Cozy up to a cup of hot chocolate this Fall!
Ah, fall! Leaves are changing colors, football is in the air, and the pumpkin, in all it’s orange, round, splendor, everywhere. ’Tis the season for some seriously, sippable concoctions. We’ve discovered some unique and delicious fall hot chocolate recipes, perfect for getting cozy with a mug and drinking in the beauty of all things autumn.
Even if the thermometer doesn’t admit it, fall is indeed almost here. And with it comes one of the best times to start experimenting with all things hot chocolate. Even though holiday parties may seem far on the horizon, if you come up with your killer hot chocolate recipes now, you’ll have plenty of time to perfect them. Because after all, what could more fun than conducting very thorough, scientific experiments involving chocolate?
Your everyday spices can transform even the plainest mug of hot chocolate into a steaming mug of glorious decadence. And we’re not just talking a dash of cinnamon or a pinch of nutmeg. We’re talking crazy talk here. Think orange zest. Sea salt. Let’s get even crazier and go with some chili powder. Oh yeah, baby. Hot chocolate is about to get all kinds of nuts.
The key to adding new and exotic flavors to regular hot chocolate is to add a little bit at a time. You don’t want to dump a half cup of chili powder into your mug, even if you did win the habanero-eating contest at your last office party. Like a carefully dropped hint about an anniversary gift you’ve been desperately wanting your significant other to FINALLY purchase, subtlety is key. It can mean the difference between a mug of beauty and mug of disaster.
The same is true when adding salt. Try adding a pinch of salt to the bottom of the mug, filling the mug with hot chocolate, and then lining the rim with a bit more salt. If it sounds like a hot chocolate margarita, you’ve got the idea. And for extra yumminess, add some whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup at the top and feel your taste buds dance in ecstasy at the flavor combination.
And did you know that coconut is THE flavor of 2016? It’s true, according to Chris Brockman, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at global market intelligence agency Mintel, “Coconut, in general, is benefiting from being ‘on-trend’ on a number of fronts, and coconut flavored variants as a whole can be expected to continue to grow across the food and drink sector.”
Well lucky you, because now you can add it to your hot chocolate and still be smug in the fact that you’ve turned your former guilty-pleasure into a superfood. Add it in any form–coconut whipped cream, coconut extract, even try making your hot chocolate with coconut-flavored soy milk. It’s like drinking warm, liquid paradise.
Now let’s talk about the pumpkin. Yes, it’s everywhere. Yes, it has even wormed its way into pop-culture by way of Game of Thrones memes and elaborate events dedicated to the act of smashing them. And not without good reason. Pumpkins freaking rule. So why not increase their dominion over fall by adding them to our hot chocolate? The trick here is to harness the essence of what we love about pumpkins and infusing them into our beloved drink. That’s when we can use spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger and come out with something so scrumptious it almost brings a tear to the eye.
Which brings us to one of the more versatile and varied items you’ll find in your grocery store since Ben and Jerry’s started making ice cream named after musical acts people will leave their well-paying jobs to follow around the country. I’m talking about coffee creamer. It’s not just for coffee anymore. Add a dollop of your favorite flavor to your hot chocolate and voila! You’ve just discovered the unique and delicious flavor since Cherry Garcia. Some of the creamers to grace your mug this season are Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Pumpkin Spice, Coffee Mate Coconut Cream, and their Girl Scout Cookie line (now you don’t have to wait for those adorable girls to show up at your door to get your Thin Mint fix!).
After doing some experimenting myself, here are some of my favorite variations of hot chocolate. And feel free to add more or less of each flavor to suit your tastes!
Hot Chocolate Coco-Nuts
- Stir coconut milk, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon together in a saucepan over medium heat. Until under cocoa and sugar are completely dissolved, and
- Until under cocoa and sugar are completely dissolved, and mixture until heated through (about 5-7 minutes).
- Pour into a mug and enjoy.
Chili Con Hot Chocolate
- In a large mug, mix the hot chocolate mix, chocolate syrup, cinnamon and chili powder.
- Pour in boiling water.
- Add milk and stir.
Pumpkin Chunkin Hot Chocolate
½ cup milk
⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin puree
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup whipped cream
1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
1 pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
- Whisk milk, cream, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder together in a saucepan over medium heat until chocolate chips are melted and hot chocolate is smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice until fully incorporated.
- Pour hot chocolate into 2 mugs.
- Top with whipped cream; sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over whipped cream.
And there you have it. Now you can get a head-start on the season and try out one of these fall hot chocolate recipes. You can find your main ingredients right here at our hot chocolate boutique! And remember, there is no limit to what you can do, the flavor combinations you can add, and the ways to enjoy hot chocolate on a crisp, autumn day. Cheers!
Also published on Medium.