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How To Create Some Kick-Ass Hot Chocolate


Yummy hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings---an all-time favorite!

Yummy hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings—an all-time favorite!

That first snowfall meant one thing – it’s officially hot chocolate time!

Just like beer during the hot summers, we crave hot cocoa in the winter.

Which brings to mind…
do you call it hot chocolate? Or hot cocoa?

Is there a difference? Well, there is …

Hot Chocolate Bar with various ingredients for add to your mug.

Hot Chocolate Bar (photo: Lynn Gardner for bigchangeproject)

Hot Cocoa
-made with water, a bit of milk or cream, sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder
-made from cocoa beans
-doesn’t have the creaminess and richness of hot chocolate
-less vegetable fat (natural cocoa butter) so it has a more chocolaty taste
-lower in fat and way fewer calories (those Aztecs knew what they were doing!)

Hot Chocolate
-made from ground chocolate (which contains cocoa butter)
-also called  “drinking chocolate” (veddy, veddy European)
-made with hot milk (adds to it’s creaminess)
-made by grinding solid chocolate into a fine powder
-higher in fat and pesky calories (but sooo yummy!)

Two TOTALLY different ducks, in my opinion.

So, kick it to the next level and
try these easy hot chocolate tips to trick the chill—

Vanilla Delight: add a teaspoon of vanilla (I know, that was so obvious—just wait…)

Grown-Up Style: get the kids in bed and bring out the Kahlua and Frangelico, or even Chambord (raspberry liquor)

Totally Toffee: stir in butterscotch chips until melted

Salted Caramel: add a teaspoon of caramel sauce and a pinch of salt

Hot Chocolate Mexicano: add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a pinch of chili pepper

Morning Time: substitute half the milk with coffee, and start off the morning right!

Vermont Style: add a bit of maple syrup to liven it up (and if your kids are all grown up  and out of the house, or not, a bit of sumpin’ else?)

A La Artkin: where’s the Tito’s and Bailey’s?

Add an edible stirrer (candy cane, cinnamon stick, even a pretzel stick)

Make your own whipped cream, for gosh sakes! (and add a dash of vanilla while it’s whipping)

I haven’t tried this one, but heard it was, well, ‘interesting’—
add some bacon bits, or go whole hog and dip a slice.
Um, let me know how that works out for you!

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.  —Charles M. Schulz

Tell Us —

Do you have a favorite? Are you willing to experiment? Let me know–I’d love to try something new.

Barbara Balkin, founder and ARTkinIST

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