What's the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa?  The base of hot chocolate is melted chocolate and the base of hot cocoa is...  you guessed it, cocoa powder.  This is a favorite recipe of many of my friends.  Ah!  Memories of hanging out around the fire pit in our back yard at night, sipping on this drink and talking about good things all come flooding back to me with every sip.  It's definitely delicious so give it a try!  This recipe makes 2 cups.  If you have more people then just double, triple, etc. the recipe until you have enough for everyone.  When we have a crowd I make a big pot of it and people dip it out into their cups with a ladle. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cup of milk

3 oz. of chopped milk chocolate (your favorite brand)

1 tablespoon of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of vanilla

1/4th cup heavy cream

 

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

Whipped cream

Cayenne pepper

Chocolate syrup

 

DIRECTIONS:

Warm the milk in a small sauce pan on medium heat.  Do not boil or scald the milk.  Add the chopped chocolate and stir frequently until the melted chocolate is completely incorporated into the milk.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan and check to make sure all your chocolate has blended.

Turn the heat down to low and stir in the sugar, vanilla and heavy cream until fully mixed.

Top with homemade whipped cream.  Sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper or chocolate syrup over the whipped cream to really make it the best cup you've ever had!

TIP: 

Homemade whipped cream is basically heavy cream and sugar whipped together until thick. Use 1/4th cup of sugar for every cup of cream. :)