Curried white hot chocolate from Anthony Grace, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. Photo by Daniela Cuevas | THE NIBBLE.





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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.



February 2006
Last Updated February 2011

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages


Hot Chocolate Recipes

Page 2: Flavored Hot Chocolate



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4. Banana Hot Chocolate

Puree half a ripe banana for each 8-ounce cup of hot chocolate. Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a grind of fresh nutmeg to the banana puree, warm it in the microwave for 20 seconds, and stir the puree into the hot beverage. You can garnish the beverage with a side of banana chips (or for kids, marshmallows and graham crackers). We’re not saying this is a “health drink,” but it combines potassium and anti-oxidants, and it sure is a mood elevator!

Photo copyright Davide Guglielmo | SXC.

5. Chai Hot Chocolate

If you love both chai and hot chocolate, you’ll also like them when they’re mixed together. This recipe serves two.

  • Grate 2 ounces of good chocolate in the 40%-50% cacao range.
  • Brew 3 ounces of chai tea for five minutes in a cup of boiling water. Strain the tea into a quart pot or bowl, pressing a spoon against the leaves to extract the most tea.
  • Simmer a cup of milk over medium heat, add to the tea, then add the chocolate. Mix with an immersion blender until the chocolate has melted.
Photo of chai copyright Meghan Anderson-Colangelo | SXC.

6. Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Stir hot chocolate with a whole cinnamon stick for a classic flavor pairing. You don’t need a cloud of whipped cream to make this trick work: serve the cinnamon stick on the saucer, or in a dish on the table as hot chocolate “condiments” so guests can help themselves. (If you inherited a glass cigarette jar from Grandma, it will make a great server for cinnamon sticks).


Cinnamon sticks

Photo copyright Jerry X | SXC.


7. Coffee Hot Chocolate

Add a shot of espresso or coffee syrup to your hot chocolate. Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Espresso photo courtesy

8. Curried Hot Chocolate & Other Exotic Spices: Lavender, Lemongrass, Star Anise

Some spices and herbs are especially delicious with white hot chocolate. If it sounds strange, let us assure you: It’s magnificent. You can get this one ready-made in one of our Top Picks Of The Week, India Kari White Hot Chocolate from Anthony Grace.

For something else exotic, infuse your choice of flavors in the milk when making hot chocolate: lavender, lemongrass and star anise are favorites.




Lavender white hot chocolate. Photo by Daniela Cuevas | THE NIBBLE.


9. Liqueurs & Spirits

Strictly for adults, but oh-so-wonderful: bring out all of your too-seldom-used liqueurs and let guests select their favorites. Many flavor families work: fruit flavors like Grand Marnier (orange) and Framboise (raspberry); coffee flavors like Kahlua; chocolate flavors with Godiva chocolate liqueurs; creamy liqueurs like Bailey’s Irish Cream and Voyant Chai; and licorice flavors like Anisette. Straight spirits such as bourbon and rum add a stiffer kick. Start with a tablespoon per cup, and provide liqueur glasses or shot glasses: Guests may enjoy a chaser.

  Grand Marnier

10. Mint Hot Chocolate

Smash the stems of a few sprigs of fresh mint, and add them to the hot chocolate as it cooks; strain before serving, and add a fresh sprig to garnish. You can use mint extract if you don’t have fresh mint. It’s a fresher, zingier, more natural alternative to the peppermint stick approach (see Garnishes on the next page)—with no added calories!

  Mint Cocoa
Photo copyright Angelice.

11. Nutella Or Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Whisk in a teaspoon of Nutella or smooth peanut butter to create nutty hot chocolate. For the deluxe version, garnish with whipped cream topped with chopped hazelnuts or peanuts.



12. Raspberry Hot Chocolate (Or Your
Favorite Berry)

Puree six raspberries for each cup of hot chocolate, and add them to the milk and chocolate mix. Continue to prepare the recipe according to directions. Garnish with a fresh raspberry skewered on a cocktail pick. Frozen raspberries work fine for the puree. If you have neither fresh nor frozen but adore raspberries and chocolate, try 1/4 teaspoon of raspberry extract per 8-ounce cup. This also works with blackberries, strawberries or any berry you’re particularly fond of.

Photo copyright Dirk de Kegel.


13. Spicy Hot Hot Chocolate

If you love “Aztec” hot chocolate but don’t love the high prices of the fine gourmet brands, mix up your own spice blend. Try this basic mix, and add it to your hot chocolate until you find a level of spiciness you like. You can vary the level of individual ingredients (e.g., more or less chili/chipotle or ginger): 1 teaspoon each chili OR chipotle powder and cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon each cardamom and ginger; 1/4 teaspoon each cloves and nutmeg. Mix all ground spices together. Start by adding 1/2 teaspoon of the mix per cup of hot chocolate, and increase to taste.

Photo copyright AngelaFoto.

14. Syrup Shots

Some of the preceding ideas require advance planning, but you can always have a bottle or two of flavored syrups on hand for coffee, tea, desserts and hot chocolate. We wouldn’t use them on the designer hot chocolate because the heaviness of the syrup covers up the expensive cacao flavor. But they’re just perfect to add pizzazz to supermarket hot chocolate. There are dozens of flavors to have fun with, including banana, caramel, cherry, cinnamon, coconut, egg nog, orange, peanut butter, praline, peppermint, toffee, and toasted marshmallow. Remember that the syrups are sweet, so cut the sugar in the hot chocolate recipe in half. As with a cup of coffee, you can always add more.

  Da Vinci Syrups


Continue To Page 3: Hot Chocolate Garnishes

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