December 5: Hot Chocolate 101

nestI don’t know about you, but it has seemed colder than usual so far this year. It might have something to do with the hi-tech energy saving thermostat that I installed (by myself!) earlier this year. If I sit too long at my computer, it thinks I’ve left for the day and turns the heat down to the 50’s! I have to remember to get up and run around the store from time to time.

While on the cruise to Nova Scotia this summer, I became quite hooked on hot chocolate. They had really good hot chocolate on the ship! Coming home to my Swiss Miss just didn’t cut it anymore. So I set out to tackle hot chocolate, and have finally developed the perfect concoction.

hc

My first gift for you today is this delicious recipe!

Hot Chocolate

  • ⅓ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups whole milk (sorry, I go for the gusto)
  • whipping cream

In a large saucepan, add boiling water to the cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Bring to a slow boil on medium heat, stirring frequently. Add milk and heat until warm, but not boiling.

You can either add a half cup of cream to cool, or top with whipped cream. I prefer whipped cream! Makes 4 cups.

Now lets talk about cream. We have this discussion around here with my non-cooking peeps quite often. This is cream, which technically is called “heavy whipping cream”:

cream cream1

You can use it to make whipped cream. We’ll get to that in a minute.

This is NOT whipped cream:

Cool Whip Reddi Whip

You’ll notice both say “whipped topping” on the label. It’s because they are not whipped cream!

Making your own whipped cream is so easy, you’ll kick yourself for not doing it before. All you need is a mixer and some cream.

You pour a small amount of cream into your mixer, and using your whisk attachment you beat it on the highest speed. It only takes a few minutes (if that) to become lovely, fluffy whipped cream. Midway I usually toss in a spoonful of vanilla sugar (or sugar and a drop of vanilla if you don’t have vanilla sugar handy). It tastes so much better, only takes minutes to make, and is far more economical than the “whipped topping” route.

Mason loves my hot chocolate too. The other day I was super busy and asked if he’d settle for Swiss Miss. He was cooperative, but brought his mug back a few minutes later and said “mom, this tastes like…NOTHING. Naturally I had to stop and make him the real stuff!

My second gift for you today is a pattern to keep your hands toasty. This is a great, basic pattern for fingerless mitts using Liberty Wool. I like my mitts to fit snug. Loose, baggy, oversized mitts…no thank you.

Download the pattern today, for it will go away tomorrow.

Oops, you’re too late. Check in every day, so you don’t miss out! Never fear, the pattern is always available for purchase.

purchase Fingerless Mitts pattern

Enjoy!

 

 

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8 thoughts on “December 5: Hot Chocolate 101

  1. I love these fingerless mitts. I was even able to make them in a class up at SWAK! And the liberty wool is the best stuff. I’m including a thank you from Vickie A, too, as she is still figuring out how to log in and leave comments! 🙂

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