Is there a more enchanting way to warm up after a day outdoors than sipping a decadent mug of hot chocolate? (And, let’s be honest, it’s a magical treat any old afternoon, even if you’re at your desk or hanging on the couch.)
So, what’s the secret to making the most delicious cup of liquid chocolate?
First, the basics: Hot chocolate versus cocoa. Though most people use these terms interchangeably, they are technically two different drinks. Hot cocoa is made using a powder. Hot chocolate—sometimes called “drinking chocolate”—is made from actual chocolate, chopped by hand, melted slowly, and blended with milk.
How can you make drinking chocolate at home? And does opting for cocoa mean you’re settling for less? Don’t despair! An amazing mug of hot chocolate is amazingly easy to whip up—especially when you’re using our signature hot chocolate powders, made from real chocolate.
1. Heat your milk slowly. If cow’s milk isn’t your thing, try oat milk or almond milk. Warm your milk stove-top, ideally. Heat the milk slowly to a temperature slightly higher than serving temperature (180°F), so that the sugar will dissolve easily. But don’t let the milk come to a boil! Watch for steam coming off the surface of the milk. If you’re using a microwave, select a medium heat setting for 1 minute.
2. Select your hot chocolate powder. Now comes the fun part! Which flavor are you dreaming of? Milk chocolate, dark chocolate? Maybe you want to spice things up and sip cocoa with a kick?
At Saratoga Chocolate Co., we handcraft three exquisite flavors of hot chocolate. Our Milk Hot Chocolate is a rich chocolate blend with hints of vanilla and just the right dash of salt. Our signature Dark Hot Chocolate is decadent and intensely chocolatey—a true crowd-pleaser!
If you dare to be different, try our Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate. It features the savory depth of our dark, but with a pop of heat thanks to two kinds of cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and a hint of chili pepper.
Spoon your powder of choice into the heated milk. We recommend about 3 tablespoons of powder to 1 cup of milk for each serving. Vigorously whisk until blended completely. Return to heat until all chocolate has dissolved.
3. Garnish with gusto. Shavings from your favorite chocolate bar, freshly whipped cream, or maybe a shot of crème de menthe or amaretto? Get Creative!
Feeling bold? Try these unique adornments:
• Heat and drizzle peanut butter on top of your whipped cream.
• Toss in crushed candy cane.
• Add toasted marshmallows and a graham cracker.
• Sprinkle your whipped cream or marshmallows with a pinch of Fleur de Sel or large crystal salt.
Breathe in the heavenly aroma, enjoy, and repeat!