Hot chocolate is definitely our favorite cold-weather drink, and with so many wintery days ahead of us, why not indulge in new, creative ways? Here are five easy ways to take your usual hot chocolate and transform it into something spectacular:
Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice
Add an easy, Mexican-style twist to your hot chocolate with a little spice! Pop a dash of cinnamon, ancho chili powder, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper into your usual hot chocolate recipe for a warming, sweet and spicy effect. This fun combo pairs well with another perfect duo: the sweet and salty Potatochip Chocolate “Caramel.”
Nuts About Chocolate
Hazelnut instantly adds a rich decadence to chocolate that can elevate even the most basic hot chocolate to restaurant-quality. Making a hazelnut hot chocolate is only as complex as you want to make it. For a quick fix, mix in a spoonful of hazelnut spread into your usual hot chocolate. For a more homemade taste, melt dark chocolate with hot whole milk, mix in hazelnut spread, and season with cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract. Pair it with Chocolate Wafers “Hazel Cream” for an extra nutty kick.
If you want to evoke the feeling of campfire s’mores and starry nights, this hot chocolate recipe delivers. Start by lining your mug with melted milk chocolate. Add your hot chocolate, then top with marshmallows and use a kitchen torch to roast them until golden brown. If you don’t own a kitchen torch, roast the marshmallows traditionally and then add them to your drink. Upgrade regular graham crackers with Baton Cookies “Coconut” for dipping or crumbling into the hot chocolate.
Refreshing, rich, and smooth, peppermint hot chocolate is always a winter winner. While heating up your milk, add fresh mint leaves and allow them to flavor the milk. Filter out the mint leaves once the milk is done simmering, then pour the milk over your choice of milk, dark, or white chocolate and thoroughly combine. Top with whipped cream and serve with a candy cane stirrer. Matcha green tea’s earthy, delicate flavor melds well with both chocolate and mint, so try drinking this hot chocolate while indulging in Nama Chocolate “Maccha.”
For the adult crowd, serve up a classy red wine hot chocolate. The red wine imparts a rich, fruity flavor to the hot chocolate, as well as an alcoholic kick without a true wine flavor (so even those who don’t care for wine can enjoy this drink!). Balance a cup of milk with ⅔ a cup of dry red wine, such as a cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or shiraz. You can also opt for a sweeter, fruit red wine such as a strawberry or raspberry wine. Stir in additional sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to taste. Complement this hot chocolate’s fruit notes with the Fruit Bar Chocolate. This combo also makes for an aesthetically pleasing presentation!