December 13, 2017 Advent with SusieJ

Hot Cocoa

Such a simple and easy drink, but so many variations!

Basic recipe, for 4 to 6 servings:

  • 1/4 to 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 1 quart of milk

Measure the sugar, cocoa and 1/4 cup of the milk into a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan. The measurement of the milk doesn't need to be overly exact. Over high heat, whisk together until a paste forms; the heat will help the cocoa incorporate into the milk. Reduce heat to medium, and whisk in the remaining milk. Continue whisking intermittently over heat until the cocoa is steaming, only a thin layer of foam remains, and the cocoa is 150 to 160 degrees. (Whisking does two things: it keeps the cocoa from settling into the corners of the pan, and ensure you are paying attention and the milk does not boil over.)

As delicious as plain hot cocoa is, you can do so much with it:

Top it off:

  • Mini or full-size marshmallows
  • Whipped cream
  • Crushed peppermint candy
  • Small peppermint sticks or candy canes for stirring
  • Crumbled spice cookies

Spice it up (add with cocoa):

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp instant espresso or coffee powder

Spice it up (add after removing from heat):

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract if you know no one has a nut allergy
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract

Booze it up, adding an ounce to the mug before filling:

  • Creme de menthe
  • Kahlua
  • Amaretto
  • Frangelica
  • Cointreu

[; copyright 2017 Jorj F. Bauer, all rights reserved]