Monday, January 4, 2010

Super Delicious Homemade Hot Cocoa

I found a recipe this year for homemade hot cocoa and decided to give it a try. It sounded yummy, just the thing for the snowy weather. With cocoa powder, cream, chocolate chips and cinnamon how can you go wrong? So I whipped up a batch.

I thought it was absolutely delicious!

My hubby, Sweet Pea and Snickers all thought it was absolutely disgusting. Undrinkably disgusting.

Gah! How can they say that? This is the drink of the gods! It was smooth and creamy, chocolately and downright delicious. I refrigerated the leftovers and microwaved myself a cup or two each day for the next few days. It was oh-my-god-this-is-sinfully-delicious good. Really! I don't know what's wrong with them! With their taste buds!

Well, the kids are kids. It wasn't sweet - wasn't the cocoa they are used to. I can understand that. I probably wouldn't have liked it when I was a kid either. But now my taste buds have matured. (Yeah, that must be it.)

And hubby, well, he doesn't appreciate the taste of cocoa powder. And he really appreciates the taste of sweet. (Must be why he married me, because I'm so sweet. Right? [deafening silence]). Anyway, this has a definite cocoa taste and it is not overly sweet.

It did not bear much resemblance at all to those little packets of hot chocolate mix that taste mostly like sweet milk with a hint of chocolate flavor. It didn't taste at all like hot chocolate made with Hershey's syrup or Nesquik powder. You could definitely taste the cocoa in this. It was closer to the cocoa made following the recipe on the side of the Hershey’s Cocoa powder tub, but much much better even than that simple, yet excellent cocoa. And that's how I like it. Not too sweet and with a nice subtle bitterness from the cocoa powder. I even added extra sugar to theirs to sweeten it up a bit, but apparently it didn't help. Maybe if I'd left out the cocoa powder and cinnamon and chips and added a packet of cocoa mix that would have helped. ;-)

If you are a fan of the instant cocoa mix, you may not want to try this. You probably won't like it. But if you like the flavor of things made with cocoa powder, definitely give it a try. Add extra sugar if you'd like, or extra milk or cream if it's too chocolately (is that possible?)

I will say that I had to water it down somewhat - it was actually rather thick! (due to the chocolate chips I think). But mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with some skim milk it was just about the perfect cup of cocoa.

This is the original recipe:
Super Delicious Homemade Hot Cocoa

4 cups milk
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pour the milk into a large saucepan and add the cinnamon stick. Cook over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edge. (Until it's very hot, but not boiling). Remove from heat, cover and let steep for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Stir cocoa, sugar and nutmeg into milk until thoroughly blended.
  • Add cream and chocolate chips and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the chips are melted and the drink is piping hot.
  • Pour into individual mugs and top with whipped topping or marshmallows.
The recipe as prepared above would make about 6 servings and each would have about 300 calories per serving and 16 grams of fat. (Wow!) But prepared as 1/2 the above and 1/2 skim milk like I've been drinking it, that cuts it down to about 200 calories and 8 grams of fat. Much better. You could also prepare it without the cream at all and that would cut out a lot of fat and calories (or substitute whole milk or 1/2 and 1/2 for the cream.)
Then, just because I felt like it, I made it again the other day with a few modifications. I left out the chocolate chips to see how much the flavor was affected, and if it would make a difference in how thick it was (ie, how much I had to thin it with half milk).And I left out the nutmeg because when I first made it, I wasn't sure I liked the flavor of the nutmeg with the chocolate. I'm used to nutmeg in cookies and I found the flavor slightly overwhelming or distracting or something. It didn't seem to fit the drink. But now that I think about it, after the cocoa sat, when I was reheating it in the following days, I didn't notice the nutmeg much. Just when it was fresh was it noticeable.

The modified recipe was also delicious, but not quite on par with the first recipe. Leaving out the chips and nutmeg made it more ordinary, whereas the original recipe was extraordinary. When I make this again, I will stick with the original recipe, but possibly use more milk so it's not so thick (so it doesn't need to be 'thinned' with milk before drinking).

In any case, I highly recommend this recipe. If you like real homemade cocoa, give this a try and let me know how it goes.



  1. Cocoa-licious! It really really is. I'm drinking some right now as I type this and it's all I can do not to fall out of my chair from the sheer cocoa-y, tasty, deliciousness of it. Mmmmmm! It may not be your cup of tea, er, cocoa, but it sure is mine!

  2. At least you don't have to worry about me drinking it all on you.