Tuesday, December 29, 2009

hot cocoa!

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Portland was hit by an unexpected snow storm today- and while my initial reaction to snow is usually something along the lines of, "DAMMIT! I hate being stuck in the house!" I decided to suck it up and enjoy myself. I took my son for a walk in the snow (click through the photos to my flickr if you're so inclined- he's a pretty cute kid) and when we came home, we shook the snow out of our hair and settled in to make some hot cocoa.

I pretty much always have a pack of these on hand:

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They come in a pack of 3 for like a $1.79 and I just like to have a nibble or two throughout the day to satisfy my sweet tooth without going nuts on a candy bar. I melted the chocolate in a metal mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water:

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I tossed in a small chunk of coconut oil for flavor and to make the melted chocolate a little easier to mix with the milk- I was inspired to do this by a cup of hot chocolate I had recently that BLEW MY MIND. It was when I was tabling at the Icon Holiday Fair selling my drawings, another booth was selling COCONUT HOT CHOCOLATE. I think it was just coconut milk and melted chocolate and some spices, and it was so amazingly rich and thick, I could barely drink more than 4 or 5 sips before I felt totally satisfied. I didn't have any coconut milk on hand, so I just used some coconut oil hoping for a similar effect. Obviously, it wasn't all thick and frothy, but the flavor was nice- very subtle. I'm not a coconut person but as I've mentioned before, I'm trying to force myself to like the coconut oil and it's become kind of an acquired taste for me- I like it in my oatmeal, I don't HATE frying my eggs in it, and I also like it in hot chocolate, apparently.

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I briefly heated some milk in a separate pan, but quickly got impatient and dumped it directly into the bowl with the chocolate mixture. I seasoned it with a pinch of nutmeg and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and even splashed in a few drops of vanilla extract. I whisked the whole thing together over the boiling water until warm, and then poured into cups for my son and I.

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I have to be honest- the end result was not unlike those swiss miss packets of hot chocolate. It was a little gritty, not as frothy as I'd prefer (but I work at a cafe and I steam milk for my warm beverages all the time- I'm all spoiled on foam. I like my chai to be almost all foam.), but it was rich and warmed me up. One chocolate bar, a small chunk (like a teaspoon or less) of coconut oil, a drizzle of vanilla extract, and a pinch each of nutmeg and cinnamon mixed with about 16 oz. of warm milk, ended up being way more than enough for the 2 of us. It was rich enough to satisfy me after drinking about 1/4 of a cup, and I only served my son about half a cup, because- well, because I'm a jerk, haha. I'd say serve it in half-cup portions, so this would be enough to make 4 people perfectly happy.

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It made us happy!
The verdict was: DELICIOUS.

15 comments:

suthrncan said...

I'm impressed that you're still trying to use the coconut oil!

Liska said...

The first picture is just gorgeous! Happy New Year.

Wendy said...

Fantastic!

And I *do* have coconut milk in my pantry. (When I bought it, the grocery clerk asked me what I used it for and looked very surprised when I answered Indian food. I don't know if she was confused about what Indian food was or what kind of Indians I was talking about.)

I am going to the kitchen right now to make this for breakfast along with a piece of toast.

Kiki said...

I live in portland too and that snowstorm was chaos.
Your hot chocolate looks delicious though, and now you have me craving a coconut hot chocolate.. yummy.
Also, Ive made a few of your recipes at home for my husband and yesterday I made your donut muffins.. Ohhh man were they a hit!
:) love the blog.

Alicia Lynn Carrier said...

dude whatever avery, the jar of it i bought cost 10 bucks! you better believe i'm gonna use the whole thing, haha

Miss Kate said...

Mmmmm. Coconut oil. I love it all of the time. Have you tried making brownies with it? Similar effect.

I was blissed out by the snow yesterday, too, but then it took my husband and I 1 1/2 hours to drive 3 miles. Ugh.

Ashley said...

I find when I melt the chocolate first it never incorporates fully with the milk. My advice is to chop your chocolate finely, heat the milk, and then when it's close to simmering, dump it on the chocolate, let it sit for about 30 seconds and whisk the whole thing together.

Egganac said...

Mmmm. I started using coconut oil, I love to make popcorn with it!

shesagoodegg said...

A tip to make it foamier - throw it in the blender! I mostly make Mexican hot chocolate at home using those little bars that come in a yellow box. I chop them up a bit and warm the milk separately then throw it all in the blender, which gives it a nice foaminess.

Mary Beth said...

Looks yummy. I'm going to try this. I love having those TJ's chocolate bars around too . . . good stuff.

becka said...

Oh yum! I had never even thought of coconut in my hot chocolate! Perhaps because I'm not a big coconut lover either, but I think this could do the trick to win me over. Yum, trying it tomorrow.

Heather said...

And have you tried putting an egg yolk in your hot chocolate? The River Cottage Family Cookbook has the recipe in there and it's like sipping chocolate pudding, very filling, mighty good. ~Heather

sandwicharchitecture said...

the first and last photos make me very happy. so happy that i have to comment on them before reading the post. which i will now proceed to do.

happy new year!

JoBean said...

Oh, why are seasons topsy-turvy in Australia? I'd be mad, MAD I TELL YOU, to make hot chocolate in 35 degree weather (Celsius of course)! But... I'm pretty sure it's gonna happen.

Stephanie Ann said...

My friend made some of this for us after reading your blog. I think she used coconut milk. It was awesome!