December 13th is National Cocoa Day in the United States. Wherever you live, when the temperatures drop, that is a perfect time to serve up some delicious hot cocoa. I have collected all of the following recipes to help you warm up, or celebrate on National Cocoa Day.
Hot cocoa vs. hot chocolate: Hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder, which is chocolate pressed free of all its richness, meaning the fat of cocoa butter. Hot chocolate is made from chocolate bars melted into cream. It is a rich decadent drink. I have been blessed to have enjoyed some delicious hot chocolate in Paris, but for National Cocoa Day, the recipes have to be cocoa!
Creamy Hot Cocoa
6 Tbls unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbls granulated sugar A pinch of salt 2.5 Cups whole milk 2.5 Cups light cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract –
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Whipped cream for topping
Grated, or cut curls, of chocolate – or chocolate sprinkles
In a pot, combine cocoa, salt, and sugar.
Add in the milk, stit and heat over moderate heat to dissolve, make sure you don’t scorch it.
Add in the light cream, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and stir well.
When the mixture is hot, but not boiling, remove from heat.
Mix the hot chocolate completely and pour into mugs.
Top the hot chocolate with your choice of garnish.
Cherry Cordial Hot Cocoa
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to a boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla and the cherry juice. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature. Top with your choice of garnishes.
Hot Cocoa Garnishes
Warm up and celebrate National Cocoa Day!