As the days get shorter and those chilling afternoons creep up, don’t be left without the comfort of a delicious mug of hot chocolate. Hot chocolate can soothe the soul and wipe out those chocolate cravings; the result is usually a combination of a pleasant buzz and the endorphin-enabled happy feelings we associate with a good mood! Gourmet hot chocolate doesn’t have to be left to the local coffee shop to get your fix; who has the time and courage to brave those Fall and winter winds anyway?
For those of us who don’t have a personal assistant to run to our favorite coffee shop of choice, there are some great do-it-yourself recipes and tips to make your own. Gourmet hot chocolate brands that should be on the top of your list include Dagoba, Vosges, Bellagio, and Godiva. All of these brands offer some great pre-mixed flavor combinations in unique and enticing combinations. Try varieties with cinnamon and spices, herbs, and completely dark chocolate flavors to really zone in on that chocolate craving.
For the slightly less adventurous and traditionalist, the following two hot chocolate recipes are sure to please.
#1: Mexican Hot Chocolate
This is an ultimately indulgent mixture of rich chocolate, milk, sugar, and yes, eggs! It is a traditional recipe that works well as a dessert since it is so rich. Try it on a miserable day and you’ll literally feel your cares melt away. This recipe makes 4 servings.
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
Ã?Â½ cup sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate in using a double boiler. In a separate heavy saucepan, combine the milk and cream and simmer on low heat. Don’t let this bubble! When the mixture is heated add Ã?Â¼ cup of the mixture to the chocolate to mix and melt it. Slowly blend in the rest of the milk, and add the sugar and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla. Add a spoonful of the egg mixture into the chocolate, and beat it well. Add the remainder of the egg mixture to the chocolate, and finish by whisking in the double boiler for about 3 minutes until creamy. Serve immediately, and add a dollop of whipped cream if you dare!
#2: Chocolate Mint Delight
The combination of chocolate and peppermint is great in candy, and can be turned into a fabulous hot chocolate drink as well. Use a mint liquer for the flavoring, and add crushed peppermint candy to some whipped cream for serving guests. This recipe makes 3-4 servings.
2 ounces dark chocolate chips
2 cups milk
Ã?Â½ cup sugar
2 tbsp. mint flavoring
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Melt dark chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave, and set aside. Slowly pour in milk and whisk rapidly. Add sugar, mint flavoring, and vanilla extract. Serve in mugs with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
Hot chocolate is comforting, an indulgent treat on a rainy day, and perfect for an afternoon break as the colder months approach. Try out unique and flavorful combinations by adding flavored syrups and real melted chocolate for a fresh take on this delicious dessert-style drink!