Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hot Cocoa

Is everyone hungover this morning? I'm not! I've never been that big into New Year's Eve. One year, I went to a party but the line to get inside was so long that we nearly froze to death and only made it into the venue about 9 minutes before the countdown to midnight. It was one of the worst nights ever just because it was a particularly cold winter and we were literally at risk of dying from hypothermia. It was somewhat our faults because we were wearing skimpy little party outfits but uh, hello, we weren't going to show up wearing snowsuits, you know?

So, I've been all about the lazy, vegetative New Year's Eves for the past few years. I'm such a homebody and I love spending time by myself so I just chilled out at home last night and it was amazing. I ate delicious foods, because I always eat delicious foods, and watched a ton of stuff on Netflix and had a few cuddles with the dog. You extroverts are probably like, "Wow, what a loser," but seriously, that was like my dream evening.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a cozy little drink for all your hungover lushes. Also, Friends is on Netflix starting today (in the States) so I feel like a celebratory cozy drink is in order. So c'mon and let's make a cuppa! You might be like, WTF, you've already shared hot chocolate. Well, this isn't hot chocolate. It's hot cocoa. Hot chocolate is made with chocolate. Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder.
Ingredients [for one]:
1½ cups milk
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 to 2 tablespoons sweetener (sugar, honey, agave, stevia, coconut sugar, whatever you like!)
pinch salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
+ any flavorings you like (peppermint extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, Nutella)
+ marshmallows
+ whipped cream

My sister prefers cocoa to chocolate because she thinks that hot chocolate has a bitter aftertaste, probably because I use dark chocolate, which can be bitter. But I can't stand how cocoa always has residue on the bottom of the mug. It's because cocoa doesn't really dissolve. It's just like a suspended solution, I think. I don't know, I just made that up but I think it's a good hypothesis.

Anyway, to make cocoa, start with some milk and add in the cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, and sweetener and give it a quick whisk.
If you're so inclined, you can also add in some flavorings. Here are my suggestions:
Plop the saucepan onto the stove over a low heat and whisk continuously to get the cocoa mixed into the milk (instead of just floating on top in little powdery islands).
Keep whisking as the cocoa heats up. I don't like boiling hot liquids so I just heat it long enough for steam to start rising off the top.
Pour the cocoa into a mug and top with whatever garnishes you like. I went for a humongous blob of whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles on this particular morning.
This stuff is super delicious and easy and even though I prefer hot chocolate, this is nice too. And to solve the sludgy problem, I just didn't drink the entire mug. I left about a centimeter or two of liquid in the bottom. I'm a great problem solver.
I die when I see this photo. It cracks me up so hard. I had a little leftover whipped cream so George Michael got to enjoy it. He's such a slob.
Here's the recipe page:

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