Nothing against marshmallows, but you can jazz up your winter warmer in lots of other ways too.
Posted in , Feb 14, 2019
Hot chocolate. The mere words conjure roaring fires, rosy cheeks and swirling snow. I’m an avid tea drinker, but in the winter, a steamy mug of hot chocolate is my warm-up beverage of choice.
There are so many cocoa choices these days, from the classic mix-it-with-hot water packets to specialty blends that boast high percentages of the antioxidants and flavonoids that make chocolate a healthy as well as delicious treat.
While there’s nothing wrong with the rich, luscious original, why not take your hot chocolate enjoyment up a notch this winter? There’s something so special about an old favorite enjoyed in a new way—especially at a time of year when choices can feel limited by the blustery weather.
1) Make It Spicy
If you’re especially interested in the “hot” in “hot chocolate,” spice up your cup by adding warming spices that give a fun kick. Chili powder, cayenne powder and chipotle powder contribute the literal heat, while spices like cinnamon boost the flavor and elevate the entire sipping experience. Just a sprinkle of each will do—always taste before adding more spice!
2) Jazz Up Your Whipped Cream
Sweetened whipped cream is billowy perfection. But you can transform your cocoa by playing with your whipped cream’s flavor. A sprinkle of cinnamon gives depth and even more warmth to your drink. A drop of mint or orange extract whisked or stirred into the topping will infuse the whole mug with flavor. Or you can get decadent and drizzle some caramel sauce over the top of your cloud-like topping.
3) Crunch It Up
Topping your hot chocolate with whipped cream is classic, but adding some crunchy bits on top the creamy topping is next-level tasty. Try crushed up candy canes for a minty zip, crumbled chocolate cookies to double down on the chocolatey goodness, bits of pretzel for a salty contrast or colorful sprinkles to transform your cuppa into an instant celebration.
4) Freeze It
The “recipe” for frozen hot chocolate can be as simple as, fill a blender with small pieces of ice, pour your favorite hot chocolate over the top, and blend until the mixture is smooth and frothy. This easy technique gives you the best of all worlds—a creamy, chocolatey treat for when the fire is so roaring and the company so good, your warmth comes from within.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy hot chocolate?