I half-joke that my Russian upbringing made me a Husky. I get so dizzy when I see fresh snow that I want to stop doing everything – sorry for my work colleagues – and just enjoy the magic and serenity of a world covered in white . And I want to do it with a steaming cup of hot chocolate in hand.
My 9-year-old son agrees that any good winter romp should be followed by hot chocolate, ideally topped with mini marshmallows. When he was younger, Avi preferred mixing. But this winter, as we rejoiced in two January snowfalls in one week, he decided that my simple homemade version was his platonic ideal.
The recipe takes just a few minutes and uses just three ingredients, not including salt: milk, cocoa powder, and semi-sweet chocolate. I don’t add sugar and at first you might think the cocoa isn’t sweet enough. As you continue to sip, the drink will taste sweeter, but will never become cloying.
Start by warming the milk – whole, low-fat or vegetable, if you prefer – in a saucepan, incorporating the cocoa and chocolate. (You can use any dark, bittersweet, or milk chocolate if you prefer, but I find that semisweet produces that classic hot chocolate taste.) Add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors even more and bring the mixture to a low heat.
In just a few minutes, you’ll have hot chocolate that’s in a different league from the bagged mix and doesn’t take much more effort to make.
If marshmallows aren’t your thing – shh, don’t tell Avi – but a touch of spice is, add a pinch of ground ancho pepper and cayenne pepper for a warming adult drink. throat.
And while a winter storm is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to some hot chocolate, the one thing that’s non-negotiable is how you drink it: hold the cup with both hands, inhale its comforting aroma, and savor each sip. You may not even care if it snows.
Classic Hot Chocolate
2 cups whole or skim milk
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of fine salt
Mini marshmallows, to serve (optional)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, chocolate, cocoa powder and salt. Heat, whisking frequently, to melt the chocolate and disperse and dissolve the cocoa powder, until boiling – you should start to see tiny bubbles gathering around the edges. Taste and add a few more pieces of chocolate, if desired, then stir to melt and combine.
Remove from the heat, whisk again briefly and divide between two cups. Serve hot.
Yield: 2 servings
Storage: Refrigerate for up to 2 days; reheat gently, stirring frequently, over low heat.
Variants: For a spicy hot chocolate, add 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper and a pinch of ancho chili powder.