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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
It made us happy!
The verdict was: DELICIOUS.