Friday, January 16, 2009

The Best Hot Cocoa...

It is really cold here today, in fact it is zero degrees outside and 53 degrees in our bedroom! We keep the vent closed and use a nice fluffy down comforter. Great for sleeping, but hard to get up.

Cold days scream for cups full of hot cocoa, so today I thought I would post my two favorite recipes. The one I make most is an old fashioned cocoa type:

[Scotty sledding age 3]

For one quart of cocoa:

1/3 Cup of baking cocoa, I like the Hershey's Special Dark
1/3 Cup of white sugar [May use 1/2 to 2/3 C sugar if you like it sweeter?
1/4 Cup of water

Blend together in a sauce pan, bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for about a 45 seconds, then whisk in:

1 quart of milk

Heat, but do not boil. If you have a thermometer, 180 degrees is a good temperature for cocoa.

1 tsp vanilla
1T butter [optional, but it does make it more creamy, this is real butter not whipped margarine]

Serve hot, may top with whipped cream and a bit of dry cocoa or cinnamon sugar or marshmallows.
The second recipe is an "Adults only" type cocoa. Not because of adult ingredients, but because it is more chocolaty and not as sweet.


This is the most chocolatey, richest chocolate I have ever had. If you want more of a creamy taste, add a dollop of whipped cream, but for showing off the complexities of the rich chocolate taste, this can’t be beat. This is a grown up hot cocoa—just give the kids some Swiss Miss!

6 ounces of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (not unsweetened), cut up
1 ½ C boiling water
1 ½ C milk

Place the chocolate in a small saucepan. Pour about ½ of the boiling water over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the rest of the boiling water and the milk. Heat over medium heat, whisking continuously, until hot, but not boiling. 180° is the optimal temperature for cocoa. Serve immediately. (Use chocolate with 60%-70% chocolate).

Recipe comes from the amazing book, Bittersweet by Alice Medrich and Deborah Jones

I don't want this to become a recipe blog, so I feel I owe you all something beyond two recipes. I love chocolate, and after careful research, I have discovered that it actually has only a small amount of caffeine when compared to coffee or cola drinks. I thought chocolate lovers everywhere would love to have this information.

The chart shows the beverage or food and the average mg. caffeine

[Cris, about 14]

COFFEE, 5 oz cup

Brewed, drip method 115
Brewed, perc. method 80
Instant 65
brewed 3
instant 2

TEA, 5oz cup
Brewed, major US brands 40
imported 60
Iced (12oz glass) 70
Instant 30
Decaff. brewed 3

SOFT DRINKS, 12oz 30-60

Cocoa, 5oz cup 4
Chocolate milk, 8 oz 5
Chocolate flavored syrup, 1 oz 4
Milk chocolate, 1 oz 6
Dark and semi sweet, 1 oz 20

You will notice I didn't publish a calorie chart!

Take care,


  1. Hi Jill, You don't know me but my friend Linda B, sent me the link to your blog. I just love reading it and am now a follower. I homeschooled my 21, 18 and 17 year old for about 3 years, many many years ago. I now have a 7 year old that I pulled out of school in September and am now home schooling this year. It's so different from when I started over 15 years ago...LOL
    I just wanted to say hello and let you know I love your blog.
    Amy (Mom to the Four Sisters)

  2. Hey Cuz! Fixed hot chocolate for the twins this morning as it was a chilly 39 here in Florida (inside and out as we try not to turn the heat on)! Not many chances to really wear the flannel pj's and pile on the blankets for snuggling.

    As you know..........that is perfect weather for the hot chocolate crowd! Had to pick all the oranges off the tree a couple of weeks ago so we are chugging down the fresh OJ as well! :-) Take care and keep warm!

  3. Wow that is cold for Florida. We were under 0 for an night or two and that is cold for Kentucky. We have a bit of snow-but not enough for sledding, much to Scotty's disgust. I am glad the oranges didn't freeze. Our bedroom was 49 degrees the other night and man, that down comforter felt fantastic!