Over the past week, several of my friends have been posting pictures on Facebook of snow (gasp! eek!!!) I am definitely not ready for that yet; I barely am ready for the low 50’s weather we’ve been having here in DC. But I found the perfect remedy for cold weather this morning.
Here’s the key to making amazing hot chocolate: use high quality chocolate. Not Hershey’s or other cheap chocolate brands. Ironically, “milk chocolate” contains the lowest percentage of cocoa solids of all the chocolates on the market – that’s not an ingredient you want in your hot chocolate. You will want to buy either bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, either of which should be marked as at least 60% cocoa. But, honestly, the higher the percentage, the better. Check the label, cocoa or cocoa butter should be the first ingredient. This is a good checklist of what to look for when buying chocolate. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
A little patience will be worth the effort for this recipe. Here’s some tips to consider before you begin:
- Make sure your pan is clean and DRY. Any moisture will cause the chocolate to clump in a gross and unrecoverable way. (Something to always remember when working with chocolate).
- Any type of milk can be used for this recipe. The high the fat content, the richer and creamier the final product will be. I used half and half for the photo shoot (it was the only milk in my fridge), but I’ve used 2% before with very satisfactory results.
- Allow the chocolate to fully melt before adding the milk, but don’t let it sit on the stovetop for too long, otherwise it will burn in a not-so-fun way.
- Add very small amounts of milk at a time, making sure it is fully incorporated before adding more. Although slightly time consuming, this process will prevent the chocolate from clumping and becoming difficult to work with. You’ll prob only need to repeat this step 4-5 times before you can dump the rest of the milk into the mixture.
- The hot chocolate can sit on the stovetop for a while, but just to warn you, a film will develop on the top of the liquids. Not to worry, though! Just stir a couple of times before you serve, and the film will literally melt away.
Homemade Hot Chocolate
Makes 2 servings
- 4 ounces chocolate
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar or sugar substitute
1. Place a small to medium sized saucepan on the stove, turning the heat to medium low (3 out of 10). Add chocolate, stirring fairly frequently to prevent burning.
2. Once chocolate is fully melted, add milk is small batches and stir until milk is fully incorporated. Keep repeating this until chocolate is liquidy (4-5 times).
3. Add the rest of the milk, stirring to combine liquids.
4. Add the sugar, stirring to fully absorb into the mixture.
4. Allow the hot chocolate to heat up, approximately 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.
5. Can be stored in the refrigerator for approximately a week. Just heat up over the stove or in the microwave before serving.