Saturday, November 1, 2014

Spiced Hot Chocolate

You all know the hot chocolate mixes you get at the grocery store. I grew up with them, as I'm sure many did. I can look back and see myself, waiting for the water to boil so that I could pour it over the magical powder that would transform into a tasteless, watery version of a cheap hershey's bar, onto which I would then gleefully pile obscene amounts of corn-syrup laden marshmallows.

I hope that last sentence has convinced you not to get pre-made hot chocolate mixes from the grocery store. If it didn't, let me try again: Don't. Just don't! It's not worth it. Life is too short to drink watery hershey's bars. Never fear, though! There is an alternative!

First of all: Milk. Not water. Use milk. Good, Whole, Raw milk. There's nothing else like it. If you use anything else you may as well just go and sacrifice yourself on the altar of Monsanto corn and tastelessness. Haha!

On to the recipe. If it can be a recipe without measuring.

Now, here's what I do. I glug a whole lot of milk into a large pot. I try to estimate how much will fit into however many mugs I want to fill. If I'm feeling extra smart, I'll get out a mug and use it for measuring. Mostly though, I just guess. And sometimes I err on the generous side, so that I can drink more hot chocolate than everybody else.

I probably use about 1/4 cup of raw, local honey to every six or so cups of milk. It's hard to know, when you're guessing. Really what you should do is taste it as you go along. Tasting is the best part of cooking!

Next add the cocoa. Again, only guessing here, but I'd say I use a heaping teaspoonful of cocoa per mug to be filled with luxurious chocolate awesomeness. It all depends on how chocolatey you like your chocolate.

Next is ginger, and you probably only want a very, very small amount of this, because it's very, very strong. I'm going to use a really old-fashioned measuring unit and say you're going to want a pinch of ginger. I love the extra kick it gives it!

Nutmeg. I probably use about a quarter teaspoon for a 6 cup batch (enough for 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children, which is usually how much I'm making). Nutmeg tastes like Christmas. I love it.

Cinnamon! Can't go far wrong with cinnamon. I admit to being rather heavy-handed with this spice. Perhaps a teaspoon or two altogether for the batch would do?

Now that you've got everything in the pot, turn the heat to medium/low and start whisking. Really you could probably wait until the milk warms up a little because everything mixes much better when it's warm, but I start whisking right from the beginning because I'm an obsessive whisker.


Okay, now you just have to stir it frequently enough so that it doesn't develop a horrible, slimy milk-skin on top. Again, I'm obsessive so I mostly stand there and whisk the whole time because I drank some hot chocolate with a nasty, slimy milk-skin on it once and it almost ruined my life.



Or Wah-lah, as they might spell it in Oklahoma. ;)

Feel free to add copious amounts of home-whipped raw cream, if you're lucky enough to have it on hand. Or perhaps some cute little homemade meringues. Or homemade marshmallows (believe me, they're on my to-attempt list!).

Happy Christmas-in-a-cup!

This post was shared on the HomeAcre Hop!

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