|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 9g||11%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||25%|
|Total Carbohydrate 34g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
There's nothing quite like coming in from the chilly weather outside to a steaming hot mug of hot cocoa topped with marshmallows. While you could make it from an instant powdered mix, it's just as easy to make it from scratch with cocoa powder, sugar, milk, and vanilla.
The terms "hot cocoa" and "hot chocolate" are often used interchangeably, but there are technical differences. Hot cocoa is differentiated from hot chocolate because it's made with cocoa powder. Hot chocolate, on the other hand, is made with melted chocolate, and because it is typically made with sweetened milk or dark chocolate, sugar is not usually added. If you want cocoa with more intense chocolate flavor, whisk some melted bittersweet chocolate into the hot cocoa or add an extra tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to the sugar mixture.
Gather the ingredients.
In a medium saucepan, heat milk to scalding.
While the milk is heating, blend the cocoa and sugar in a small bowl.
Mix about 1/3 cup of the hot milk into the cocoa and sugar mixture and then pour cocoa mixture into the hot milk in the saucepan. Add the vanilla and whisk until well-blended.
Serve the cocoa topped with mini marshmallows. Sift a dash of cocoa powder over the marshmallows, if desired.
- To decrease the calorie and grams of fat in the recipe, use reduced-fat or skim milk in place of whole milk.
- For a richer hot chocolate, replace the cocoa powder with 2 ounces of grated and melted bittersweet chocolate. If you use chocolate with a higher sugar content, such as milk chocolate, decrease the amount of sugar in the recipe.
- Experiment with using brown sugar in place of white granulated sugar for a different, complex flavor.
- Bring the milk to about 180 F, which is around when bubbles start to form on the sides of the saucepan. Don't let the milk boil.
- If there's leftover hot chocolate, cool it to room temperature and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. It can be reheated by heating it up in a saucepan on the stove. Like when first making the hot chocolate, don't bring the liquid to a boil.
- Non-dairy variation: Replace the milk with the same amount of coconut or almond milk.
- Mexican hot cocoa: Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 heaping tablespoon instant espresso or coffee, plus a pinch of salt, to the saucepan when heating the milk. Dust the top of the hot chocolate with chili powder.
- Minty hot cocoa: Add 1/4 cup creme de menthe (or to taste) or 2 tablespoons peppermint extract to the milk mixture.
- Cinnamon white hot chocolate: Replace the cocoa powder with 2 ounces of chopped and melted white chocolate. Add 4 cinnamon sticks to the milk while it's heating; discard before mixing with the white chocolate.
- Chai hot chocolate: In a coffee grinder, combine 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, eight whole cloves, six peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 10 fennel seeds, and 1 tablespoon ground ginger. Process the spices to make a powder. Add the chai mixture to the milk with the cocoa, tasting as you add to find your desired spice level.