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There are many, many ways to make hot chocolate. I just posted two marvelous recipes earlier today from Fred Thompson and Linda Collister.  But in your portfolio of hot chocolate ideas, you need to consider these things.


What is the liquid I use?

Your options include:

  • Pure milk
  • Pure water
  • Pure heavy cream
  • Some combination of those three
  • Dashes of booze, such as coffee liqueur or kahlua or brandy or tequila


What is the source of the chocolate?

  • Cocoa powder
  • Unsweetened chocolate, or semi, or milk or even white

How do I thicken the beverage?

A “thick” beverage is simply more satisfying than a thin one so consider:

  • Whisking
  • Arrowroot
  • Cornstarch

How can I augment the flavor?

  • Orange or lemon or lime zest
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Dulce de leche
  • Vanilla bean
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Lavendar
  • Homemade caramel sauce
  • Malted milk powder and malted milk balls
  • Nutmeg or allspice or cloves
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Ground peppermint candy or peppermint oil
  • Espresso powder or a shot of coffee
  • Cardamom
  • Eggnog

How can I flavor the whipped cream?

  • Cayanne
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Liqueur of any kind

To find specific recipes using these ideas, you can consult Hot Chocolate by Fred Thompson or Hot Chocolate by Michael Turback.

Or, you can wing it. You’ll be fine. It’s a dash of this, a teaspoon of that. Your goal is to create flavor overtones and you can certainly do that using one or more of these flavor additions.