Sunday, December 12, 2010

National Cocoa Day: Recipes & Variations

Cadbury's Chocolate. Go to end of post
Today is National Cocoa Day, and it's blustery out there, so be sure and try one of these recipes to warm you up!

Last year on National Cocoa Day, I posted several brands of cocoa that I enjoy, plus links and recipes. You'll definitely want to take a look. Be sure and click. Remember, starting with the best ingredients will result in the best cocoa/hot chocolate!

Following are some variations on classic Hot Cocoa. Some recipes are for one, some for four, and some for a crowd.  Some use cocoa powder, some use chocolate bars, but all are delicious. If you have a favorite cocoa recipe, comment below with a link!

Later this week I'll be reviewing and posting recipes for Holiday Marshmallows. They're always a welcome addition to Hot Cocoa, and will add to the flavor.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
2 teaspoons good-quality ground DARK cocoa
1 teaspoon sugar, plus extra to taste
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground almonds. You can add more if you want a thicker texture
1 cup milk

Directions: Mix all the ingredients, except the milk, together in an empty, clean glass jar. Shake until completely combined. Heat the milk in a pan and add the chocolate mix. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly; use a small whisk to froth the milk. Serve hot.

Mexican Hot Chocolate II

5  ounces dark Mexican Chocolate
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup hot water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp instant coffee
2 cups whole milk
1 egg (optional)
1/4 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
1 dried red chile pepper, smashed
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

Directions: In saucepan over medium-low heat, add Mexican chocolate, honey, hot water, salt, coffee, and chile pepper. Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to boil; reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring constantly, for another minute. Carefully stir in the milk and let sit over low heat until chocolate is too warm to touch. In a bowl, beat egg until frothy. Add vanilla extract and beat in well. Pour the hot chocolate mixture over the frothed egg and beat for about 15 seconds. (until you have about foam on top) Pour into mugs. Sprinkle mugs with ground cinnamon and shaved chocolate.

Honey Hot Chocolate   
The flavor of your cocoa will change with the variety of honey. Try lavender honey, sage, wildflower. I get my honey from Beekind that has so many local varieties, but also has international honeys. Available in Sebastopol and the Ferry Building in San Francisco, plus internet.

4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons honey
4 cups milk

Directions: Combine ingredients in a medium-size sauce pan. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until hot.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon Madegascar vanilla
3/4 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces 75-85% cacao chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil

Directions: Add milk, cream, vanilla and sugar to a pot and place over medium heat. When milk mixture is hot, add the chopped chocolate and stir constantly. Continue stirring, adding remaining ingredients. When mixture is starting to simmer, take off heat and serve.

Eggnog Hot Chocolate
What would the holidays be without eggnog? Try this and let me know what you think!

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons Unsweetened Dark Cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions: In blender or processor,  combine egg, milk, water, cocoa and nutmeg, blend until well mixed. Transfer mixture to top of a double boiler. Hear stirring occasionally, until mixture is steaming. Do not boil.

Argentinian Hot Chocolate

4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp Madegascar or Mexican Vanilla
4 ounces good quality dark chocolate, broken into 1 ounce pieces

Directions: Heat milk, sugar and vanilla in a pan until almost boiled. Remove from heat and divide  into 4 mugs. Immediately, pop a piece of chocolate in each mug. It will melt and have a fabulous taste.

Hot Chocolate with Brown Sugar

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup water
4 cups hot milk
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
dash of salt

Preparation: In a double boiler (or saucepan over a saucepan), melt the chocolate and water together. Slowly mix in milk, sugar and salt. Whisk until chocolate is smooth and blended.

Parisian Warm Chocolate
I'm not sure where I found this recipe, but it works! Anything French works! Lots of varieties on this. Experiment!

1 cup whole milk
1/3 heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
6 oz chocolate- 65-75% cacao chocolate, chopped

Directions: Simmer the milk, cream and sugar together until just boiling. Stir in the chocolate until melted. Don't let it boil. Serve warm in mugs.

Spicy White Hot Chocolate

4 cups milk
7 oz. good white chocolate (Guittard, Ghirardelli), chopped
1 egg, beaten
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions: Put white chocolate in medium metal bowl or saucepan over another saucepan of  simmering water, or in the top half of a double boiler. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth. Stir in cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Whisk in the egg until smooth. Gradually whisk in one cup of the milk until completely incorporated (2-3 minutes). Gradually whisk in remaining milk, and heat until hot, but not simmering. Put in mugs and sprinkle with cinnamon or chocolate.

Peppermint White Chocolate Cocoa (is that redundant?)

8 oz white chocolate, chopped
3 1/2 cups whole milk
6 hard peppermint candies, crushed fine
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2/3 cup whipping cream

Directions: Beat chilled cream with crushed mints until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate for about an hour. Heat milk to a simmer, them mix in chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add mint extract and stir through. Pour into mugs and top with minty whipped cream.

Candy Cane Cocoa   
variation on recipe from Sean Paajanen

4 cups whole milk
3 ounces 60-85% cacao chocolate, chopped
4 red and white striped peppermint candies crushed
4 small red and white striped candy canes
whipped cream

Directions: In a sauce pan bring milk to a simmer. Add chocolate and crushed candies. Whisk until smooth. Divide hot cocoa between mugs and garnish with whipped cream and serve with a candy candy stirring stick.

About the photo: This Vintage Advertisement for Cadbury Cocoa is special to me. First, my niece-in-law is a descendent of the founders of Cadbury Chocolate company. Second, my sister, Judie Siddall, is the President of the Transferware Collectors Club and sells antique blue and white transferware (pottery), similar to what is pictured in this advertisement, although, her wares are much older. She can be found at Merlin Antiques.  And, we all like chocolate, so it's all in the Family!


Elena Santangelo said...

I make my own mix (5 parts nonfat dry milk, 2 parts sugar, 1 part cocoa, 1 part vanilla or hazelnut flavored creamer). To that you can add all sorts of flavorings, cinnamon, etc. 3 Tbsps. per mug and no saucepans to clean."

Jane said...

love cocoa when it's so cold outside that you retain a sense of deep chill for at least half an hour when you come inside. The smell and taste of cocoa makes it worthwhile !

Steve Steinbock said...

I've been drinking Dagoba brand Xocolatl with almond milk. It reminds me how good it is to be alive.