Sunday, January 3, 2010
I am a hot cocoa and hot chocolate snob. See those adorable snowman mugs and pitcher? I have those just for hot cocoa. And yes, there is a difference between hot chocolate (the latter is made the French way and, ideally, drunk at Angelina's in Paris.)
Hot chocolate is made from several kinds of melted chocolate and creme, is very rich and almost like a melted ganache. Hot cocoa is what we drink here in America much more often and is lighter.
I like mine sugary and somewhat bitter from the cocoa powder.
Here's what I use for two servings. The great thing is you can totally adjust this for taste and number of people.
3 Cups non-dairy milk. I prefer Almond Breeze but you can use any you prefer.
1/2 Cup ground cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/16 tsp (just a pinch) of cayenne powder
Put granulated sugar in a medium sauce pan and sift in ground cocoa to remove any lumps. This will ensure you get an even mix.
Pour in 1/2 cup of the non-dairy milk and whisk together over medium low heat to create a slurry. A slurry is similar to creating a roux and is used to better integrate a solid (the sugar and cocoa powder) into a liquid. If you dumped all the milk in at once it would not evenly incorporate.
Then, when the cocoa, sugar and milk is well mixed, add in the remaining milk and turn the heat up to medium. Keep stirring with your whisk to combine well.
Once you have everything well stirred together, I pour in the vanilla extract and sprinkle in the cinnamon and cayenne. These are optional. You could also add in a bit of peppermint extract or even almond or nutmeg. Totally to your taste.
Once this is well warmed, pour into mugs and top with frothed milk or drop in some vegan marshmallows. You can even sprinkle on a bit more ground cinnamon.
Best enjoyed snuggled on the sofa with a puppy or kitty, of course!