As each day draws colder than the last I finally throw up my hands, crying uncle. There might not be snow yet and the solstice isn’t until the twenty-first, but winter’s icy breath is already prickling our skin.
And with that thought I rush to the kitchen to warm up, because a good woman knows there are only two things that can cure the constant chill of the season: soup and hot chocolate. I shared a stick-to-your-ribs soup last week, so today it’s all about the liquid cocoa. I’m not talking the store-bought package variety, do yourself a favor and chuck the stuff. No, I’m talking from scratch spoon-licking hot chocolate.
Homemade Hot Cocoa
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whipping cream (heavy or half-and-half)
To the boiling water, add cocoa, sugar, and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil while you stir then simmer, stirring for two minutes. Do not scorch!
Stir in the milk and heat until very hot (but don’t bring to a boil or the milk will spoil). Remove from heat and add vanilla and cream. Ladle into mugs and top with whipped cream and/or chocolate shavings.