Homemade Hot Chocolate

Happy December! Today is the day The Einkorn Cookbook officially releases, so if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, now would be a great time to do so—go ahead, I’ll wait—and once you’ve got a copy in your hands this winter season, why not cuddle up with it alongside a glass of homemade hot chocolate?

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It’s a myth that making homemade hot chocolate has to take longer and/or be more involved than making the packaged kind that comes in a box. Have you believed this? Don’t. To put together your own, real-foods, deliciously rich and creamy hot chocolate, here are the pantry staples that you need: milk (raw milk or coconut milk are our favorites), cocoa powder and a sweetener (honey or maple syrup work great). You mix the three of them together, proportions according to your tastes, and have a hot, chocolatey beverage ready in 10 minutes or less. In today’s version, I added a bit of cayenne pepper and a dash of salt, but those frills are entirely optional.

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While we’re on the topic of winter comfort foods, the folks at Yahoo! Foods recently told us about their recipe database, and I had a lot of fun one afternoon scrolling through all the pretty pictures and clicking around for hot bowls of winter favorites, from red pepper cauliflower soup to mushroom pot pies to fat and sugar-studded snickerdoodles. I think I’ve said this on the blog before but a long time ago I dated a boy who didn’t understand the idea of comfort food—what makes food comforting? what does it mean?—and I found myself fumbling with an explanation of warmth and creaminess and eating with a spoon. Really though, I think comfort food is bigger than a type of recipe and more about the feelings you associate with it.

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In December, I like fancy desserts and homemade hot chocolate and Christmas cookies, probably because they remind me of the days when I was small. It doesn’t matter that it was almost 70 degrees here in Nashville yesterday (!!) or that our grass is still green, December makes me want a steaming cup in my hands and winter greenery over the fireplace. Do you guys relate to this? Are you playing Christmas music and indulging on holiday movies? If so, we’re in this together—hot chocolate and all.

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Our Homemade Hot Chocolate
Serves two

Of course you can use whatever milk you drink in this drink formula, as long as you’re willing to adjust amounts and methods slightly as needed. Examples: when we use raw milk, the result is cleaner, thinner; with coconut milk, it’s richer and creamier. With raw milk, I usually use a whisk to mix the ingredients in the saucepan; with coconut milk, I pull out my immersion blender to make sure the cocoa fully dissolves. Likewise, I found 1/4 cup maple syrup was just right, but 1/4 cup honey felt, to us, too sweet. The beauty of making your own hot chocolate is you control how dark it is, how sweet it is, etc. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups raw milk or 1 13.5-ounce organic coconut milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup cocoa powder (less is lighter, more is darker!)
1/8 cup honey or 1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash of salt

Directions:
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients, whisking or carefully using an immersion blender to make all the cocoa powder dissolve. Taste and adjust as desired!

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

28 thoughts on “Homemade Hot Chocolate”

  1. Congrats on the book ! Holy cow – it looks amazing!
    I totally agree with needing something warm to drink and sweet to eat this time of year…it must be in our DNA. And who doesn’t get comfort food??!! Just bonkers 🙂

  2. Congratulations on the release of the cookbook!! Hooray! This hot chocolate looks perfect. Once you give up those little packets of fake chocolate and milk, it’s impossible to go back. I’ve tried sweetening with agave before, but honey and maple are such good ideas.

  3. Huge congrats on the book!! And this hot chocolate looks like the right, winterly treat to celebrate this big day.

    • Thanks so much, Sini, for these kind words and all of the kind words you’ve left here from time to time. You are a sweetheart.

  4. You go girl! the book is finally realized!
    Btw, how cool to discover Yahoo’s new recipe page! I also totally understand what you mean about December being completely about Christmas and festivitives and all the things that remind us of when we were small, I’m nostalgic like that too, and you know what, I believe this homemade hot chocolate recipe will find its way into my kitchen soon! Especially since there are still some days of chilly weather this spring! sending plenty of love my friend!

    • As much as I’m into the Christmas season, any time our temperatures drop below 40F I’m dreaming of heading your way. Soak up some sunshine for me in between the chilly days, OK?

  5. Homemade hot chocolate is the best. My mom makes Filipino hot chocolate with special cacao balls/tablets and peanut butter, and mixes it on the stove top with a batidor, which I always thought was one of those honey dippers (and always wondered why my mom had one of those things) but is actually a wooden whisk that Filipinos use just for making hot chocolate: http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/batidor-batirol-molinillo-chocolatera-atbp. Totally just learned that 10 mins ago when this post led me to start looking up Filipino hot chocolate, ha! And this post also reminded me that it’s now safe to start listening to the She & Him Christmas album. Happy December! 🙂 Also, BOOK!!!!

  6. Congratulations! I was just checking Amazon page – book looks amazing! Coconut milk hot chocolate sounds perfect celebration drink!

  7. We’re having a warm late-autumn here in California as well. It doesn’t snow here, but it does get cold enough to relate to the fireplace with hot chocolate sentiment. And I agree, “from scratch” hot chocolate is pretty simple and delicious. Coconut milk’s a great touch!

    p.s. I hope you guys are well and settling into the new (newish?) house and all! xoxoxo

    • Thanks so much, Joyti! Every day things get a little more done and having a Christmas tree up makes the living room feel so much more homey. Learning patience in this process and thankful for it!

  8. Oh, this post is just full of holiday joy. First of all, congrats again on the official cookbook release day! You guys worked so hard on it and I’m so glad that’s all paid off; the final product looks stunning and I can’t wait to get my copy! And yes to everything you say about comfort food, like this gorgeous hot chocolate, at this time of year. There’s nothing quite like it.

    • Kathryn, We have you on the review list and your copy should be coming soon I hope! There was some kind of delay in the warehousing situation so we’re just waiting to hear more. Hope you enjoy it and thank you again for your help!

  9. Beautiful post, Shanna! The only thing missing from my Christmas tree is ME DRINKING THIS HOT CHOCOLATE IN FRONT OF IT! x

  10. Now I want to have friends over for a hot chocolate drinking and cookie eating party!
    I told a friend the other day that homemade granola and almond milk is my comfort food and they looked at me like I was a crazy health nut. haha. So you are so right about comfort food being about the feelings you associate with the food. Hot chocolate definitely has good feelings associated with it 🙂
    Congrats on the book! Hope y’alls new house is feeling like home!

  11. I think i need to make this today. Couple of us are home sick and our heads need… clearing shall we say. Warm and cozy coco and with cayenne pepper we could get something done. Ha!

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