Now I like ready made hot chocolate packets as much as the next guy (they're alright, right? they're. . .chocolatey. . .), but we should really all be ashamed of ourselved because homemade hot cocoa is super easy to make (as is whipped cream). This will take you less than 20 minutes, and you will be rewarded with a a frothy and holiday-cheer-inspiring beverage, so consider whipping this up (pun intended) for your next little get together. You will need:
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups milk
- 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- peppermint candies
The basis for the recipe is that tried and true recipe on the side of the hershey's cocoa powder container (which claims it serves 6. . . lies. . . unless you're planning on serving this in sake cups. . .it serves 4). Add cocoa powder, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and a dash of salt to a medium sauce pan. . .
Add 1/3 cup hot water (I turned on my kettle as I was gathering my ingredients on the counter and it was ready when I was), whisk, bring to a boil over medium heat, boil for two minutes stirring constantly to prevent burning. . .
Add 4 cups of milk and whisk. Heat until milk is steaming hot, but not boiling (boiling can curdle your milk and alter the flavour). . .
Meanwhile (while still keeping an eye on your shouldn't-be-boiling hot cocoa), add 1/2 pint of heavy cream, 1/2 teaspooon of vanilla, and the final tablespoon of sugar to a medium mixing bowl. . .
When the baby is no longer napping (warning: gratuitous baby cleavage). . .
Whip on high speed until you start seeing ripples and soft peaks form. . .
When your cocoa is piping hot (therefore qualifying as hot cocoa), remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla extra and 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (depending on where you fall on the peppermint loving scale from "noticeably pepperminty" to "that burns a little"). Then, place your peppermint candies in a plastic bag and whack with the back of a large spoon. . .
Ladel cocoa into your favorite mugs. . .
Dollop with whipped cream. . .
Then sprinkle with peppermint pieces and serve!
Downright warms the heart! Enjoy!