Best Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipes
Is Chocolate Good or Bad?
Chocolate, coffee, and mocha (the combination of both): Do these foods and beverages enhance our health or do they harm our well being?
Anyone who loves chocolate probably feels that at least it is good for us, or at the very least, fun!
With opposing opinions from scientists and doctors, is is left up to the consumer to decide whether chocolate, coffee, and red wine are good fur humans or not, but `consumers can use their own judgment. This is true if only to use the fall-back maxim of moderation in all things. Whatever you decide, don't be afraid to have chocolate one in a while, unless you have an allergy to it.
Chocolate is Magical and Universal
The Magic of Chocolate
Chocolate long ago was branded a drink of the gods or a form of magic and for many centuries, it has enjoyed that reputation. Actually, it contains a drug called Theobromine. If you see children's eyes grow as large as saucers at the mention of the word chocolate, their enjoyment of the drug in the candy may be at the foundation of their joy.
Some adults also absolutely flip over chocolate, because they love the texture, the flavor, and the way it makes them feel. In the 21st century, we discovered that dark chocolate has some heart health benefits, so even more people are enjoying chocolate currently.
The theobromine in chocolate create a positive feeling in, I think, the majority of people, and surveys show that it makes them feel like "being in love." Scientists say in the research literature that theobromine mimics the action of oxytocin in the human body in that way.
Whatever the reasons for their enjoyment, a lot of people love chocolate!
Try some of the recipes I have gathered over the years and serve chocolate beverages this Easter or Mother's Day, or any day that you wish. One recipe is a mix you can keep on hand and use quickly.
One of the original recipes for hot chocolate contained a list of ingredients that surprise us today.
Varieties Of Chocolate To Enjoy
I don't have the magical "love reaction" to chocolate, but that does not mean I do not enjoy a high quality chocolate dessert or beverage occasionally. Friends from Europe introduced me to German chocolate and I find it quite tasty - smooth and strongly flavored without being overpowering.
Mexican chocolate is slightly different from German and American chocolates and I like that as well. I do not enjoy Godiva chocolate as much as I do American dark chocolate when used as a dipping or covering for fruits and nuts.
I have some recipes for hot chocolate that are different and very flavorful, so I hope you enjoy them.
One of the original recipes for hot chocolate contained a list of ingredients that surprise us today. These include only water, cacao beans, some sort of wine, and peppers. Some red or black pepper is actually quite good in either coffee or hot chocolate, but the original hot chocolate recipes of Mexico and South and Central America contained no sugar or milk -- European influence added these in later.
How To Reduce Sugar Content
Use stevia natural alternative in these recipes like this:
1 single-serving packet of stevia = 2 teaspoons of sugar
Sugar Substitution Table
Measure of Sugar
Packets of Stevia
1 individual serving packet
Festive Hot Chocolate
for a variation on this recipe, substitute other flavors for the Vanilla or Almond Extract named in this recipe. Orange Extract or Mint Flavoring can be very good as well. You can also substitute Raspberry Liqueur for a chocolate-raspberry concoction.
- 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 Tbsp granulated sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 2.5 Cups whole milk
- 2.5 Cups light cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract - or almond extract for a change
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Whipped cream for topping
- Grated, or cut curls, of chocolate – or chocolate sprinkles
- Orange zest
- In a cooking pot, combine the cocoa, salt, and sugar.
- Next, add in the milk, stir and heat over moderate heat to dissolve – do not boil.
- Next, add in the light cream, cinnamon, and vanilla or almond extract and stir well.
- Continue to heat until the edges of the liquid just begin to show tiny bubbles.
- Remove from heat immediately.
- Mix the hot chocolate completely and pour into mugs. Pre-heat the mugs in the microwave for a minute if you like.
- Top the hot chocolate with whipped cream, chocolate, and orange zest.
Chocolate and coffee both come from beans.
They are often used together in recipes to make Mocha flavor drinks and desserts.
The Magical Cacao FruitClick thumbnail to view full-size
In the Name of the Bean
The bean that provides chocolate is the cacao bean, although some people call it the "cocoa bean." It grows in tropical climates and in the Western hemisphere, specifically in Mexico and Central and South America. Native South and Central Americans and Native Mexican Ameircans cultivated and harvested the beans and produced their drink with water and chili peppers. Some added their own wine.
The name of the bean and the drink "chocolate" has a varied background, depending upon where it was grown and processed as a beverage..
In Mexico, the Indigenous word was xocoatl in the Mayan languages. Ixcacao is the Goddess of Chocolate in Mexican cultures and is depicted in statues as a female bust of full figure with cacao pods attached all around.
For the Aztec populations, cacahuatl was the word for chocolate. Native Mexican Americans of other than Mayan or Aztec origins called it chocolat, derived from the words for "foaming water" or choco and atl - chocoatl. Euopeans changed the letters and sounds around for chocolate.
Food anthropologists feel that the Olmec Nation of South and Central America were the first to harvest cacao beans to make a beverage from them as far back as 1500 BC or earlier. This gives hot chocolate a history of at least 3,500 years or more. It predates European exploration in the New World.
Foamy Hot Chocolate - A Good Omen
All the way back through time to the first stone or wooden mug of hot chocolate, it was mandatory that the drink foamed on top, rather like beer. Legend and oral tradition among the Olmec and later the Mayans and Aztecs and their descendants was that the good spirit of the chocolate beverage resided in the foam. No foam, no spirit and no effect of the chemical properties for good mood and strength.
After the chocolate, water, peppers, and any other ingredients were heated, the beverage was placed into a cup and foamed with a carved wooden stir stick called a molinillo.This utensil was spun between the palms of the hands in order to froth the chocolate into a head of foam. This technique is still used in Mexico today, where the molinillo is as manadotry to the kitchen as is the rolling pin and wooden spoon.
Today's Foamy Hot Chocolate
- 4 ounces in squares of Mexican chocolate (in the global foods aisle at the market)
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup hot water (hot before you add it to the pan)
- A pinch of salt 1 tsp instant coffee
- 2 Cups whole milk
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 dried red chilie pepper, whole
- Ground cinnamon
- In a saucepan over medium to medium-low heat, place chocolate, honey, hot water, salt, coffee, and red pepper.
- Heat and stir continually until beverage just begins to form tiny boiling bubbles at the edges.
- Reduce heat immediately to low and simmer while stirring 1 minute.
- Slowly add and stir the milk in completely while over heat.
- Allow beverage to stand on low heat until chocolate is too hot touch with your fingertip or you see steam rising.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the egg until it’s as frothy as possible.
- Quickly add vanilla to egg and beat quickly.
- Pour chocolate over egg and beat 15 seconds to create more foam.
- Pour into mugs and top with cinnamon.
Hot Cocoa Mix - Keep Some on Hand
If you are in more of a hurry and need to have dry hot chocolate mix on hand, try this recipe for a mix that is often gifted in Tupperware® and other plastic food containers during a variety of holidays and special occasions.
Austrian Mocha Espresso
- 1/2 Cup high quality instant coffee
- 2.5 Cups powdered milk
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 1/4 Cup cocoa powder - Hershey's or Mexican
- Mix well and store in an air-tight labeled container.
- To serve, add two teaspoons or more to taste to a cup of steaming hot water. This blend is so delicious and smooth that people linger over it for hours. It's especially relaxing and refreshing, and so satisfying.
How to Make White Hot Chocolate
© 2009 Patty Inglish MS