Hi friends! The season we love most has arrived! It’s time for all the cookie baking, Christmas movie in pajamas watching and game nights in front of the fireplace with THIS indulgent, dreamy, but not so sweet your teeth rattle, homemade hot chocolate.
I will admit, I’ve never been a fan girl for hot chocolate. The store bought mixes all have soooo much sugar, and I never really bothered to experiment with homemade hot chocolate. Until my fairy godmother showed me the error of my ways when she made her version for my kiddo. It was amazing. Indulgent, sweet but not too sweet and so… well, chocolatey. (Am I making up words again?)
I’ve mentioned my fairy godmother around these parts before. My children call her Auntie Pam, and we all love her fiercely. Food is her love language, and over the years she has introduced me to duck confit, taught me her Italian grandmother’s homemade pasta technique and last week, made me fall in love with homemade hot chocolate.
She calls and says “I have a great idea! Why don’t I come over Sunday morning and make brunch? French press coffee for us, and I’ll teach the munchkin to make homemade hot chocolate!” Who in their right mind says no to that? No one, friends, no one. The coffee was excellent (for all my tips on perfect French Press Coffee- go here). But the hot chocolate stole the heart of my six year old. It didn’t hurt she also introduced him to the joys of spraying Ready Whip right into his mouth. (Thanks a lot, Auntie Pam.) Here are all her homemade hot chocolate secrets.
Tips for Homemade Hot Chocolate
- Start with whole milk- reduced fat just won’t yield the result you’re after. However, if you would like to sub half and half for part of the milk, or even, dare I say – a little heavy cream….? It wouldn’t hurt matters. Your call!
- Use a really good quality cocoa- we use Ghiradelli baking cocoa.
- The amount of sugar you use and the type can vary. If all you have on hand is white sugar, it will absolutely do the job. I personally LOVE this with coconut sugar. It yields a more subtle sweetness with a caramel flavor. Light or dark brown sugar would also be delightful.
- Keep the milk at a simmer – go low and slow. If you scorch the milk, you’ll have to scrap the whole batch and start over.
- I added vanilla. Hers did not, and if you don’t have any, it’s not necessary, but it adds a really nice layer of flavor. You’re heard me say it before- use the good vanilla. Here is a link the one I always buy. God bless Amazon for delivering legit Mexican vanilla right to my doorstep.
- Add anything else you like- whip cream, marshmallows, caramels, candy canes. It would be fun to whip up a big batch for a party and set out all the accoutrements for a little hot chocolate bar.
We are enjoying a lot of family game nights in front of the fire lately. I am loving that we have finally graduated from Candy Land to actual card games with our six year old. And now I can treat him with homemade hot chocolate while we play. Without pumping him totally full of sugar/preservatives/mystery ingredients.
Wishing you a joyful season with all the baking, pajama day Christmas movie watching, game playing and merry making your little heart desires.