Hot chocolate is one of those childhood drinks that my husband and I absolutely love and adore. In fact, one of my husband's favorite breakfasts while growing up is a large cup of hot chocolate with plenty of Cuban bread and butter. Eric would dip his bread into his hot chocolate, and let the bread soak with the hot chocolate and munch happily away. It's almost like a dessert-ish kind of breakfast and he swears up and down that chocolate is not his favorite flavor either, but in hot chocolate form...he's all over it. Between you and me, I think he has a super sweet chocolate spot and refuses to admit it.
Eric's go-to hot chocolate mix is Nesquik, and his super sweet tooth adds a couple extra spoonfuls of sugar to the mix. I always laugh at the amount of sugar that he adds to his cup of hot chocolate, and secretly hoped he would not add more sugar to my homemade batch of hot cocoa. Homemade hot cocoa is easy to prepare and pairs perfectly with homemade peppermint marshmallows.
Luckily I still had some bars of Ghirardelli chocolate that I received from the FB Tastemaker program. I wanted to make a salted caramel hot chocolate mix using the Sea Salt Soiree but I didn't have enough bars of chocolate to make that batch. I'll have to make that on my next round of homemade hot chocolate, but you might be able to enjoy that sweet tip.
Make a batch for your homemade Christmas baskets and share with everyone you know. Or indulge in your secret chocolate addiction like my husband.
Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
24 ounces high-quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
9 ounces dark chocolate, like 65% or higher grade, coarsely chopped
2 cups Dutch process cocoa
2 vanilla beans
4 cups granulated sugar
On a cutting board, carefully split and scrape the vanilla beans from the pods. Place in a large container with the sugar. Using your fingers work the seeds into the sugar, it's like massaging the vanilla beans into the sugar. Place the pods at the very bottom of the container. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process semi-sweet and dark chocolate until finely ground, using 4-second pulses. The noise may scare you, but process in batches if necessary. (I kept my hand on the top of the processor because it shook so much.)
Remove vanilla pods from sugar. Add the ground chocolate and cocoa powder to sugar and whisk to blend, making sure to combine well.
Store mix airtight at room temperature for up to six months. Or divide up in small 4 ounce jars or small cellophane bags.
To serve, heat 2 tablespoons of mix with 8 ounces of warmed milk. (Make sure milk is really hot so the chocolate can melt).
Yield: About 4.75 cups of hot chocolate mix
Review: Chocolate heaven in a cup. It's rich and decadent and a great homemade gift to share with your family and friends. Make sure to make the homemade peppermint marshmallows, too.