I’m not a huge chocolate person.
I think this stems partially from a crush I had on a boy a million years ago (he didn’t like chocolate) and also from my innate aversion to anything sweeter than a mint. That being said, however, Hot Chocolate and Mochas are my winter vice. The thicker it is, the better it is. Bonus points if it’s a dark chocolate mix. If I could, and if it weren’t so horribly hard to drink, I’d totally drink melted chocolate… But alas, good things need to be had in moderation.
There are lots of hot chocolate recipes out there, most of them involve instant mix, some of them are family recipes passed down from generation to generation…
If you, like me, are a generally lazy person but with a more discernible taste bud that eschews and detests instant hot chocolate mixes like Swiss Miss or just don’t want to pay exorbitant prices for a mug of hot cocoa, here are my go-to lazy-man versions because I’m a very *cough* busy *cough* person…
VEGAN HOT CHOCOLATE
Dutch Cocoa Powder
Soy Milk/Hemp Milk/any non-dairy milk of your choice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
In a pot, heat a glass of milk (of your choice), add the dutch cocoa powder, a pinch of corn starch, simple syrup/sugar, vanilla extract and gently heat, stirring all ingredients until hot. Pour & drink.
*The corn starch serves as a thickening agent.
** Most Dutch cocoa powder brands are 100% vegan.
*** You can substitute vanilla syrup instead of simple syrup/sugar.
MELTED CHOCOLATE DRINK
a bag of chocolate chips (any brand of your choice, dark, white… milk even)
a glass of milk
a pinch of cornstarch
There are 2 main ways I usually do this:
a) extremely lazy way:
add the pinch of cornstarch into the glass of milk, stir. add a handful of chocolate chips (to your taste, just remember, the more you add, the sweeter it becomes) into the milk+cornstarch solution, pop into the microwave at high-heat. Stir concoction every 20 seconds until all the chocolate chips are melted.
b) the more legit / less lazy way:
pour milk into a pot/pan, add in cornstarch, stir and let it heat gently, add in chocolate chips while stirring continuously until mixture thickens and chips are all melted.
There are two ways to make mocha at home, depending on what kind of coffee you can make. If you have an espresso machine or a capsule machine, then by all means extract a cup of espresso and top with hot chocolate from the aforementioned hot chocolate recipes.
If you’re using a french press or a percolator, or a chemex or any type of coffee maker that one generally uses for home brews, it’s probably not going to be an espresso based mocha, so here’s how to get the taste without compromising on the flavour.
A full-bodied mocha is generally best with an espresso base, but to substitute for the amount of water that is already in the home-brew black coffee, I generally use less milk and I melt the chocolate directly into the coffee before adding the milk in. I’ll also use slightly more than a pinch of corn starch to make the final product slightly thicker.
There are tonnes of other great recipes out there and lots of ways to play around with this traditional winter drink. I’ve seen some featuring peppermint, and I personally love the idea of a candy-cane white hot chocolate, which features crushed candy canes rimming the mug, pouring white hot chocolate in and letting the candy cane from the rim melt gently into the mug. Sounds yum, doesn’t it?
Hope these lazy hot chocolate techniques give you a great cuppa hot choco to drive away them winter blahs.
Marshmallows and whipped cream optional, but totally recommended.