Hot cocoa, drinking chocolate, hot chocolate … no matter what you call it, this winter favourite — whether it sits in slightly frozen hands by the rink, or large mugs by a crackling fire (real or television-powered) — is a timeless solution to the chill of a long, snowy season.
But with the deep freeze starting to set in, it’s time to take each cup to the next level. Bench the quick mixes in favour of cozy cocoas that are a little bit decadent and a whole lot delicious. All you need is our base recipe, and you can upgrade each cup with anything from leftover candy canes to cinnamon and cayenne. Here’s how to get started:
The base recipe
Simmer 1 L milk in a medium saucepan set over medium-high, then reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk in 1/2 cup chopped dark and 1/3 cup chopped white chocolate. Simmer, whisking often, until chocolate melts, 1 to 2 min. Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream.*
1. Choose a dark chocolate at 70 to 85% cocoa. (Note: Higher percentages tend to be bitter, and will take away from the flavour.)
2. White chocolate is our not-so-secret ingredient. We know it’s technically not real chocolate (it’s made with cocoa butter), but it will add an extra dose of creamy sweetness to your mug. Try it!
*5 decadent upgrades
1. Chocola-ccino: Base recipe + espresso powder and frothed milk.
2. Magic mint: Base recipe + crème de menthe or peppermint extract. (Bonus: Leftover candy canes make great stir sticks!)
3. Mexican spice: Base recipe + cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Malted milk: Base recipe + malted milk powder, whipped cream and chopped malt-chocolate balls.
5. Affogato: Pour hot chocolate over a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice cream.