2 In Food+Drink

Hot Chocolate 3 Ways + Whipped Cream Trick

This year, skip the pre-made hot chocolate mixes and make your own homemade version instead!

You might be wondering why anyone would want to make hot chocolate from scratch when the premixed powders taste pretty good and are readily available. Well, I have three reasons that might make you change your mind about making this quintessential wintery drink. One, there is no reason for hot chocolate to have more than five ingredients. If the store bought version in your pantry has more than five ingredients, more than likely, it contains chemicals your body doesn’t need. Two, all three of these hot chocolate recipes take about the same amount of time as those pre-made mixes do (and you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry). Also, by making your own, you’re able to control the amount and type of sugar you use. Lastly, you can start a new holiday tradition by making hot chocolate from scratch every year!

I have three hot chocolate recipes I made just for you: classic, lavender white hot chocolate, and peppermint! Pick your favorite one to enjoy on a cold winter night, or have a hot chocolate tasting party and make all three! Just make sure to warm your cups before serving, so your hot chocolate will stay warm for as long as possible.

Classic Hot Chocolate

serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4-6 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate shavings, optional

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium-low heat. Turn off the heat.
  2. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and salt to the hot milk. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Pour in mugs, top with whipped cream and chocolate savings. To see my favorite whipped cream hack, simply scroll down to the bottom of this post. After learning this trick, you’ll have fresh whipped cream on hand at all times!

Notes

  • To add a kick, add anywhere from 1/16 tsp to 1/8 teaspoon espresso powder to the mix!
  • Warm milk in microwave to cut down time spent in the kitchen.
  • Make this vegan by using your favorite nondairy milk. I like rice milk for this recipe.

Lavender White Hot Chocolate

serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tsp lavender
  • 4 oz white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium-low heat. Turn off the heat. Add lavender, cover pan with lid, and steep in hot milk for 3-5 minutes. The longer you leave the lavender in the milk, the stronger its flavor will be. I leave it in for the full 5 minutes.
  2. Strain milk through a fine mesh sieve. Discard lavender buds.
  3. Add chocolate and vanilla to the hot milk, whisk vigorously until chocolate is melted. Pour into your cutest mugs and enjoy!

Notes

  • To ensure that the chocolate melts quickly, chop the chocolate into small pieces that are about the same size.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4-6 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 drops peppermint extract or 2 candy canes

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium-low heat. Turn off the heat.
  2. Add cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and peppermint extract to hot milk. If you don’t have peppermint extract on hand, you can use a candy cane to get the same great flavor, BUT this will add more sugar to the recipe. Whisk until everything is combined.
  3. Pour into mugs, top with frozen whipped cream, and sip slowly as you watch your favorite Christmas movie. Don’t know how to make frozen whipped cream? I’ll show you below.

Notes

  • Use peppermint extract, NOT spearmint extract. Spearmint will make your drink taste like toothpaste, no thank you!
  • Peppermint extract is really strong, so be careful not to add more than is suggested.
  • Make vegan by using your favorite nondairy drink.

My Favorite Whipped Cream Trick

I love love love homemade whipped cream! It’s so easy to make and once you taste the real thing, nothing else will compare! This whipped cream recipe adds a layer of creamy sophisticated decadence that you just can’t get from a can or container. The texture and flavor is also dramatically different than those imitation products or “whipped toppings”. The one thing I wish I could change about fresh whipped cream is how long it lasts. It’s usually only good for 24 hours, then it starts to return to its liquid state. However, by making a large batch and simply freezing it, you’ll be able to enjoy homemade whipped cream any time you’d like!

makes 9 dollops

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Chill bowl and whisk in refrigerator for 30 minutes. This helps the cream achieve the maximum volume possible, and whip faster.
  2. In an electric mixer, at medium speed, whip cream until it has slightly thickened. This will take a few minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Continue whipping until the cream forms distinct mounds that hold their shape. Be careful not to over whip, if you do, the cream will become stiff, curdled, and you may even end up making butter! Stop whipping when it looks like this:
  3. Spoon whipped cream onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave in freezer for a few hours or until the next time you need some cold whipped cream!

Tips

  • Make sure the cream is very cold, straight from the refrigerator.
  • To avoid a gritty texture, use powdered sugar NOT granulated sugar.
  • You can easily make whipped cream by hand (and build some muscle) using either a handheld whisk, or by placing all the ingredients in a mason jar, twisting on the lid, and shaking until whipped cream forms.
  • Swap out the vanilla extract for almond extract for a note of sweet cherry. It’s delicious with the classic hot chocolate recipe! I also use almond extract to make my homemade almond granola over the top delicious!
Did you make this recipe? Maybe you made one, or tried all three?

If you did, leave a comment below and tell me which flavor is your favorite!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Leslea
    December 29, 2016 at 1:20 am

    I am definitely going to start making the peppermint hot chocolate, and I love the tip about freezing the whipped cream! Thank you!

    • Reply
      kristy
      December 31, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Leslea, glad to hear! it’s so easy and so yummy! If you’ve ever made fresh whipped cream, you know it doesn’t last vey long in the fridge, freezing it makes life so much easier! Thanks for reading!

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