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Decadent hot cocoa and chocolate drink recipes for adults and children

01/26/2015 02:50 EST | Updated 03/28/2015 05:59 EDT
Here are some decadent recipes for hot cocoa or chocolate — and one recipe with a cold, summer-time variation — to try at home.

MIKE'S MAYAN HOT COCOA

The following spicy drink is very chocolatey and retains some of the characteristics of its Mayan ancestor. Novices might want to start with half the quantities of cocoa powder and spices.

30 ml (2 tbsp) unsweetened cocoa powder

2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon

0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) cayenne pepper

15 ml (1 tbsp) liquid honey

250 ml (1 cup) milk

In a mug, place cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne and honey.

In a saucepan, warm milk on stove.

Add about 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the warm milk to ingredients in mug and make a smooth paste, ensuring all ingredients are fully combined.

When milk is steaming and bubbles are forming around edges of pan, pour it over paste and stir well to combine. Froth, if desired.

Makes 1 serving.

For a crowd: Quadruple ingredients and follow instructions for a single serving. But add enough warmed milk to cocoa/honey/spice paste to make a pourable batter, then pour batter into rest of heated milk in pot and stir well to incorporate. If you have a hot chocolate pot (a "moussoir" in French), pour chocolate drink into pot and use "frother" to froth the drink. A frother (called a "molinillo" in Spanish) is a wooden mallet-type instrument whose handle can be rubbed back and forth between your palms to make it twirl in the chocolate pot. About 30 seconds of twirling will generate a nice, smooth, frothy hot chocolate. If you do not have a chocolate pot, remove cooking pot from heat and use an immersion blender to froth the beverage, if desired. Pour into warm mugs and garnish, if desired.

Garnishes: Kids love floating marshmallows. Whipping cream combined with honey and vanilla and whipped until very stiff is also popular. If you used almond milk to make the chocolate drink, make the whipped cream with 5 ml (1 tsp) of almond extract instead of vanilla. Grated chocolate can be sprinkled over the whipped cream or warm caramel sauce drizzled over it with a pinch of sea salt. If you've made your chocolate drink with a peppermint flavouring, crushed candy canes can be used as a garnish or whole candy canes as swizzle sticks.

Source: Mike Mulhern, hot cocoa hobbyist.

HOT COCOA FOR ADULTS

Hot cocoa or hot chocolate cocktails are a special grown-up treat. These two recipes are suggestions of Bar None Drinks, a Nanaimo, B.C.-based website run for fun by a couple of guys who have been collecting drink recipes for 20 years.

Peppermint Cream

60 ml (2 oz) mint chocolate cream liqueur

125 ml (4 oz) prepared hot chocolate

Prepared whipped cream

Peppermint candy or candy cane

Mint leaf, for garnish

In a mug, combine liqueur and hot chocolate. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Crush candy or candy cane with the back of a spoon and sprinkle on whipped cream. Garnish with mint leaf.

Makes 1 serving.

Cuppa Good Cheer

45 ml (1 1/2 oz) cherry vodka

15 ml (1/2 oz) white creme de cacao

125 ml (4 oz) prepared hot chocolate

30 ml (1 oz) half-and-half cream

Prepared whipped cream

Red sprinkles and a maraschino cherry, for garnish

In a mug, combine vodka, creme de cacao, hot chocolate and cream. Stir well and top with a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkles and cherry.

Makes 1 serving.

Source: barnonedrinks.com

FROSTED CHOCOLATE SHAKE

The following treat can be served cold or hot and is bound to please children of all ages.

1.5 l (6 cups) chocolate drink

750 ml (3 cups) vanilla ice cream

For a chilled chocolate shake, blend cold chocolate drink with ice cream until smooth. Serve in tall glasses.

For a cold weather surprise, divide frozen ice cream evenly among 6 large mugs. Top up mugs with hot chocolate drink. Garnish with shaved chocolate and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: barnonedrinks.com

EXTRA-CHOCOLATE LATTE STEAMER

This is one of the recipes developed for Dairy Farmers of Canada by home economist Jennifer MacKenzie.

Heat milk just until steaming. If it boils, it may split and won't get frothy when whipped or blended. To froth hot milk mixture, use a battery-powered latte whip or a whisk attachment. Alternately, transfer to an upright blender or chocolate pot and blend or pump until frothy.

30 ml (2 tbsp) cocoa powder

15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar

500 ml (2 cups) chocolate milk

Grated chocolate or cocoa powder, for garnish

In a saucepan or large glass measuring cup, combine cocoa powder and sugar. Gradually whisk in chocolate milk until blended.

Heat in a saucepan over medium heat or in microwave on medium (50 per cent) power until steaming, 3 to 5 minutes.

Pour into warmed latte bowls or large mugs and garnish with grated chocolate.

Makes 2 servings.

Variation: For a mocha latte steamer, add 125 ml (1/2 cup) strong brewed coffee to the other ingredients.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada (dairygoodness.ca).

CONTINENTAL HOT CHOCOLATE

Get a taste of Europe without leaving home with this rich and creamy chocolate drink.

500 ml (2 cups) hot milk

75 ml (1/3 cup) chocolate syrup

50 ml (1/4 cup) chocolate liqueur

1 ml (1/4 tsp) almond extract

125 ml (1/2 cup) 35 per cent cream

Pinch ground nutmeg

Combine hot milk, syrup, liqueur and almond extract. In a separate bowl, whip cream until softly stiff.

Pour milk mixture into cups or mugs. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada, dairygoodness.ca.

DECADENT HOT COCOA

This is an amazingly delicious and satisfying homemade hot chocolate, and at a fraction of the cost of specialty shops.

625 ml (2 1/2 cups) milk, divided

250 ml (1 cup) 18 per cent table cream, divided

50 ml (1/4 cup) granulated sugar

50 ml (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch salt

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

In a saucepan, heat 500 ml (2 cups) of the milk and cream over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt. Whisk in remaining 125 ml (1/2 cup) cold milk and vanilla to make a smooth paste. Reduce heat to medium-low and gradually whisk cocoa mixture into hot milk mixture until blended. Heat, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until steaming hot.

Ladle into 4 warmed mugs. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Variation: Add 15 ml (1 tbsp) coffee- or chocolate-flavoured liqueur and/or 125 ml (1/2 cup) strong hot coffee to each mug of hot chocolate and/or top with whipped cream.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada, dairygoodness.ca.

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