I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing, you’ll have to make that call, but this is one of the best hot chocolate recipes I’ve ever had. It’s so rich and thick, I prefer it without liquor. Now there’s a first! It’s truly splendid. Perfect for indulging yourselves or guests on a cold, winter’s night. It’s even better sipped beside a roaring fire but then isn’t everything? This is the time of the year when you want to stock up on an assortment of chocolate and candies. The next time you’re at the grocery store take a stroll down the baking aisle. Pick up three or four bars of good white chocolate and also bittersweet chocolate. I stay away from chips as they’re so loaded with stabilizers they often don’t melt well. Bars are a dream to melt and definitely the way to go. I find Ghiradelli makes an excellent product.
And while I’m Christmas shopping at Home Goods, TJMaxx and Marshall’s I like to squirrel away jars of crushed peppermints, milk chocolate flakes and all the sparkly sprinkles I can get my hands on. When I was experimenting with this recipe I discovered the glory of Reddi Whip brand of extra creamy whipped cream in a can. Holy smoke! It IS thick and creamy. It holds up perfectly to the heat of the chocolate so there’s no need to get out your hand mixer, carton of cream or confectioner’s sugar. People, it’s great stuff. This recipe will make two large mugs but you may want to serve it in small cups and include more people for your treat. It’s that rich. Oh, and stick with whole milk. Anything else will not produce the creamy, full-flavor you want. Cinnamon sticks and candy canes make delicious stirrers. Never again will you want to open that little packet of powdered cocoa and powdered milk. Merry Christmas!
Decadent Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 ounces white chocolate
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 generous pinch instant espresso powder
- 3 drops vanilla extract
- extra creamy Reddi Whip, found in the dairy section of your grocery store
- crushed peppermints, optional but heavenly
- milk chocolate flakes, optional
- grated bittersweet chocolate, optional
- Over medium heat, warm milk.
- Add the chocolate, sugar and espresso powder and gently whisk being careful not to splash yourself. If the milk is heating up too fast, drop the heat a bit.
- When the chocolate has melted, remove pot from heat and continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Add the espresso powder, vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.
- Divide the drink between cups, I find a soup ladle works well.
- Top each cup with whipped cream and finish with any garnishes desired.
- Serve immediately.