It blows my mind what passes for hot chocolate. Stirring an overly sweet, slightly chocolatey powder into a glass of hot water? Seriously? And don’t even get me started on apple cider packets, instant coffee and powdered tea. I can’t understand why those icky envelopes are so abundant when real hot chocolate—the kind that contains milk, cocoa, and sugar—is so easy to make and most folks already have the ingredients on hand.
It is so easy to make, in fact, that you can experiment with different flavors and tweak your mug to your exact specifications. My current favorite cup is this “black and white” version. If you’ve ever enjoyed a black & white milkshake (that’s diner-speak for chocolate/vanilla), then you’ll love this hot chocolate sweetened with vanilla and made decadent with dark chocolate cocoa.
Roll up your sleeves, ditch the Swiss Miss and see what you’ve been missing.
If you’re feeling naughty, sweeten the cocoa with Bailey’s or Kahlua. Or to reward yourself for being very, very nice, add a different twist by sweetening with your favorite flavored syrup (I like peppermint, butter rum, and english toffee).
Light up the tree. Cue the Bing Crosby. Curl up and vow to never, ever make hot chocolate from a packet again.
Black and White Hot Chocolate
A warm twist on the classic black & white milkshake. If you don’t have vanilla syrup on hand, sweeten with plain granulated sugar. Serves 2.
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tbsp dark cocoa powder (regular works fine, too)
- 2-4 tbsp vanilla flavored syrup
- dash salt
- dash cinnamon
Stir together milk, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the vanilla syrup one tablespoon at a time to reach your desired sweetness. Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired. Curl up by fire. Sip. Repeat.