Hot Chocolate · GF (Snopocalypse Manual, page 67)

If you’re curious about what kinds of everyday chocolate I recommend, check out my post on Hot Chocolate for some suggestions. I’m loving me some Scharffen Berger Ben Tre 72% right now, though.

The espresso powder in this recipe in no way makes the hot chocolate taste like coffee. My husband hates coffee with the entirety of his being, but loves this recipe as is. The espresso powder just has the effect of rounding out and deepening the flavor of the chocolate by adding another dimension of flavor. As an experiment, taste the hot chocolate before adding the espresso powder and then again after, to taste the transformation. You’ll probably write me a love note. cough cough.

32 ounces whole milk
16 ounces cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
8 1/2 ounces sugar
6 ounces dark chocolate, ideally from 3 or more different sources, broken into bits
1 ounce cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp instant coffee powder
optional: cinnamon stick

some kind of marshmallows

Bring the milk and cream to a boil, along with the vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick, if you’re into that sort of thing. Shut off the heat, cover, and steep for at least an hour, or as long as overnight. Yeah. I’m sure you have that kind of time. Don’t we all?

Anyhow, when the time has elapsed, bring the mixture back to a simmer and add in the chocolate, cocoa, salt, and espresso powder and whisk to thoroughly combine. (If you had an immersion blender, this would be an ideal time to make use of it.) Continue heating until the mixture comes to a boil and whisk constantly while it boils for a count of 30 seconds. Exposing the chocolate to this sort of heat releases flavors that would normally not emerge.

Shut off the heat and serve immediately, or jar and refrigerate until you need it. It will keep in the fridge for about a week. If reheating, be sure to shake or stir quite vigorously as the chocolate will solidify and adhere to the sides of the container.

Please, for the love of all that is delicious, serve with some kind of homemade marshmallows!

(Note: If you’d like to give Hot Chocolate as a gift, process all of the dry ingredients, including the split vanilla bean, in a food processor until the texture resembles that of a course meal, and then package however you wish. Instruct the recipient of your gift to boil the cocoa mix with the dairy ratio below and strain before serving- or leave as is and enjoy the occasional nubbin of vanilla!)


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Any questions?

Dec 17, 2010 ·  4:58 PM

This is my go to hot chocolate. I kept the mason jar you sent it in and have made it twice now since last year. Also, just so you know, it’s totally medicinal, gets rid of upset stomach better then anything else…just saying.

 · Mousey · 

Dec 21, 2010 ·  1:11 AM

Aw, hon, I’m glad it cures what ails you. Now, if only you had a nest with a power supply…


Oct 05, 2011 · 10:45 PM

How many cups of hot chocolate does this make?

 · Zeiny · 

Oct 06, 2011 · 10:11 AM

@Zeiny, it makes about eight cups. Which is, admittedly, a lot but it keeps really well in the fridge. I like to make up a batch at the onset of winter and then can shake it up, pour some & warm it up whenever the urge strikes. Feel free to cut the recipe down, of course.


Apr 02, 2013 ·  1:45 AM

Hi there Stella!

For the dried version, do I follow the dairy ratio as per recipe or is there another one?

 · Sharina · 

Apr 02, 2013 ·  8:56 AM

Hi Sharina. Yup, just keep it to 2 parts milk and 1 part cream. It’s been a while since I’ve double checked the measurements, but I think it’s about 3 Tablespoons of dry mix for every six ounces of dairy (4 ounces milk, 2 ounces cream) to make one serving.


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