Perfect Winter Cocoa
BY TIFFANY VALKOVA '25
Back with another recipe, one of a new series every issue! Winter calls for cozying up by the fireplace, warming up after a day on the slopes, and thawing numb hands and feet after building a snowman. For every winter activity, hot chocolate is a staple drink for the entire season! After spending a day at the Holiday Market at Snowport in Boston (usually Seaport any other time of the year), I tried Fat Cactus’s famous hot chocolate. They had a dozen of innovative flavors, ranging from s’mores to cannoli specialty hot chocolates. After tasting these delicious variations, I was inspired to make my own hot chocolate from the trip. Instead of adding special flavoring, I opted for a traditional French take on hot chocolate, similar to Thinking Cup’s recipe, another cafe in Boston which I would definitely recommend as well. The recipe produces a thick and decadent drink, greatly differing from a hot chocolate powder mix that has a weaker chocolate flavor but is quicker to make.
Major allergens would only include milk/lactose. Milk, half and half, heavy cream, or oat milk is preferred to water in the recipe so that the hot chocolate has a creamy consistency, differing from many recipes that incorporate water instead which is a lot thinner. This recipe yields about two 12 oz cups worth of hot chocolate, but the ingredients are so simple that the amount can be easily altered. In total, it takes less than ten minutes to make. I would recommend using quality chocolate, such as Lindt, Godiva, or Ghirardelli to make sure the chocolate flavor comes through strongly. Lastly, I added a little bit of espresso powder or instant coffee granules to intensify the chocolate flavor, but it’s definitely only optional. The taste of the coffee wouldn’t be noticeable, but it would only make the chocolate stronger instead.
This would go great with marshmallows (and graham cracker crumbs to make it s’mores!), crushed candy canes, or any other combination of toppings you can think of! This is a super quick and easy recipe to make and is much tastier than powdered hot chocolate, so I’d definitely give it a try. It can be reheated in the microwave or back on the stove on low heat, but it’s best right after making it. Add this hot chocolate to any day of the season for a perfect winter drink!