What can be better on a cold winter’s night than a steamy mug of homemade hot chocolate? We grew up drinking Nesquik out of a yellow plastic tub (and loved it), but let me tell you, any packaged hot chocolate mix doesn’t hold a candle to this stuff. It’s got a rich, powerful chocolate flavor that pairs perfectly with some whipped cream (or homemade marshmallows!) With the amount of real chocolate in this mix, it’s unsurprising that it’s got such a gourmet taste (since the chocolate flavor really shines through, you’ll want to use good quality chocolate). Even better, it makes a lot, takes no time at all and has a long shelf life, making it perfect for holiday gifts. In fact, it’s the only component of my holiday gift bags that has stayed the same from last year! I have a feeling this will be a staple gift for many years to come.
- 2 vanilla beans
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 24 oz semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 9 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder*
Split and scrape the vanilla beans, combining the seeds with the granulated sugar in a large bowl. Use your fingers to work the vanilla seeds into the sugar. Bury the pods under the sugar, cover and let sit overnight (or as long as you want – vanilla sugar will last indefinitely). Remove the pods from the sugar before using.
Process the semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until finely ground. Add in the vanilla sugar and cocoa powder and process in pulses until well combined. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your food processor; my 12-cup just barely fit it all. Store in an airtight container.
To make hot chocolate, combine 2 tablespoons mix with 8 ounces of very warm milk.
*Dutch-process cocoa powder can be difficult to find. I use Hershey’s Special Dark, which is a combination of unsweetened and Dutch-process cocoa powder. You can also order Dutch-process online.
Yield: ~76 servings
Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally from Gourmet