Want a reliable, or even gourmet hot chocolate mix when you’re short on time that doesn’t suffer in quality? Give this one a try!
My sister asked me for a hot chocolate mix recipe a few years back. So I gave her a recipe I had never tried from a reliable source. Shortly after, I got excited and made it for myself. I threw it all away after my first try.
So this year when she asked for a new recipe, I decided to try making my own out of the ingredients I actually use when I make hot chocolate. No dried milk, white chocolate, or cornstarch….no sir! Keep it simple with high quality chocolate, both bits and powder, sugar, and vanilla, straight from the bean.
For the chocolate morsels, you can go with Ghirardelli or Guittard for a nice quality option at not a crazy price, and you can usually find these in any grocery store. If you are wanting to go a little bit more gourmet, try Scharffen Berger chocolate chunks (hit and miss in grocers), or if you are all out gourmet, Amano is always a fav (must order online).
For the cocoa powder, you can go dutch-processed or natural. Dutch-processed is alkalized. This process takes out a bit of the bitterness and produces a rich and intense chocolate flavor, so some prefer it for that, and it can be a bit better for mixing into drinks and baking. However, either is fine. We just use a little less powder if going natural unsweetened cocoa powder to take the edge off.
If going dutch-processed cocoa powder (alkalized), we love using Valrhona brand. For straight up natural cocoa powder, Scharffen Berger is a great option. And, just so you know, the quality of your chocolate does matter, a ton! Although I’m not the biggest fan of Hershey’s, if you do want to go that route (especially since it’s the most common and easy to find in a grocery store), try their Hershey’s Special Dark Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder.
Phew! That’s a lot of recommendations, and honestly, you might have trouble finding some in your normal grocery store. Here’s a quick summary again, and you can pretty much find all of these on Amazon.
- Vanilla Bean – Madagascar, Grade A
- Chocolate Morsels – Ghirardelli, Guittard, Scharffen Berger, or Amano
- Cocoa Powder – Valrhona (dutch-processed/alkalized), Scharffen Berger (natural unsweetened), or Hershey’s Special Dark (dutch-processed)
We are doing edible-gifts-in-a-jar series over the next few days and ending with a great round-up from our blog and some other blogger friends! Gifts in a jar are a great way to spread Christmas cheer to friends and family without breaking the bank. And really, if you find the right ideas, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to make them either. This hot chocolate mix is a sure winner for any chocolate lover!
ARE YOU A CHOCOLATE LOVER? ARE YOU A DARK OR MILK KINDA PERSON? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BRAND? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW!
Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix
- 1 cup and 1/2 chocolate chips - we like Ghirardelli or Guittard or any other high-quality brand that you like dark, milk, or semi-sweet, or even a combo, i.e. Amano, Scharffen Berger
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 grade A vanilla bean optional
- Dash of table salt
- 2/3 cup dutch-processed cocoa or 1/2 cup cocoa powder I love Valrhona, for non-alkalized, Scharffen Berger is one of our favorites
In a food processor or blender, grind chocolate chips until they resemble a powder, or small pebbles.
Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise, use knife to scrape seeds. Put seeds and bean into sugar. Massage for about one minute.
Mix vanilla sugar, chocolate, and cocoa. Place in a plastic bag and store in dark cupboard or inside paper bag to reserve cocoa flavor. You may also store in a glass canning jar or tin for you or for gifting. (Just a quick note: darker containers are better for storing chocolate. Flavor will suffer and diminish over time if chocolate is left in light. However, in a plastic bag or glass jar, the mixture will still be very good for about a month.)
Add 2 tablespoons hot chocolate mix to 8 ounces scalding milk for a rich hot cocoa.
Sit for 1 minute to let chocolate bits dissolve. Stir.(You can also substitute a couple tablespoons of heavy cream to get an extra-super rich hot cocoa!)
Add whipped cream, caramel sauce, peppermint, or anything else you'd like for mix-ins.
Dress it Up:
Add in 1-2 crushed candy canes or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon into the mix for a little different finish.
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