[Recipe] Hot Chocolate (with variations)

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Hot chocolate is a winter staple, isn’t it? It just doesn’t seem right to go out skating or to a hockey game without a hot cup of chocolate.

I’m not much of a fan of pre-packaged hot chocolate. I just don’t find they have enough flavour. So I set out to make my own hot chocolate, and this is the one I’ve settled on.

If you have a frother, use it now.

[Recipe] Hot Cocoa

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cream

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Combine the cocoa, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

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Blend in the boiling water.

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Bring this mixture to an easy boil while stirring continuously. Simmer the mixture for about 90 seconds, being sure that it doesn’t scorch.

Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot. Do NOT let this mixture boil once the milk has been added.

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Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs.

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Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.

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Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired. Sadly, I had none of either for my pictures. 🙁

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Some hot chocolate variations you may want to try:

Chocolate Orange: Add 1/2 tsp orange extract to your mug of cocoa. For an adult version, try adding grand marnier. A liberal amount, of course.

Mexican Hot Chocolate: Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne to each mug.

Chocolate Mint: Add 1/2 tsp peppermint extract or a candy cane to your mug of cocoa. For an adult version, try adding peppermint schnapps.

Peanut Butter Cup: Add 1-2 tsp of peanut butter to your mug of cocoa. Mix well.

Macaroon: Add 1/2 tsp coconut extract to your mug. For an adult version, try adding some coconut rum.

Let’s be honest, there are so many adult versions, you can’t list them all: Irish cream, frangelico, kirsch, butterscotch schnapps, chambord, goldschlager, kahlua…

What are your favourite hot chocolate flavour combinations?

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