To celebrate, I'm posting my recipe for spicy hot cocoa made with cacao powder. You might be thinking, hot cocoa needs a recipe? I know, I know! Sounds so simple, right?
Just dissolve some sugar, then melt a bit of chocolate into warm milk and you have hot chocolate. Or substitute cacao powder instead of bar chocolate for hot cocoa.
It isn't astrophysics.
Despite this, most people still purchase store-bought hot cocoa packets (Swiss Miss, Nestle, etc.) instead of making their own. (I was one of those people not too long ago.)
For convenience, of course, AND because most folks have no idea what's actually in their mixes. They assume it's only cocoa powder, powdered milk and sugar. Wrong.
Here's the ingredients list for a serving of Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix:
|I took a screen capture of this list from FoodFacts.com|
Here's the ingredients list for a Swiss Miss K-Cup (the pods you stick into Keurig machines):
|I took a screen capture of this list from the Green Mountain Coffee website.|
Grossed out yet?
Thankfully these sites had the ingredients posted already so I didn't have to go to the grocery store and pay for a box of hot chocolate only to immediately throw it away.
Fun personal anecdote from last year: whenever I and a few of my co-workers made hot chocolate with a packet of Swiss Miss mixed with water last winter, we'd end up with upset stomaches. Now I know why.
Please know that I do not have a vendetta for Swiss Miss. They are only one of MANY other companies that sell products laced with artificial ingredients. If you're at all concerned about this (you should be) then start by reading the back labels of every single thing you buy. Trust me, you'll be surprised what's in your foods.
Now that I've jaded your sweet perception of down home hot chocolate drinks, let me present you with a recipe for inexpensively making your own SUPERIOR version at home.
It's a healthy, decadent hot cocoa you can feel good about drinking or gifting to others around the holidays. You can easily adjust the ratios to your personal taste, whether that be more chocolatey, less sweet, more sweet or a whole lot of spicy!
Homemade Spicy Hot Cocoa
A delicious, all natural hot cocoa you can feel good about drinking! Organic cacao powder creates a decadent chocolate depth that's accentuated with a touch of ground cinnamon, a dash of cayenne pepper and a pinch of sea salt.
1 cup + 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons of 100% cacao powder (I used Dagoba organic cacao powder)
1 1/2 tablespoons raw sugar
1 teaspoon of powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
2-3 pinches of cayenne pepper
1 pinch of sea salt
Whipped cream or marshmallows (optional)
Warm up 1 1/4 cup of milk (any kind you wish) on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add the cacao powder, raw sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper to a large mug. Measure out 1/4 cup of the hot milk and slowly pour into the mug, stirring constantly until the cacao powder and sugars are dissolved. Pour the rest of the milk into the mug and stir. Reheat in the microwave for an additional 30-60 seconds if you like it extra hot (I do). Drink as is or dollop some whipped cream or marshmallows on top. Enjoy! :)
Notes & Tips
Make sure to use 100% cacao powder, not a hot cocoa or sipping chocolate mix.
For traditional hot cocoa, simply leave out the cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt.
If you'd rather have hot chocolate, instead of cocoa, substitute melted squares or chips of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate instead of the cacao powder. You may need to add more or less chocolate pieces, depending on how rich you'd like it to taste.
|Doesn't it look like Santa Claus is about to fall off the rim of the glass? Hehe.|