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It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.
There are certain times when I'll get a strong craving for a mug of hot, chocolatey milk instead of my usual afternoon coffee or tea. On those days when I've been caught in the rain and end up completely soaked and in need of something comforting to warm me up, I don’t want to chop up chocolate for a fancy drink. Inevitably, I turn to store-bought hot cocoa mix and try to ignore the slightly questionable ingredients on the label. After drinking my fair share of watery, super-sweet cocoa, I got to thinking that there must be a way to make a more delicious homemade version.
Turns out my inkling was right! The mixture I made was tastier than any store-bought cocoa mix I've ever tried. It has a deep chocolate flavor thanks to the addition of finely blended chocolate, which I added along with the cocoa. On a whim, I mixed in some coconut milk powder for extra flavor and creaminess, but if you can't find it or don't like coconut, milk powder or malted milk powder should have the same effect. I also put in a smidge of cornstarch to help thicken the liquid when it cooks, to mimic the texture of cream.
More: Top your homemade hot chocolate with DIY marshmallows.
This basic hot chocolate mix can be customized to your liking. Add a little espresso powder or some ground cinnamon for extra depth of flavor, then top it all off with a few marshmallows and you'll have the perfect winter treat.
Serves 10 to 12
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk powder, powdered milk, or malted milk powder
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Break the chocolate into large chunks and blend in a food processor until mealy.
Add the cocoa, sugar, powdered milk (whichever kind you're using), salt, and cornstarch, and blend until combined.
Scoop the mixture into a jar, making sure to scrape around the edges of the food processor bowl to dislodge any chocolate that may be stuck there, and screw on the lid.
To make one serving of hot cocoa:
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of milk with 2 heaping tablespoons of the hot cocoa mix.
Whisk everything together gently over medium heat until it's well mixed and steaming. Pour into a mug and serve.
Photos by Izy Hossack