Hot Cocoa Mix· GF (10 servings)
Some people knock Hot Cocoa as if it’s just a “diet” version of Hot Chocolate. But why pit two uniquely delicious beverages against each other? They both have their place. Hot chocolate’s best enjoyed with a spoon— a luxurious, liquid dessert. But Hot Cocoa’s more along the lines of an afternoon latte, a wintery pick-me-up that won’t derail dinner.
This is my go-to cocoa mix, and I usually make a big batch so I can share with friends (usually along with a bag of fluffy marshmallows and a candy cane). You can use this mix just like you’d use the kind you buy at the store, so keep a jar stashed in the pantry and be ready for it to disappear faster than expected.
White chocolate gives the Hot Cocoa a silky mouth feel and satisfying richness, while the coffee powder helps tame the overall sweetness. Both play an essential role, so even if you don’t fancy yourself a white chocolate fan or coffee aficionado, don’t leave ‘em out! On the other hand, if you don’t have a vanilla bean, it’s a-okay to skip it and add a drop of vanilla extract to each mug instead.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, complete the Swiss Miss instant cocoa vibe by mixing in some crispy marshmallows, cut into small cubes.
Hot Cocoa Mix, enough for 10 servings
5 ounces powdered sugar
2 3/4 ounces white chocolate, broken into pieces
1 1/2 ounces cocoa powder
1 1/4 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
Combine the powdered sugar, white chocolate, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, vanilla bean seeds and coffee powder in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks powdery and fine.
To prevent the mixture from turning into a paste, rather than a powder, don’t run the processor continuously, and pause if the bowl begins to feel warm to the touch.
Transfer the ground cocoa mix to an airtight container (I like to tuck the empty vanilla bean inside the jar so it can keep perfuming the cocoa). The cocoa mix will store indefinitely at room temperature.
To prepare one mug of cocoa: bring 6 ounces of milk, soy milk, or coconut milk to a boil, then add 1 ounce cocoa mix (about 3 Tablespoons), and stir until completely dissolved. To adjust the flavor, add more cocoa mix or dilute with milk until you find the balance you like best.
To serve a crowd: to determine how much milk you’ll need, multiply the number of servings by 6 oz. For the cocoa mix itself, you’ll need 1 ounce per serving. Bring the milk to a simmer in a stainless steel pot (along with the reserved vanilla pod, if you like). Once it begins to bubble, add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a pitcher or thermos, then portion into mugs.
Dec 10, 2011 · 7:34 PM
This sounds really tasty. Way better than any of the powdered stuff! I think I’m going to go make some now..
· BigFatBaker · bigfatbaker.com
Dec 11, 2011 · 5:11 AM
Ok, I got violently ill a couple of weeks ago after consuming hot cocoa… so it’ll be awhile before I can enjoy it again without getting gag-gy. But as soon as I can, you know I’ll be making this!
· Cathy @ Savory Notes · www.savorynotes.com
Dec 11, 2011 · 8:12 AM
This would be great as a hostess gift for a holiday party. Just put it in a pretty jar with a ribbon. Thanks for the idea and the recipe!
· Mom de Cuisine · momdecuisine.wordpress.com
Dec 11, 2011 · 1:48 PM
@Amanda, I can make as much as a quadruple batch in my food processor at work (though it’s just a standard size one like you’d have at home) if you need to make a bunch for gift giving. You can also toss in a few candy canes to give it a hint of peppermint.
@BigFatBaker, yeah, I had some of the packet stuff recently at an event I attended recently. It was so awful, I couldn’t believe that I grew up drinking it all the time…
@Cathy, oh that is the worst! I had a truffle burger once and got super sick afterwards, I still can’t handle truffles. Hope the bad cocoa memories leave you soon!! (But at least it doesn’t get too chilly in LA…
@Mom de Cuisine, I’ve given a few jars away this year. I tied the jars with a ribbon and a Christmas ornament. They were pretty dang cute.
@char, such a good add in! I love having cocoa with a kick! I’m sure your friend was thrilled; way to get into the Christmas spirit.
Dec 11, 2011 · 3:01 PM
Perfect! Sounds great and I am sure it’s so much better than the bought stuff
· Kiri W. · www.healthyfoodietravels.net
Dec 12, 2011 · 10:10 AM
Whoa, that list of ingredients is AWESOME! I made some hot cocoa this weekend, from the standard: powdered milk, cocoa powder, blah blah blah. This puts that to SHAME! I need to make this, STAT!
· Julia · fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.blogspot.com
Dec 12, 2011 · 12:22 PM
@Kiri, much, much better.
@Julia, milk powder will certainly get the job done when it comes to giving the mix some body, but white chocolate gives sweetness and a nice milky vanilla note, so yeah. It’s my go to base for cocoas. Hope you give it a shot!
Dec 16, 2011 · 7:23 PM
If someone gave me this for a gift I would love them forever. For sure.
I’m giving out espresso caramels and English toffee this year, but I may need to add this to my roster!
· Terris @ Free Eats · www.freeeatsfood.com
Dec 17, 2011 · 4:12 PM
@Terris, I just love homemade gifts. The world is filled with so much mass produced stuff that giving something you actually made seems really special to me. Happy holidays!
Dec 08, 2013 · 6:52 PM
Hi trav45! Oh, man, I looove Beanilla. Sounds like a great use for the ground beans, hope you enjoy the mix!