Katie, bar the door. That ain’t your average cup of hot cocoa. This cup of heaven has a thicker consistency and a more intense chocolate flavor than the thinner cocoa mixes that come in packets. It’s almost like liquid pudding.
Notes: A lot of recipes I’ve come across call for cocoa powder as the only source of chocolate. However, I found that cocoa powder kind of lacks depth. So, when using it as a sole source of chocolate flavor, I either boost flavor by adding espresso powder or I add another source of chocolate to the mix. Then, I stumbled across a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that pretty much solved the problem for me, as usual. I varied it only slightly:
7 ounces granulated sugar 3 ounces cocoa powder 3 ounces Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 1 1/2 ounces dry milk 5 teaspoons cornstarch 1 teaspoons vanilla extract 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
whipped cream, for topping
1. Put all ingredients (except for the whipped cream, of course) into a food processor. Process until mixture is fine. This will take a couple minutes. The mixture makes enough for about 12 cups of hot chocolate — or, if you prefer, cioccolata (tchoh-koh-LAH-ta) calda!
2. To prepare the hot chocolate, we’ll be using 1 cup of milk for every 1/4 cup of cocoa mix. Note that this is so good, I almost hate to call it “cocoa mix”. It’s much, much better than that. Moving forward: heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy. Add cocoa mix and whisk continuously until simmering.
3. Remove from heat, pour in to cups or mugs, and top with whipped cream.