Hot Chocolate… what else to say?
I am of the strongest opinion that chocolate should be a language.
No, let me correct myself.
Chocolate IS a language!
Chocolate is love, is happiness, warmth.
I am not going crazy!
Think of when you were a child, which flavor cake did you want for your birthday? (99%) Chocolate!
What about ice cream? Same again.
When it’s cold, raining outside and you just want to cuddle up in bed or on the couch with a nice book or movie? That is the next step…
HOT CHOCOLATE, what else?
We all like it differently, with whipped cream, with syrup, sugar-free, white, extra dark, with marshmallows… you name it, in Italy they do it!
That is the country where you will have the best hot cocoa in the world… or that may just be me, as that’s home to me, love, and family.
There are great brands in supermarkets selling instant hot cocoa (if you’re Italian, you’re probably singing the jingle in your head right now!), there are bars (bars are cafes in Italy… no distinction between alcohol and alcohol-free facilities!) with entire menus dedicated to this delicacy… yet it is made up of a few ingredients you most probably have in your cupboard!
I spend most winter afternoons with a cup of this in my hand (well, 5 minutes and it’s gone really!), but during the weekend I like to treat myself to a spiked hot chocolate (I’ve been advised that’s how people call it? I need to keep up to date with the lingo) and I do so with amaretto (I like Disaronno).
Is Hot Chocolate Healthy?
And what is the best hot chocolate?
Obviously the one you have control over. How sweet? How spiked? How chocolatey?
The below recipe is for a vegan hot chocolate and if you were wondering until now how to make hot chocolate with cocoa powder – it will answer your question.
Not to worry, if you’re not into amaretto, you can make this healthy hot chocolate (or use something else to spike it up!) by simply following the recipe the same way, but skipping this ingredient.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
~~ Why not dunk some nice Healthy Breakfast Oats and Coconut Soft Cookies in it?
Homemade Spiked Hot Chocolate with Amaretto
- 4 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
- 3 teaspoons Corn Starch
- 3 teaspoons Sweetener
- 100 ml Water
- 300 ml Almond Milk
- 50 ml Amaretto
- In a small pot, add the dry ingredients (cocoa powder, corn starch, and sweetener) and mix well.
- Once these are mixed well, slowly add the water to the mixture a bit at a time and keep on mixing; by the end of this, you should have a very liquid mixture with no knots at all.
- Start warming up this mixture on a low heat and as soon as it starts warming up, keep on mixing and add the almond milk.
- Mix well through and keep on mixing – it is very important, as you don’t want the starch and cocoa to thicken at the bottom of the pan as they set.
- As soon as it starts thickening lightly, add the Amaretto and mix well.
- Continue mixing until you reach the desired consistency, then pour in two mugs and serve!
When purchasing the cocoa powder, check that it is certified vegan; although this is a vegan ingredient, many factories may be worried about cross-contamination. This is mainly because they may prepare chocolate bars in the same facilities or pre-mixed hot chocolate sachets. If you are not using amaretto, then feel free to use another milk, not necessarily almond. Amaretto has an almond flavor, therefore I find it to be very complementary in this drink and would not personally use other highly flavored milk, but something less strong may still be suitable, like oat milk. Other liquors are excellent in hot chocolate (visit Italy – you’d be surprised at how many!). Vanilla flavored Vodka (or not) taste great, as well as rum!
Exchange the amaretto for Malibu’ and use coconut milk instead of almond… and there you have it! Coconut Hot Chocolate! When purchasing your amaretto, although most brands are vegan, double-check for peace of mind! The thickness of the hot chocolate can be controlled; if this way it gets too thick for your taste, then add less corn starch or don’t use it at all and go more traditional. The important part, in any case, is to keep on stirring the drink as it warms up also if you do not put any starch in your recipe – the cocoa powder would eventually sit at the bottom of the pan and you don’t want that! Sweetener wise, just like for the starch, adjust as per taste! I drink coffee without sugar, but I love my cocoa quite sweet… you’re in the driver seat here!