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Best Instant Hot Chocolate

February 21, 2012

I love hot chocolate. At one point, in graduate school, I would buy giant containers of instant hot chocolate and drink it all myself. I realized, 2-3 containers later, that this may not be a good idea, so I stopped. I think I lost several pounds, and I haven’t regularly kept hot chocolate in my cupboard since.

Maybe you’ve experimented with different chemical combinations of hot chocolate before–non-dairy creamer, powdered milk, powdered sugar, Nesquick, cocoa powder in various combinations. Maybe you’ve enjoyed some and others have needed a good dose of hot milk or more sugar. (I’ve made and tried both types.)

However, I recently tried an amazing recipe for instant hot chocolate. Well, “instant” may not be the right word, because this does require that you heat up milk. But that’s all you have to do once you make it. It is delicious and the perfect combination of chocolate and cocoa. Maybe you know this, but I only just learned the actual difference between “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa”–one is made with shaved chocolate, the other is made with cocoa powder. (It should be a given, but I’d never considered the difference until I started making it myself, from scratch, not a packet of non-dairy creamer in sight.)

This makes a small batch, but it is fulfilling.

Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate Mix

Makes 1 cup mix, enough for 16 servings.

1/2 C. sugar

2 T. whole almonds

1 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/4 C. cocoa powder

1 t. vanilla extract

1 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground cloves

Combine sugar and almonds in a food processor. Process until almonds are finely ground. Add chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. Process until mixture is finely ground. Store in an airtight container; this will keep about 6 months. (Probably not a problem.) To make 1 cup hot chocolate, heat 1 C. milk with 1 T. mix. Whisk until frothy.

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