Wondering how to make hot chocolate from scratch?
The winter months are upon us, it’s chilly, the winds are blowing and the fireplaces are calling our names. This inevitably makes me want hot chocolate. Something I nearly cried over when I thought I had to give it up for the clean eating lifestyle.
But then, I got creative. I’ll be darned if I’m going to give up to much of the foods I love. I don’t mind avoiding a few things, but you have to enjoy the life you live, and often, that includes food.
I truly believe we were meant to find pure and unadulterated joy in the foods we eat. As human beings, this is our birth right. But the foods we’ve come to define as “good”, are not always good for us. This is a lesson I’ve really been struggling with. So when I can alter a not-so-healthy recipe to one that is a bit more nutritionally sound, I jump all over it! While this is admittedly a once-in-a-while thing, it’s nice to know I have a healthier treat when I want one.
COCOA POWDER VS. REAL CHOCOLATE
While this recipe uses unsweetened cocoa powder, here are some tips for using real chocolate.
Cocoa powder is great for it’s ease of use. You don’t have to take extra steps like you do with regular chocolate. It provides a thinner hot chocolate that most kids are used to. It’s more like the consistency of a hot chocolate mix packet that you just add water to.
Using real chocolate will give you a creamier consistency. Closer to Drinking Chocolate that a package mix. It won’t be as thick as Drinking Chocolate, but it will definitely be creamier and richer. That being said, it does require some extra steps as you’ll want to first chop your chocolate and then melt it in the microwave in 30 second intervals before adding it to your heated milk and sweetener which you’ll want to warm together in a pot on the stove.
Cayenne is definitely optional in hot chocolate. But I find that it adds a wonderful kick. The Aztecs used to drink their chocolate with cayenne. Of course, they didn’t use sweetener like we do. They had a completely different experience of chocolate than we do. But for adults, it adds just a little something extra than many of you might enjoy.
MORE HOT HOLIDAY DRINK RECIPES:
HOW TO MAKE HOT CHOCOLATE
You can choose to use unsweetened cocoa powder (like the recipe) or follow my tips for using real chocolate!
- 4 cups milk (any type. Unsweetened if non-dairy)
- 1/2 cup honey (or to taste)
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne (optional)
- 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
Combine all ingredients in a pot and warm over medium to medium high heat. Stir constantly with a whisk.
Pour into cups and serve.
If you prefer a richer hot chocolate, chop up about 1 cup of unsweetened baking chocolate.
Melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until it's fully melted.
During these intervals, combine all the other ingredients in a sauce pot and warm. Do NOT let the milk boil or scald. You want it hot, but not burnt.
When the chocolate is fully melted, scrape it out of the bowl into the hot milk, turn off the heat under the pot and whisk quickly to combine.
Adjust sweetness to taste.
Pour into cups and serve.
Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible. Also be aware that if you are using real chocolate, the nutrition data will change.