Best Hot Chocolate Recipes

November 11, 2022
Best hot chocolate

When one thinks of winter, thoughts of hot chocolate come to mind. Hot chocolate is a beverage that has been around for centuries. It is said that Christopher Columbus discovered it on his travels to the new world. There are many variations of this drink, but all share a common goal: to warm up and satisfy on a cold day. In this article, we will explore some of the best hot chocolate recipes and discuss the history of hot chocolate.

History Of Hot Chocolate

Woman drinking hot chocolate in christmas socket

The Mayans were among the earliest to drink a hot chocolate mix, starting as early as 500 BC. They would grind up cocoa seeds and mix them with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other ingredients to create a beverage that was quite different from hot chocolate today. To prepare the drink, they would pour it back and forth between a cup and pot until thick foam developed before enjoying it cold. Although this chocolate drink could be enjoyed by anyone regardless of social class, those who were wealthy would often drink it from large vessels with spouts – which they would then bury along with themselves upon death.

In the early 1500s, Cortez introduced cocoa beans and chocolate drink-making tools to Europe. Although the drink was still cold and bitter-tasting, it became popular among the Spanish upper class. The Spaniards were very protective of their new beverage, and it wasn’t until over a hundred years later that news of it began to spread across Europe.

Chocolate houses became a popular sensation in London during the 1700s, even though chocolate was very pricey. In the late 1700s, Hans Sloane (the president of the Royal College of Physicians) brought a recipe back from Jamaica that involved mixing chocolate with milk– making the drink more palatable. People agreed with Sloane, and English citizens began adding milk to their chocolate; it was then usually enjoyed as an after-dinner beverage.

Until the 1800s, people believed that hot chocolate had medicinal properties and could be used to treat stomach and liver diseases. Today, we enjoy it simply as a delicious drink.

More authentic and gourmet varieties of hot chocolate can be found in restaurants and cafes, but in America, the drink is typically thin. Conversely, other countries have much thicker versions of the beverage—Spain’s thick chocolate a la Taza, Latin America’s spiced chocolate para mesa, or Italy’s Cioccolata Calda.

Hot chocolate has become so prevalent in the United States that it can now be accessed from coffee vending machines. The powder is retailed in packets and canisters, and various types of hot chocolate are also available on most coffee house menus.

5 Benefits Of Hot Chocolate

Below, we will discuss five benefits of drinking creamy hot cocoa:

1. Boosts Mood And Energy Levels

Hot chocolate mixes contain small amounts of caffeine and theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine but has a weaker effect. Caffeine and theobromine are alkaloids that act as central nervous system stimulants, which can help to increase alertness, improve mood, and give you a boost of energy. While the amount of these substances in hot chocolate is much lower than what you would find in coffee, it may still be enough to provide some benefits.

2. It May Help You Lose Weight

Hot chocolate contains cacao, which is high in fiber. Fiber helps to keep you feeling full after eating, so you may be less likely to snack on unhealthy foods later in the day. In addition, hot chocolate made with skim milk has fewer calories than those made with whole milk or cream.

3. Improves Blood Flow And Lowers Blood Pressure

Theobromine, one of the compounds in hot chocolate, has been shown to widen blood vessels and improve blood flow. This can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, the flavonoids in cacao can help to protect against damage to LDL cholesterol, which can lead to atherosclerosis.

4. May Help To Protect Your Brain

The flavonoids in a hot cocoa mix can help to improve blood flow to the brain and may also reduce the risk of stroke. In addition, hot chocolate may help to protect your cognitive function and decrease the risk of dementia. The flavonoids in cacao can also help to improve memory and increase task flexibility.

5. Contains Antioxidants

Hot chocolate is a good source of antioxidants, which are substances that protect your cells from damage. The flavonoids in cacao can help to neutralize free radicals, which can lead to inflammation and disease. In addition, the polyphenols in cacao can help to reduce the risk of cancer.

While hot chocolate does have some health benefits, it is important to remember that it is also high in sugar and calories. If you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, it is important to limit your intake of sugary drinks like hot chocolate. Choose skim milk instead of whole milk or cream, and avoid adding extra sugar to your drink. You can also buy hot chocolate made with dark chocolate, which has fewer calories, more health benefits, and an iconic dark chocolate flavor.

Best Hot Chocolate Mixes

Hot chocolate with a pumpkin besides it

There are so many variations of hot chocolate it’s hard to know where to start! Below are some of our favorites:

1. Old-fashioned Hot Chocolate

Cozy up with a mug of this delicious old-fashioned hot chocolate on chilly fall and winter days. It’s creamy, rich, and easy to make with just unsweetened chocolate, milk, sugar, and vanilla.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • Marshmallow creme or fluff, or whipped cream, for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions

Combine the chocolate, sugar, milk, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Gently stir with a whisk until the chocolate melts, and everything is mixed together well.

Take the pot off the burner and stir in vanilla.

Pour into cups, then top with marshmallow creme or whipped cream if you want.

2. Mexican Hot Chocolate

This rich and creamy hot chocolate is made with milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, and a touch of cayenne pepper for a bit of spice. Its delicious milk chocolate flavor is the perfect way to warm up on chilly evenings!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of hot milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream or marshmallows for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Gather the ingredients. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired. Serve immediately.

3. Hot Chocolate With Orange

This hot chocolate is made with milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, and a touch of orange zest for flavor. It’s rich, creamy, and oh-so-delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream or marshmallows for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Gather the ingredients. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and orange zest.

Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired. Serve immediately.

4. Hot Chocolate With Peppermint

Need a little pick-me-up? Then this is the perfect hot chocolate for you! Below, we list the ingredients for making a mug of this refreshing drink.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Whipped cream or marshmallows for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Gather the ingredients. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer.

Remove from the heat and stir in the peppermint extract.

Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired. Serve immediately.

Tips For Serving Your Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

1. If you want to keep your milk chocolate (hot cocoa) warm for a longer period of time, serve it in preheated mugs. You can either fill each cup with hot water while the drink is being made or heat water-filled cups in the microwave for 10 seconds. Once heated, dump out the water and then pour the hot chocolate into the mug.

2. Adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste. For instance, 1/4 teaspoon is good if you prefer a drink that’s less sweet.

3. For the best hot chocolate mix, use heavy cream instead of milk chocolate.

4. For an extra-special treat, top your hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows, or both! If you’re feeling really indulgent, add a shot of espresso or some liqueur.

5. If you have leftovers, store them in a covered container in the fridge. Reheat on the stove over low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through. (Do not boil.)

Conclusion

Hot chocolate mixes are delicious and comforting treats that are perfect for chilly evenings. With so many different ways to make it, there’s sure to be a recipe that suits your taste. So why not give one of these variations a try? We guarantee you’ll be glad you did!

Need Quality Hot Chocolate? Stop By Our Restuarant!

If you’re looking for the best hot chocolate around, then look no further than our The Chocolate Martini Bar. We use only the finest ingredients and take great care in preparing each and every drink. So book a reservation now and see what all the fuss is about! We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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