The wonderful season of hot cocoa and peppermint sticks, pine trees and fir wreaths, cinnamon desserts and twinkle lights has come and I couldn’t be any more thrilled. I’m an enthusiast of all holidays but there is something about Christmas–it’s pure magic. That being said, please prepare yourself for a month of holiday pieces filled with authentic recipes, creative decorations and wrappings, seasonal centerpieces and merry gifts and favors.
To begin this magical season, I’m offering the best homemade gourmet hot cocoa recipe for you and your loved ones to indulge in each night. My sister-in-law created this delicious concoction, perfecting the ingredients with just enough of each flavor to make me swoon when I tried it. I’m aware of how many people claim to have “the best hot chocolate” but this right here is truly the best homemade gourmet hot cocoa as it is customized to your chocolate ratio preference and is purely delectable. I can’t quite describe it–you simply have to taste it for yourself. It’s too easy and simple to not try it, so give it a sip and begin planning your girl’s night in with a gourmet hot cocoa bar and “The Holiday“.
The recipe itself is very loose and customizable–allowing you to adapt it to your personal preferences and determine your own ratios to create your perfectly flavored hot cocoa.
Begin with a pot of scalded (nearly brought to a boil, but not quite) milk. For two people, I usually start with about 3 cups of milk.
Next, stir in bittersweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. The ratio that my sister-in-law settled on and that I also prefer, is 75% bittersweet chocolate and 25% white chocolate. You’re free to taste test it and determine if it needs more of one or another to find the ideal balance for you.
Stir in 1 tsp of vanilla extract and half a capful of peppermint extract. Sprinkle in some ground cinnamon to taste and stir.
I’ve found that the key to delicious gourmet hot cocoa is the quality of your ingredients. For this hot cocoa, I only use Ghirardelli chocolate chips when possible. They have a rich taste and creamy texture that blends nicely into the milk and are packed with flavor. I also love Mexican vanilla extract and Trader Joe’s Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract and use those when a recipe calls for vanilla.
The beautiful part of hot chocolate and is all the different flavors and spices you can add to enjoy it in variety: orange extract or slices, cayenne or red pepper, whipped cream, marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, peppermints, nutmeg, nutella and caramel. Customize and make this the best homemade gourmet hot cocoa you’ve ever had.
To become inspired for serving your own hot cocoa bar, browse here!