The Christmas season is right around the corner, everyone! Now, I am fully aware that we have to get through Thanksgiving first, but consider this: I do not care, the Philly Specials have already dropped two singles off their new Christmas album and if you do not know how to make a turkey at this point, that is your own problem.
One epidemic that besieges our country every winter season, aside from, like, the flu, is people making terrible hot cocoa. Get that nasty, watery Swiss Miss mess away from me and have an ounce of respect for yourself. Make some real hot cocoa, like this recipe!
To make roughly 4-5 servings of this delightfully decadent hot cocoa, you will need the following:
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk (or evaporated milk, for something a bit less creamy)
- 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup of dark baking chocolate
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- A pinch of ground cinnamon
- A pinch of kosher salt
- Whipped cream
To start off, add your whole milk, heavy cream and condensed milk into a saucepan. Heat the milk at medium-low heat and whisk constantly. Bring the milk to roughly 190 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is steaming hot, but not quite boiling.
Now it’s time for your chocolate. Add your cocoa powder to your steaming hot milk and whisk to combine. Once the milk and cocoa are more or less homogenous, add your dark baking chocolate and whisk until it is melted, or at least melted enough. There are still more ingredients to add, so it is alright if it is not fully melted, alright? So relax. This is hot cocoa. No need to get stressed.
Now, it is time to sweeten the pot, literally. Get it? Because we are adding sugar? This is definitely a “to taste” thing. Even though the ingredients list half a cup, which is a lot even for the amount of hot cocoa being made, you can really add however much you like. If you prefer a darker, richer taste to your hot cocoa, the way I do, you can just add and mix at small intervals until you achieve your desired sweetness.
The final touches are just a couple pinches: kosher salt and ground cinnamon. These serve to boost the flavor of your chocolate in subtle, but absolutely necessary ways.
Finally, pour your hot cocoa into the elephant mug your sister bought you. (Shoutout to my beloved sister Abigail. You are awesome and you should come visit me at school). Top with marshmallows, whipped cream, whatever your jolly little heart desires.
Truly, this was the best hot cocoa I have ever made. It felt like finding the holy grail after searching for 21 years. Maybe it will have a home at my Thanksgiving dinner table this year! Probably not.