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XOXOXO ways for Chocolicious COCOA!



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  Self-Serve Hot Chocolate Bar 

On a winterish cold February day or night, you can gather up a few couples, your best girlfriends, or family members and stay warm and cozy with a perfectly steamed cup of hot chocolate.  For a fun variation on this classic drink, make a self-serve hot chocolate bar where guests can customize their own cup of cocoa.  Garnishes can add flavor, top it off, be stirred in, or placed on the bottom of your mug before you add the hot drink.  You can turn a classic cup of hot chocolate into something gourmet like raspberry truffle or peppermint spice with the right mix of ingredients.  Here are some favorite ways to sweeten your chocolaty drink:

LIQUIDS

Flavored creamers, oils or syrups

Caramel or chocolate sauce



TOPPINGS/STIR-INS

Whipped cream

Marshmallows

Crushed candy bars or mints

Coconut flakes

Biscotti

Peppermint Sticks

Spoons dipped in chocolate, Nutella or peanut butter

Sea Salt for salted hot chocolate

ADULTS ONLY

Creme de Menthe

Orange Liqueur

Vanilla vodka

Dark rum

  CHOCOLICIOUS COCOA RECIPIES  

S’mores Hot Chocolate

Recipe by Our Best Bites  -  www.ourbestbites.com

4 cups whole milk

2 – 4 oz. Hershey’s chocolate bars

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 graham crackers, crushed

8 large marshmallows

chocolate syrup

4 mugs or 8 espresso-sized mugs

Place melted butter in a small, shallow dish that’s as large around as your mug. Place crushed graham crackers in another dish of the same size. Flip your mugs upside-down and dip the rim first in melted butter and then in the crushed graham crackers. Break the chocolate into pieces and place one-half bar in each mug. Heat milk to a simmer and then pour one cup into each mug over the chocolate. Set aside.

Place marshmallows on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place under the broiler in the oven on low heat. Watch constantly and remove from oven when toasted and browned.

Stir hot milk mixture to distribute melted chocolate. Top each mug with 2-3 toasted marshmallows and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Hershey’s Classic Hot Cocoa

Recipe by Hershey’s  -  www.Hersheys.com

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

Dash salt

1/3 cup hot water

4 cups (1 quart) milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Miniature marshmallows or sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Stir together sugar, cocoa, and salt in medium saucepan; stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. DO NOT BOIL.

Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. Five 8-oz. servings.

Ultimate Hot Chocolate

Recipe by Our Best Bites - www.ourbestbites.com

2 - 1-oz.    squares of unsweetened baking chocolate

1 - 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

4 cups water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Method 1: Using a Hot Chocolate Machine

In your microwave or in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the chocolate and the sweetened condensed milk until the chocolate is completely melted (about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes in the microwave). Whisk together to combine completely and set aside.

Combine water, chocolate mixture, and vanilla in your hot chocolate machine and turn it on according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Method 2: Using Your Stovetop

In your microwave or in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the chocolate and the sweetened condensed milk until the chocolate is completely melted (about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes in the microwave). Whisk in vanilla, combine completely, and set aside.

In a larger saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate mixture.

Either way you make it, serve in mugs with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired. Serves about 6

  CHOCOLICIOUS VARIATIONS  

Add one of the following along with the vanilla extract:

SPICED COCOA:

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon and

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Serve with cinnamon stick, if desired.

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MINT COCOA:

1/2 teaspoon mint extract OR 3 tablespoons crushed hard peppermint candy OR 2 to 3 tablespoons white creme de menthe. Serve with peppermint candy stick, if desired.

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CITRUS COCOA:

1/2 teaspoon orange extract OR

2 to 3 tablespoons orange liqueur.

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SWISS MOCHA:

2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons

powdered instant coffee.

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COCOA AU LAIT:

Omit marshmallows or whipped cream. Spoon 2 tablespoons softened vanilla ice cream on top of each cup of cocoa at serving time.

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SLIM-TRIM COCOA:

Omit sugar. Combine cocoa, salt, and water; substitute nonfat milk. Proceed as above. With vanilla, stir in sugar substitute with sweetening equivalence of 1/2 cup sugar.

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CANADIAN COCOA:

1/2 teaspoon maple extract.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate:

Add 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in with the vanilla.

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Mint Hot Chocolate:

Replace vanilla with 1 teaspoon mint (NOT spearmint) extract.

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Peppermint Hot Chocolate:

Replace vanilla with 1 teaspoon peppermint extract. Serve with a candy cane instead of a spoon to stir.

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Almond or Hazelnut Hot Chocolate:

Replace vanilla with 1 teaspoon almond or hazelnut extract.

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