A rich and creamy hot chocolate
Canadian winters were a highlight of our childhood. For those of you who live in places where the climate is always sunny, or rainy, or foggy, or windy – but never snowy, allow us to paint you a picture. It will be white. All white. Glistening white so bright, that at certain times of the day staring at it hurts your eyes.
As kids we quickly learned that not all snow was created equal. There is the powdery soft fresh fallen snow that was perfect for falling into backwards. We would stare into the sky while doing horizontal jumping jacks and then carefully stand up and then stand back to admire our created snow angel. There are the big, beautiful snowflakes that fall so gently, landing on your lashes and on your tongue as you stick it out for a taste of winter. There is the wet snow that is exactly what you need to make the best snowman, the best snow fort and the best snowballs. You have not lived until you have spent three hours building a snow fort with your friends and then another three bombarding your neighbourhood rivals with snowballs.
Our parents, raised in Greece where snow happened, but not nearly to the same extent, were concerned with our comfort. They had no issue with us playing outdoors all day (unless it was -30 degrees Celsius) and they bundled us up accordingly. Kids were recognized by one another through their snowsuits and tuques, because that’s all you saw. Snow pants, snow jackets, snow boots, gloves, tuques and a long scarf that our mother would wrap around our faces covering mouth and nose and then forehead. All you saw were eyes, eager to be outdoors.
When it was time to come back home our mother would remove our boots at the door and then lead us into the bathroom. Standing in the bathtub she would peel off our layers of outerwear and chunks of snow would fall into the tub. Our wet snowsuit would be hung over the bathtub curtain rod to dry and our mittens, gloves and scarf would be brought to the old radiator in the hallway of our apartment. There she would have prepared a cushion for us to sit on, warm and cozy, waiting for the hot chocolate she would prepare for us. While our mom was in the kitchen, we would recount our daily achievements. Our snowman was the biggest one on the block! We invited the new kid to join our snowball fight! We found the mitten we had lost the other day! We can’t wait to get back out there tomorrow! The hot chocolate would arrive and we would stop talking only long enough to enjoy its rich, thick deliciousness.
How to make the best hot chocolate.
It’s definitely true that our mom would sometimes make us hot chocolate using cocoa powder, or hot chocolate mix, but it was always best when she used chunks of milk chocolate. Any chocolate will do actually but our parents usually made our hot chocolate with Greek milk chocolate.
The trick is to heat the milk slowly, to give the chocolate time to melt completely before scalding the milk. Our recipe suggests you check the temperature of the milk with a thermometer, but if you don’t have one, your milk is ready when it starts to bubble around the sides of the pot.
Love hot chocolate and looking for more warm drinks? Try these:
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- 1 cup (250 mL) whole milk see Recipe Note
- 3 ounces chocolate milk chocolate or dark chocolate
- 2 marshmallows
- Chop your chocolate into small pieces and combine it with the milk in a small saucepot over medium heat.
- Whisk continuously and allow the milk to reach a scalding temperature (about 180 degrees Fahrenheit, with bubbles on the side). Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Pour into a mug and top with marshmallows and some grated chocolate. Enjoy!