|Can you see the little flash of red from the cardinal?|
But, I absolutely require that there is a steady stream of hot beverages while I'm sitting by the fire of an evening. I've narrowed it down to, truly, the best hot chocolate. It's also the speediest. It was (very roughly) copied off of this blogger's recipe, but I've gotten more loosey-goosey with the method in order to spend the minimum amount of time in my freezing kitchen.
When I was young, my mom used to make stove top hot chocolate when we came in from sledding-stirring cocoa and sugar and water until it boiled, then adding milk and heating for what seemed an interminable amount of time. Then on the other end of the spectrum is the tepid watery sludge made by mixing powdered milk (blech), cocoa powder, and heaven knows what else into water that, for some reason, is never quite hot. I'm grossed out just thinking about it. This hot cocoa is the happy medium. It's got the full-body flavor of the stovetop method with the quickness of the awful hot cocoa mix method.
This is like no hot chocolate mix you have ever had before. In fact, it doesn't even deserve to have the same name as that sludge-in-a-package. I think you'll agree with me after you've made a mug.
Here's the recipe and, oh, is it a lovely to have that hot chocolate ready and waiting in the pantry.
Get out a pint jar and into it put:
1/2 c. cocoa powder (don't bother using some cheap, Dutch-processed, alkalized baking cocoa…use a very dark cocoa powder instead-the flavor is far better)
1/2 c. white sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch (This is to make a smooth hot chocolate mix…don't leave this out!)
Now, this part is pretty optional and I haven't actually seen a huge difference when I omitted it. However, you can add about 1/4 c. very, very finely chopped dark chocolate (I stuck mine in the food processor)
Then, when you go to make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, just dump, oh, about a tablespoon into a mug full of milk and heat.
Enjoy with your next good book!