Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! I hope whatever you are doing to celebrate you are having fun and to those of you who aren’t celebrating, I hope you are having a great day as well. Today, Reader, I’m sharing a recipe for probably the best hot chocolate ever.
Hot chocolate is one of those things that is so inextricably linked to wintertime. Unfortunately, so often it gets made with packets and hot water, which is totally not real hot chocolate. I mean, sure, it works in a pinch. For a long time I’ve been on a crusade to convert people to hot cocoa rather than hot chocolate and now I’m on a new crusade: the Thick & Creamy European-Style Hot Chocolate Crusade. Best of all, it involves no slaughtering, no stealing land, and no religious disagreements (#historymajorjokes). Just dark, creamy, rich chocolate that you can drink.
That’s perhaps not the best segway into what I want to talk briefly about, but, um, Christianity. There’s the link. This is my first Christmas away from home. Or, away from my family. I’ve done Christmas in places other than New Jersey, but always with my fam. I feel like this should be some sort of important grown-up milestone, but, honestly I feel that missing two Thanksgivings has prepared me for missing a Christmas at home. Tomorrow I’ll be celebrating with some other displaced Americans but today I’m just enjoying the peace and quiet. I’ve got plans to make myself a nice dinner and I have some presents from home to open at my leisure.
No matter what your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day plans are, I highly recommend scheduling in a cup of this hot chocolate. Having friends over for cookies? Serve with hot chocolate. Family movie night? Improved with hot chocolate. Post-church service activity? Hot chocolate! Get my drift?
Now, this hot chocolate does actually need some time and attention. It’s not your three minute boiled water and chocolate powder quick fix. It needs about 15 minutes, and you can’t let it boil. Trust me, though, the wait is worth it. If you’re a fan of whipped cream, I suggest you make it yourself as it will only add to the amazing-ness of this spoonable hot chocolate, which is also great as a snack with some salty, crunchy pretzels.
The Best Hot Chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups milk (you can use skim)
- 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (e.g. Ghirardelli 60%)
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 T granulated sugar (mine tablespoons are usually scant as I enjoy dark chocolate a lot)
- optional: whipped cream or marshmallows, for topping
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate with a little of the milk (about 2 T). Whisk while the chocolate melts. Once melted, add the remaining milk and whisk until completely smooth and combined. Next, add in the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk continuously until the hot chocolate is thickened to your desired consistency. Keep the temperature between low and medium-low and do not let boil, or else the cornstarch might form awkward little pearls that you just won’t want to drink. It will take about 10 minutes of whisking after adding the cornstarch and sugar for the hot chocolate to thicken. Ideally, you want it to coat the back of a spoon.
Serve hot. If desired, top with whipped cream and/or marshmallows. For an adult version, you can mix in your favorite liqueur after removing from heat.
Posted to Sugar Bee’s Take-A-Look Tuesday, Mandy’s Recipe Box’s Totally Tasty Tuesday, I Gotta Create’s Wildly Original, Live, Laugh, Rowe’s Christmas Party, This Gal Cooks’s Marvelous Monday, and Miz Helen’s Country Cottage’s Full Plate Thursday!
Question: What’s your favorite winter drink?