Dec 3, 2007

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

I realized a while back that all of the hot chocolate we had in the house contained trans fats, so I tossed it all in the trash. Now that the weather's gotten cold, I set out to make my own cocoa mix but the vast majority of recipes contain powdered milk, which I don't have on hand at the moment and don't feel like buying. And I always have milk in the fridge so I didn't need an instant mix that only required hot water. I managed to find this Martha Stewart mix which has turned out to be quite good - especially with half of a Trader Joe's peppermint marshmallow (a whole one makes the drink too sweet). I used cocoa powder that I already had on hand, but I will be keeping an eye out for fair trade cocoa powder. (I'm not buying non-fair trade chocolate, but I am using up what I already had.)

Homemade Hot Chocolate
Makes 5 3/4 cups dry mix or 92 eight-ounce servings

3 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups cocoa
1 tablespoon table salt
Whole milk for serving

1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Store the mixture in an airtight container.

2. For individual servings, pour 1 cup whole milk into a microwave-safe mug, and microwave on high just until hot. Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa mix, and stir to dissolve. For a larger batch of cocoa, warm the milk in a saucepan set over medium-low heat, taking care not to let the milk boil; as it warms, stir in 2 tablespoons of mix for each cup of milk.

1. I figured superfine sugar would dissolve better, but I didn't have any, so I pureed regular sugar in my electric food mill, then added the cocoa and salt. (Pureeing the cocoa broke up those little clumps.)

2. To make the cocoa, I fill a mug 3/4 of the way with 1% or nonfat milk (about 6 oz.), and microwave on high for one minute. Then I stir in two tablespoons of cocoa mix, top with half a Trader Joe's peppermint marshmallow, and microwave for another 30 seconds. This makes the hot chocolate frothy and helps make the marshmallow melty.


Anonymous said...

You might just have changed my life - I had no idea Trader Joe's have peppermint marshmallows! Wicked.

Homemade cocoa mixes have never had any allure for me, since I don't like powdered milk (and non-dairy creamer? shudder) and it isn't a big deal to put a couple teaspoons of sugar and a teaspoon of cocoa in a mug. But your recipe would be a time saver, especially now that one of my sons has discovered that "real" cocoa is much better than the Swiss Miss he has always felt compelled to drink. So I would like to make it easier for him to make his own cocoa. Many thanks for this post!

Tamara said...

What a super idea! Why did I not realize that I don't need to find a powdered milk substitute?

I cannot have dairy and discovered non-dairy, gluten-free powdered milk substitutes are hard to find and expensive.

I am going to try your idea and start with my typical milk sub, rice milk! Thanks!

ChiefFamilyOfficer said...

MaryM and Tamara - I'm glad you both find the recipe useful! One thing I should add, though, I think the very best hot chocolate is simply melting my favorite chocolate into hot milk - it has a more silky texture and richer flavor than cocoa powder. But the mix is easier, and more than an adequate substitute. I've been having a mug every night!

Ezra said...

Hi Cathy,

I'm glad I bumped into your blog entry. I've got 2 boys I would like to wheen off of swiss miss -- mostly because it is a mix of chemicals and who-know-what.

But I wonder -- do you kids actually like the mix, or is it something you consume yourself?


Anonymous said...

I have made this mix many times and it tastes great though if you don't use superfine sugar, the mix tends to clump a bit at the bottom. It does taste a lot richer with milk, however, my roomate is lactose-intolerant and thinks this mix is delicious! (and way cheaper than store-sold dairy-free mixes).

Personally, I do prefer my homemade mix that uses powdered milk. It is far creamier and richer of a texture.