If you’re in BC right now and you look out your window you’re going to see a lot of leaves blowing around, maybe a random tree branch fly by, and you’ll definitely see a lot of rain. This is supposed to be a wild weekend for weather, and we’ve all got our fingers crossed that we’re not looking at another windstorm like that last memorable one when half my yard blew away.
While the weather blows the trees around outside, I’m battening down the hatches for a long and chilly evening, and even if I have to fire up the BBQ outside because I lost power, I’ll be making a big batch of hot chocolate tonight.
Besides coffee, I think hot chocolate is the perfect fall and winter drink. I used to like it with a sprinkle of marshmallows and a bit of whip cream, but then I discovered hot chocolate recipes and I’ve never looked at hot chocolate mix again. There are so many different hot chocolate recipes, you’d have a hard time working your way through them in just one winter.
So get out your chocolate sauce, big bag of marshmallows, and your jar of Dulce con Leche because here are a few of my favourite hot chocolate recipes.
Dulce de Leche Hot Chocolate
I’ve had a jar of Dulce de Leche for a month now, and I haven’t known what to do with it until I saw this recipe for Dule de Leche hot chocolate. Now I don’t think the jar is big enough! Photo and recipe from mycolumbianrecipes.com.
4 cups milk
4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons dulce de leche or to your taste, plus more for serving
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Per serving, warm up 2 cups of milk with the chocolate, dulce de leche, and salt, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Don’t let the mixture boil over.
Grab your whisk and whisk in the remaining two cups of milk. Make sure to warm the cocoa completely through. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla and cinnamon. Top with whipped cream and more dulce de leche. For maximum taste impact, make only two cups of this hot chocolate at a time.
Smores Hot Chocolate
Who doesn’t love a smore cooked over a campfire? The bad news is that they’re more of a summer treat, but the good news is you can re-create your favourite smore taste with this hot chocolate recipe. Photo and recipe from food.com.
3 cups milk any kind
1⁄4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons dark chocolate syrup (or light)
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon stevia (or add 1-2 Tbsp more sugar to taste)
1 pinch salt
graham cracker crushed (for lining rim)
1⁄2 cup mini marshmallows
Preheat oven to low broil and move oven rack to the second from the top (high enough up to broil your marshmallows). Place baking sheet on rack.
Heat milk and water in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through – about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overheat or scald.
Add cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, sugar, stevia and salt and whisk vigorously until thoroughly combined.
Meanwhile, take a few marshmallows and rub them around the top of your mugs so the graham crackers will stick. Then, dip mug in graham cracker crumbs until well lined. You could also add some graham cracker crumbs to the bottom of your mug for extra graham flavor.
Pour in hot chocolate and top with 1/4 cup marshmallows each. Carefully set mugs on the baking sheet in the oven and broil marshmallows until browned, watching carefully as to not let them burn.
Carefully remove from the oven with a towel and serve with holders or a small towel to protect hand from heat (they should cool quickly for handling). Top with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and extra graham cracker crumbs for serving (optional).
Mexican Hot Chocolate
It’s got a spicy kick for those cold winter days, and if you’re a fan of adding a pinch of pepper to everything, you’ll love this Mexican Hot Chocolate. Recipe from the Foodnetwork.com. Image from Babble.com.
6 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 (12-ounce) bags semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Hershey’s)
Cocoa powder, for serving
For stove top: In a large pot over medium heat, whisk together milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Add chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted. Cover and turn heat to low for 5 minutes.
For slow cooker: In a 4-quart slow cooker, whisk together milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Add chocolate chips. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Bourbon Hot Chocolate
Sometimes you want to add a little kick to you hot chocolate, and it’s easy if you have a bottle of bourbon around. Recipe and photo from Bonappetit.com.
3 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons crushed cinnamon sticks
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons demerara or granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
2 ounces bourbon
Toasted marshmallows (for serving)
Bring milk and cinnamon to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally and making sure milk doesn’t boil, until cinnamon is floral and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Whisk in chocolate, sugar, and salt and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is smooth and creamy and chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup; discard cinnamon.
Add bourbon to hot chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Divide among mugs, then top with toasted marshmallows.
Aren’t you craving a big, mug of hot chocolate? Now that you realize how easy it is to make from scratch, there’s no reason to pull out the powdered hot chocolate and just add water. It’s so much better when you put in a little effort.
If you’re making hot chocolate on this chilly fall weekend, here are a few small appliances you might like to bring home to help you.
|Hot chocolate is fun and easy with the Nostalgia Hot Chocolate Maker||Add a dash of whip cream to any cup of hot chocolate||The Breville Hot Chocolate and Froth maker whips up a hot beverage in a hurry|