Archive for January, 2010

Hot Cocoa for a Cold Day

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

I really enjoy a steaming mug of hot cocoa, especially when I’ve just come in from shoveling snow.  I’ve discovered a simple technique that makes preparing it on the stove top much easier, and have taken to seasoning my cocoa with a tasty blend of spices.

I used to make hot cocoa by whisking my dry ingredients into hot milk.  As much as I whisked, the cocoa powder would never seem to want to combine with the milk, opting instead to form a dust across the surface.  Then it occurred to me, if the dry ingredients won’t mix with the wet, why not mix the wet with the dry?  By putting the dry ingredients into the saucepan first and then whisking the milk into them, it makes the task of preparing the beverage much simpler.  Everything combines neatly and you get a better result (no more lumps!)

Jesse’s Hot Cocoa Mix:

  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

To prepare (1-2 servings, depending on the size of your mugs):

Put 1/4 cup of cocoa mix into a saucepan.  Set over medium heat and whisk two cups of milk into the mix.  Add the milk slowly at first, but as the dry ingredients moisten, you can add it at a faster rate.  Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot.  Top with marshmallows for a guaranteed smile.