Autumn is here, and the hot chocolate season is beginning! This is a guest post by Ben Stallings (brother of ‘Becca) , who is a permaculture gardener, home energy efficiency auditor, and owner of a curbside recycling business in Kansas and also happens to have a scrumptious hot chocolate recipe.
For most of my life, I’ve been making hot chocolate by melting chocolate chips in milk. It’s come to my attention that most people don’t do this, even though many people prefer the taste of hot chocolate made this way to the stuff from the packets, so I’d like to share my recipe, if you can call it that. But first, some history…
When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time at my best friend’s house, and I paid close attention to how his mother did things differently than my own mother did. One day we came in from playing in the snow, and I noticed that she was making us hot chocolate by melting chocolate chips in a pan of milk on the stove. (This required low heat and a lot of whisking, so I had plenty of time to notice what she was doing.) It was the best hot chocolate I’d ever had, so when I got home I told Mom about it. She made her own cocoa mix from powdered milk, sugar, and cocoa powder. Mom, bless her heart, decided to ask my friend’s mother for the recipe although I insisted it was just chocolate and milk. I can only guess that my friend’s mother was self-conscious about not using a commercial mix — there was a substantial socioeconomic difference between our families — because she denied the whole thing and said she had made it from a mix!
Anyhow, a few years later when we got a microwave oven, I began experimenting with melting chocolate chips in mugs of milk in the microwave. I christened it “Chocolate Abomination” because it seemed so decadent compared to mixing powder in hot water, but it’s really not that rich — you could easily eat more chocolate if you ate the chips straight from the package. Mixing them with hot milk seems to increase their potency somehow! I find the drink to be very satisfying, while wholesome and inexpensive.
Without further ado, here’s how to make Chocolate Abomination:
- Put a handful (about 1/4 cup) of organic, semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips in the bottom of a microwaveable mug.
- Put enough milk in the mug to cover the chips.
- Microwave for 30-60 seconds until chips are melted — or if your microwave has a “melt chocolate” setting, use that. (Larger, high-powered microwave ovens are likely to boil the milk over and make a mess unless you use their “melt” setting.) Stir until well mixed.
- Fill the mug the rest of the way with milk. Microwave another 30-60 seconds to reach desired temperature. Stir well.
Of course, I’m not the only one to think of this. There are lots of variants documented on the Web, but all the ones I’ve found say to make it in a pan on the stove like my friend’s mother did. The microwave method is much quicker, easier, and less messy! The other recipes also call for half & half, vanilla, etc. which in my opinion are not necessary. 2% milk is plenty rich enough. I do sometimes add a tablespoon of instant coffee for an additional kick, but it’s not really part of the recipe.
Check out these other guest posts by Ben: