The dark hot chocolate uses just a handful of real ingredients to create an indulgence that is as good as it gets, in a beverage form. This Cacao Powder Hot Chocolate is made using milk, honey, cacao powder, and a little bit of vanilla. First, you whisk the raw cacao powder in cold milk with a sprinkle of honey, a splash of vanilla, and a sprinkle of salt (which balances out the flavours) until smooth.
You must whisk the cacao powder into the milk BEFORE heating up (the cacao powder takes a little whisking to dissolve). Whisking cacao powder into the milk before heating allows it to fully dissolve (if you add it into the warm milk, it may lump). Using this will make it much quicker for the chocolate to dissolve, meaning that chocolate is integrated with real milk, not all of which is heated. Whisk milk and chocolate together quickly until chocolate has melted and the mixture is completely combined.
You can always cheat a little bit, melting your chocolate in the microwave before adding it to real milk, which will guarantee you super-smooth results. The smaller the pieces of chocolate you start with, the faster and smoother it will melt in your milk.
Heat gently on a low/medium heat for several minutes, stirring frequently, until your chocolate is fully melted. Once your milk is steamy, strain the spices and herbs and return your warm, flavorful milk into the pot, adding chocolate just like normal. The warm, steamy milk is blended with semi-sweet chocolate, cacao powder, and a splash of maple syrup, all in the same pot.
Thicker and richer than your average hot chocolate, the liquid truffle is a blend of dark chocolate and milk chocolate that is fused in a ganache, which is then whipped with warm cream. Adding cinnamon and cayenne to your usual hot chocolate recipe is one way to get this drink, but we suggest taking the time to create a Hot Chocolate recipe from scratch using richly-flavoured dark chocolate, such as our Pure Chocolate Mild Bitter and Extra Bitter.
Cocoa powder lends the signature flavour of hot cocoa, and white chocolate chips melt in the mix, making homemade hot chocolate extra creamy, rich, and luxurious. Unlike its cousin, hot chocolate, made with just cocoa powder, chocolate is a necessary component of Hot Chocolate. Hot chocolate is essentially like drinking melted candy bars; chopped chocolate contains cacao butter, making it richer and smoother.
This recipe will seem like it uses an absurd amount of chopped chocolate, but trust me, and stick to this recipe. The amount of chocolate in this recipe certainly puts it squarely in the decadent territory, but rest assured that, if you are like me, you are not going to get tempted to gobble up an entire batch.
This hearty treat is still much lighter than a hot chocolate made with full-fat milk and/or heavy cream. Whole milk adds creaminess and sweetness to the hot chocolate, but feel free to use lower-fat or non-fat milk if desired.
I prefer canned coconut milk (either full fat or fat-free) over canned milk or nut kinds of milk for the neutral taste and smooth texture, I like using almond milk for this healthier hot chocolate as its neutral taste is blended perfectly with the rich cocoa powder.
I have found American chocolate is generally a bit sweeter than a lot of its European counterparts, so to balance that I added a bit of instant espresso powder in my version of this recipe. Like a lot of the other hot chocolates on the market, this blend is made from alkalized cacao, meaning that the cacao beans were treated with an alkalizing agent to balance the naturally acidic nature of the cacao. In addition to making the traditional hot drink, you can also add this mix to coffee, or use it as a brownie powder. More substitutions and additives to cacao beans are being included both in chocolate bars and in hot chocolate powder.
Nearly all cream may work fine in packet mixes in a pinch, but today, we are in the real hot chocolate business, and real hot chocolate needs milk. Just combine real milk (or dairy-free substitute, if that is your preference) with REAL dark chocolate, and you will get the tastiest, richest, darkest hot chocolate you will experience. You can use whatever kind of chocolate you like, although I recommend semi-sweet or dark chocolate hovering in the 50-60% range. I like to let the chocolate shine through, only adding a dash of salt and vanilla, but there are plenty of complimentary flavours that work well with chocolate you can play around with.
If you prefer a little more sweetness, you may wish to add some raw sugar or use a milk chocolate bar instead. Pinch salt Instructions In a small pot, mix the milk, cacao powder, honey to taste (a teaspoon or two should be fine), vanilla, and pinch salt. Shaved Dark Chocolate Instructions In a blender, mix the almond milk, nutrient-rich cacao powder, maca powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt. While you could just toss cacao powder in hot milk and call it a day, this recipe is a little more special and well worth the extra effort.