoa, salt and water; substitute nonfat milk. Proceed as above. With vanilla, stir in sugar substitute with sweetening equivalence of 1/2 cup sugar.

CANADIAN COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon maple extract.

MICROWAVE SINGLE SERVING: Coombine 1 heaping teaspoon HERSHEY’S Cocoa, 2 heaping teaspoons sugar and dash salt in microwave-safe cup or mug. Add 2 teaspoons cold milk; stir until smooth. Fill cup with milk. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until hot. Stir to blend; serve.

 Courtsy of Hershey ® company web site.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Guess Who?
    Dec 28, 2010 @ 22:02:43

    I love a good cup of hot cocoa using a candy cane as a stir stick.
    Yum

    Reply

  2. kyle
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 03:29:40

    sign me up

    Reply

  3. teknoloji
    Jan 21, 2011 @ 11:56:41

    cool story bro.thanks.teknoloji

    Reply

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