Winter is here and the temperature outside is quickly dropping with each passing day😩. Gosh I can't believe this year is over already!!!!. With cloudy skies and a gloomy weather these days, all I want to do is make a cup of hot cocoa and curl up on my sofa with a blanket and good book or binge watch Netflix 😝 . Yes!!!! It is that time of the year when you see jars of ready cocoa mix in every grocery store and almost every coffee shop selling hot cocoa. And you know what you don't have to buy ready cocoa mix always. Why?? Because it is very simple and easy to make your own hot cocoa at home.
Hot cocoa is one delicious hot beverage that is loved by children and adults equally. It is an instant remedy for the harsh winters. I have noticed that at many places hot cocoa is sold as hot chocolate and both the names are used interchangeably quite often. On the contrary, both of them are different. Hot cocoa is mixture of cocoa powder, sugar and milk flavored with vanilla and some other spices like cinnamon. While hot chocolate is literally chocolate that is melted with the help of little hot water, milk or cream. So hot chocolate is much more rich, thick in consistency and decadent that hot cocoa :P. It will be impossible for me to finish off a cup full of hot chocolate...that will be a little too much for me hahaha....but hot cocoa, ohhh that definitely I can..on second thoughts I can even finish off 2 cups if I want to 😏.
Hot cocoa is very very easy to make at home. And I am quite sure you might already have all of the ingredients available in your kitchen right now. So in this post I will be sharing the two methods (stove top and microwave) that I use to make a quick cup of hot cocoa at home.
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup of half-and-half or 1 tbsp of heavy cream (optional)
1 tbsp of dark chocolate chips or semi sweet chocolate chips - add more if you like 😜
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
Stove top Method:
1) In a saucepan add the cocoa powder and sugar. Gradually mix in the milk and half-and-half using a wire whisk. Cook and keep on stirring the mixture on low to medium heat. Initially the cocoa powder will be floating on top. Cook till the mixture is nicely combined and thoroughly heated but do not boil it.
Some recipe calls for adding hot water to cocoa and sugar and then adding milk. I avoid this step. It doesn't taste rich enough and tastes a bit watery which I don't like. :(
2) Switch of the flame and add the chocolate chips and stir it with the wire whisk until all the chocolate chips are completely melted and the mixture looks smooth. Add the vanilla extract and stir.
Hot cocoa is ready to be served. Top it of with fluffy marshmallows or whipped cream, shaved chocolate or chocolate syrup and enjoy while its hot. 😋 😋
Simply divide the cocoa powder, sugar and chocolate chips into two microwaveable safe mugs. Add very little water or milk about 1 to 2 tsp or so. Microwave for 10 secs. Remove and stir the mixture until smooth (if the chocolate chips are not melted microwave for another 5 secs). Now add the milk and microwave for 1 min to 1 and 1/2 mins or until the mixture is nice and hot. Stir in the vanilla extract and serve hot.
Thats it. Your delicious hot cocoa is ready to be served. This recipe serves two. Double the recipe as required. This recipe works good even without half- and- half. If you want it to be a bit on the lighter side you can use only whole milk. If you are calorie conscious use fat free milk and fat free half-and-half instead.
So until next time....Happy Holidays!!!! :D