Calvin: The secret to making great hot chocolate is to put the tiny marshmallows in first.
Hobbes: So they melt faster?
Calvin: No, so you can fit in forty or fifty of them. This way the hot chocolate just fills in the cracks.
Hobbes: I wondered why you eat it with a fork.
Calvin: Also, I don’t use milk. I just heat the syrup.
The most magical thing to wake up to is snow falling outside your window. The dull crunch of walking in snow, rosy-cheeked and exhaling fog with every breath. The world subdued and blanketed in muffled silence.
After an appointment at the dentist I came home and had lunch (a vegetable and beef stew with coconut milk that I’ve been making lately), before setting out again into the snow with my brother. I don’t know how long we were out there, but it was at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half. Possibly two hours. Time is lost. The little kid in me still wants to stay outside, even when my feet are freezing and beyond comfortably numb in ill-advised Adidas trainers and my fingers stiff from the cold despite wearing gloves. The only thing that can lure us back inside is a promise of something warm to drink.
That was last week. All the snow was washed away by rain, but in this cold weather hot chocolate is still a comfort – snow or no snow. (There’s no end of virtual snow, though – until January 4th. Why, WordPress, why? Can’t you extend it until my birthday, pretty please?)
Last year, I made hot chocolate only once to only be rebuffed with, “Where are the marshmallows?” He was reading Calvin and Hobbes comics and he wanted to be like Calvin, having hot chocolate with marshmallows when he came inside from playing out in the cold. Thus, he refused to drink the hot chocolate without the marshmallows, which led to my almost four-year quest and experimenting to make the perfect, sugar-free and corn syrup free marshmallows.
This year, we can make hot chocolate and drink it, too, with or without marshmallows. (Retrospectively, I think he just wanted to have marshmallows again and hot chocolate was the vehicle.)
One year ago: An epic detailing my first time making Baked Alaska in the form of petite fours (SCD & GFCF)
8 ounces (1 cup) is the usual size for a drink, though that day I only used 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of milk and it was just enough for the little guy. (Sometimes, smaller is better.) For milk, we’ve used a blend of soy and rice milk and So Delicious’ Coconut Milk Beverage in Original and Vanilla.
Serves 1 to 2 (small, two servings: 4 ounces; regular, single serving: 8 ounces)
1/2 to 1 cup dairy-free milk of your choice [see head note]
1 to 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, natural or Dutched/alkalized (using Dutch gives a richer chocolate flavour)
1 to 1 1/2 dessert teaspoons agave nectar or honey
Marshmallows (optional, they make a fun sub for whipped cream)
Heat the milk in a small pot over medium heat, bringing just to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder (1 tablespoon per 1/2 cup) until completely blended. Pour the hot chocolate into a mug or mugs. Sweeten to your taste: I actually preferred a slightly bittersweet hot chocolate, while my brother went for the slightly sweeter side. Top with marshmallows or have as is. Enjoy!