12 votes

What's your special trick or preference for making the perfect cup of hot chocolate?

I used to have a little kit filled with additives like vanilla, mint, caramel, whipped cream, etc. for making specialty hot cocoa, but I seem to have used it all up. I want to make a new one, so I'm curious what you put in your hot chocolate to make it extra special.

8 comments

  1. unknown user
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    I like adding the tiniest amount of either black pepper or cayenne, and a few grains of salt, per serving. Gives it some sort of a twang or something. Got the idea from a Jamie Oliver video, IIRC.

    I like adding the tiniest amount of either black pepper or cayenne, and a few grains of salt, per serving. Gives it some sort of a twang or something. Got the idea from a Jamie Oliver video, IIRC.

    5 votes
  2. Akir
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    Two steps: 1 - Make it slightly different each time. Adding vanilla works, so does mint, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and many other spices. 2 - Have someone else make it for you. It turns out that...

    Two steps:

    1 - Make it slightly different each time. Adding vanilla works, so does mint, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and many other spices.

    2 - Have someone else make it for you. It turns out that the secret ingredient really is love.

    4 votes
  3. MimicSquid
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    This is for particularly cold weather when you're backpacking and really really need to warm up: butter. Like a half a stick. When you're so tired you're not even hungry anymore but you still have...

    This is for particularly cold weather when you're backpacking and really really need to warm up: butter. Like a half a stick. When you're so tired you're not even hungry anymore but you still have 5 miles to hike before nighttime a cup of hot chocolate can seem like something still worth consuming and the extra calories of pure fat can keep you warm and moving until you can get to your destination.

    3 votes
  4. mat
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    So the real secret to amazing hot chocolate isn't the ingredients so much as the process. The best hot chocolate I've ever had is made the day before (or the morning before at least). Melt the...

    So the real secret to amazing hot chocolate isn't the ingredients so much as the process. The best hot chocolate I've ever had is made the day before (or the morning before at least). Melt the best chocolate you can get in the best milk you can get, with cream and vanilla (and/or chilli, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, salt, honey, whatever to taste). Bring to about 80C, then take it off the heat, cover and allow to cool. The next day, re-heat to no more than 75C and serve. There's some technical business regarding the formation of the right sort of chocolate crystals but the practical upshot is the smoothest, most delicious hot chocolate you've ever tasted. You can make it anywhere between "drink from a bucket" strength all the way to "serve in a shot glass", and anywhere from kids-heaven sweet, topped with marshmallows and caramel to properly grown-up bitter and salty.

    I like making it with white chocolate occasionally too, which is a pleasant change (and fuck people who say white chocolate isn't real chocolate, top quality white chocolate is amazing). Cardamom is a particular favourite addition to white hot chocolate, although I do find cream overwhelms it a bit.

    Alternatively, Xocolatl is always good. Pop a shot of tequila and a squeeze of fresh lime juice in there while you're at it.

    3 votes
  5. VoidOutput
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    I take two sugar cubes and put them at the bottom of the mug. Then I pour cold half-skimmed milk on top. I put that in the microwave for one minute and a half so that it's just barely very hot....

    I take two sugar cubes and put them at the bottom of the mug. Then I pour cold half-skimmed milk on top. I put that in the microwave for one minute and a half so that it's just barely very hot. Then I drop two full spoons of chocolate powder.

    It might be simple but that's my recipe :)

    2 votes
  6. Dovey
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    Ah, it's not what's in It, it's what it's in! Several years ago I was looking for something on the internet and stumbled across a picture of some brown mugs (not on that site, just using it for...

    Ah, it's not what's in It, it's what it's in! Several years ago I was looking for something on the internet and stumbled across a picture of some brown mugs (not on that site, just using it for the image) just like the ones I'd grown up with. My mother must have disposed of them because I hadn't seen them for years, but I was overcome with the need to own them. I bought two and use them now if I'm making hot chocolate, just like in the olden days. They seem smaller and are a bit awkward to drink from, but they make me happy.

    1 vote
  7. Wes
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    I like to add mint, vanilla, or sometimes a coffee syrup.

    I like to add mint, vanilla, or sometimes a coffee syrup.

    1 vote