With the chilly temperatures upon us, and Halloween behind us, it's time we start thinking about warm sweet treats.
Did you know those convenient little instant hot chocolate packets are lined with plastic? You can't recycle them. They last forever. I've realized through my efforts to use less plastic, is that we can make almost everything from scratch - without all that waste. From mayonnaise to powdered sugar, there isn't much we can't make plastic free, and that includes this amazing hot chocolate.
Got 10 minutes this weekend? Brrrrring this deliciousness into your home.
Thick Hot Chocolate - From Scratch
A few years ago I discovered Sipping Chocolate, which is possibly the most decadent treat ever on a cold stressful day. Thick and warm and magnificent. When I found out these Italian Hot Chocolates are made with melted chocolate and whipping cream or half & half, I realized I couldn't be having these calorie-packed treats on a regular basis. So I was glad to find this recipe which is modified from one of our favorite cookbooks, West Coast Cooking by Greg Atkinson.
Makes about 2 cups of Hot Chocolate (enough for 4-5 BittyMugs)
- 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder (we refill our Fair Trade cocoa from the bulk section)
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 2 T cornstarch (this is the thickener, so use less if you want it thinner)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 c water
- 2 c milk
- cayenne or flaked salt (optional)
Have all your ingredients ready to go - this comes together quickly. You can heat up the milk separately to speed up the final step.
With the stovetop on medium heat, whisk the dry cocoa powder, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Keep whisking the dry ingredients until you notice it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Continue whisking and slowly add the water. It will sizzle and steam, so be ready to whisk and get all the clumps evenly mixed while it comes to a boil (about 30 seconds).
Continue whisking and slowly stream in the cold or hot milk. Stir gently until mixture comes to a boil. The hot chocolate will thicken more as it cools.
Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Cool for a few minutes and top with cayenne, salt flakes, or your homemade marshmallows. Serve!!