Collegiate Cuisine: Drop-It-Like-It’s-Hot Chococlate


Maricela Murillo, Staff Reporter

To me, drinking hot chocolate is like drinking a warm, frothy cup of nostalgia. In an instant, it takes me back to being a kid on Christmas break, helping my mom bake cookies and anxiously eyeing the brilliantly wrapped boxes under the tree. As much as I hate winter, I love that it gives me an excuse to make my second-favorite hot beverage, complete with mini-marshmallows and seasonal sprinkles. So last Thursday, when the weather changed from early summer to middle of a Minnesota winter, I did what any other slightly homesick college kid would do: I made hot chocolate.

I got out some milk, my soup pot, a whisk, vanilla extract, dark baking chocolate, Dutch-pressed cocoa powder, and some mini-marshmallows. I like to pour out as much milk as I want to make into hot chocolate into my mug first, so that I don’t make any extra. I never know what to do with the few drops that are left over. By the time I finish drinking what’s in my cup what’s in the pot has gone cold and developed a film and I force myself to drink it because I don’t want to waste any, so the cup-trick saves me that pain.

I heated up the milk for a while on low heat, about five minutes or so. Because I was making some for my boyfriend too, I made one batch with regular milk and the other with soymilk, and they both worked well. I’ve also used almond milk for this recipe so I’m sure it works with every other milk substitute.

After it was warm, I added in two teaspoons of vanilla extract and let it heat up for another minute or so, whisking it somewhat continuously, making sure it was really warm. Then I added in one square of Ghirardelli 60 percent cacao baking chocolate and broke it up with my whisk so it would melt faster. I kept whisking and once it was all broken up into very small pieces and looked a little like chocolate milk, I added in one and a half tablespoons of Dutch-pressed cocoa powder. I kept whisking and incorporating and letting the few un-melted pieces of chocolate melt.

Once I felt like it was all a smooth, incorporated mixture, I tasted it and added sugar until I felt it was sweet enough. The amount of sugar I add varies depending on the type of milk I use (for example: unsweetened plain Soymilk vs. vanilla almond milk), and also on personal preference. My boyfriend likes his chocolate bitter, while I like mine sweet.

After I added the sugar, I kept whisking to get some foam going on the top of the chocolate. It only took about a minute or so before I felt the sugar was well incorporated, so I took the chocolate off the heat and poured it into my mug, then topped it with a generous amount of mini-marshmallows (I had no sprinkles on hand).

That cup was the perfect way to end a stressful week, along with collapsing on my bed with some Facebook and Instagram and forgetting about the world for a while. After the fifteen-or-so minutes it took to get my hot chocolate whipped up, I got to relax back into my childhood, when Christmas made winter worthwhile despite the bitter (California) cold and awkward family reunions.

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