About a month ago, a craving for hot chocolate hit…hard. I’m usually a tea drinker, so where this craving came from, I don’t know. But I began looking for hot chocolate recipes. I wanted rich, creamy hot chocolate. Not grainy. Not powdery-tasting. Not watered down. Just smooth and with depth of flavor.
I came across some recipes requiring melting the chocolate. Well, that sounded promising. But it didn’t knock my socks off. I found the chocolate didn’t blend with the milk enough, even after whirring it around in my blender. It just got all frothy and then the heaviness of the melted chocolate sank to the bottom.
Some called for semisweet as well as bittersweet chocolate AND cocoa powder all blended together into a fine powder using the food processor. The hot chocolate tasted fine, but it didn’t blow me away. Something was still missing.
I knew I had seen a recipe from the amazing folks at America’s Test Kitchen somewhere ages ago. Lo and behold, it showed up again in the midst of my hot chocolate cravings on one of their weekly e-newsletters. Don’t you just love how life magically works like that sometimes?
The recipe ingredients include nonfat dry milk, powdered sugar, and white chocolate chips. Luckily, I had all of those on hand. The dry milk and the white chips were leftovers from other recipes, and confectioner’s sugar is a staple in my baking pantry.
According to the ATK folks, the dry milk enhances the dairy flavor of the hot chocolate, and using milk rather than water creates an even richer, creamier product. The powdered sugar dissolves more quickly than granulated sugar and aids in thickening the drink. As for the white chocolate chips, they add that depth of flavor I was looking for as well as enhancing the overall creaminess. If you don’t usually stock these items, it’s worth buying them to make this hot cocoa mix. Even better, mix up a giant batch and package them up for gifts (make note of that for next year’s holiday gifts).
So here it is, a dreamy creamy complex-flavored cup of hot chocolate. Well, it’s the base powder mix for many cups of hot chocolate. Enjoy!
P.S. I saw a blog post in my perusals today in which the person added some chai spice to the hot cocoa, so I tried it. Yum! Like I said, I’m a tea drinker and chai is my favorite, so I always keep a chai mix on hand. I’ve added the chai to the recipe below as an option.
P.S.S. The treat pictured with the hot chocolate is a scrumptious Blueberry Muffin, a mighty fabulous recipe if you ask me!
Hot Cocoa Mix
- 1 cup nonfat dry milk
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I’m sure you can use Hershey’s but the fancier cocoa has a superior flavor)
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Place all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until white chocolate chips are finely ground.
- Stir 1/3 cup of the hot cocoa mix into 1 cup of hot milk. (For a subtle chai flavor, add 1/4 tsp. of chai spice. Make your own: 1/8 tsp. ginger, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, pinch of cloves)
- Garnish with whipped cream & chocolate shavings or with mini marshmallows.
- Cocoa mix will last for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
SOURCE: adapted from weekly e-newsletter from America’s Test Kitchen