Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Effortless Hot Cocoa

Our house.

Looking down the street.

My car in the driveway, buried in a snowdrift.

Outside, there is 16 inches of snow on the ground. It's getting deeper each hour. The sky is grey, the wind is cold, and the snowflakes keep falling.

It's the perfect day to cuddle up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa.

To me, cocoa is the mellower cousin of hot chocolate. Both are delicious, but hot chocolate is more of a dessert: a deep, dark, sometimes syrupy, special occasion beverage. Hot cocoa, on the other hand, isn't as rich or intense; it's an every-winter-day drink. Especially as it's so easy to make. It only requires a little more effort than those from a mix, but it's infinitely more delicious. You can play with it a bit, too: I like to add a smidge of cinnamon, but you might leave that and the vanilla out and drop in some peppermint extract instead.

Or leave out the cinnamon or mint, and serve with a good, fluffy marshmallow.

Effortless Hot Cocoa

1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa powder (I like Ghirardelli or Hershey)
1 to 2 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract.

In a mug, blend cocoa, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. In another cup, microwave milk until hot, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add about 1/3 of the milk to the dry ingredients, stirring to dissolve the sugar and blend the cocoa. Add the vanilla and the rest of the milk, stirring to combine.

Serves one.

Grade: A


Acme Instant Food said...

GORGEOUS! What a sight! Stay warm and happy Valentine's Day to you and yours! *Put some cinnamon or peppermint booze in there if ya wanna light a fire*

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing those photos. I especially love the looking down the street one--it's so moody!

Papa J said...

When I lived in Italy the hot cocoa there was thick and got thicker as it cooled. A little corn starch to your hot cocoa is a treat if you like it that way. Just make sure you add it to the cold water before you heat it or you'll never get all the lumps out.

Faery said...

I love hot cocoa that looks delicious, but these days the weather is soooooo hot here in Venezuela that I take it chilled :) the way can you send us some snow? everything is melting with weather :s