Some Like it Hot (Chocolate)

I grew up in Buffalo, New York. Snow City. They called it “lake effect” snow. I called it bliss. As a child I marveled at snow drifts that reached the eaves of my home. And icicles that threatened to pierce the skull of the mailman if he ventured close enough to the mailbox to actually drop the mail inside. Typically that mailbox was sealed shut in the winter months. We had to pry it open with a crack and a chisel.

I consumed a lot of hot chocolate in those years. Still do.

Here are a few of my current favorites, extracted from blogs I adore. Each recipe can be easily adapted if you are lactose intolerant. My favorite dairy substitute is coconut milk. I make my own. Here’s a simple coconut milk recipe from a blog I adore.

Edible flowers are making a comeback in the world of culinary delight and lavender is a luscious way to enhance so many dishes. It’s a member of the mint family. A little goes a long way so use it sparingly and see if it appeals to YOUR foodie sensibility. I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I did; à la mode is the journal and creative outlet of Rick Poon, a Los Angeles photographer obsessed with food, travel, and design. Exquisite.

lavenderLavender Hot Chocolate: à la mode: recipe and photo source

Sometime I’m looking for a little “heat” in my hot chocolate. Not temperature hot, but rather “picante” like the spicy heat of the chili pepper. I loved this recipe because it had me running to my spice cabinet looking for pink peppercorns. Who has pink peppercorns in their spice cabinet, right? Me! But they were happily nestled in a peppercorn medley. I simply picked out the pink ones. It felt like a treasure hunt. What I especially love about Kay (the Cooking Dutch Girl) are the step by step instructions and photos that accompany her recipes. I want to SEE how REAL chocolate ends up in that creamy cup of goodness. I know, I’m funny that way. If I can make it from scratch I’m happy. I want to keep my future self grounded in the warmth of my grandmother’s kitchen where slow food was a practice instead of a movement.

kayoticPink Peppercorn Hot Chocolate: Kayotic Kitchen, photo source & recipe

And for those of you who want a more serious kick to your hot chocolate, this one has a shot of Bourbon. Maybe not for “breakfast,” but think about sitting in front a cozy fire, sipping Bourbon-laced hot chocolate with your beloved. Admittedly I was drawn to this recipe because I loved the narrative attached to it. Russel Van Kraayanburg is an amazing writer and this blog chronicles his forays into the kitchen. His words: “Hot chocolate, like much of our memories, seems to be its most magical years into the past, far beyond our reach. That doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy it today. In fact, it gives us an excuse to toy with that passed down recipe and make it our own once again. Today I use meringues in my hot chocolate instead of marshmallows. I use a much darker chocolate than the child version of I would ever enjoy. And I spike it with bourbon. I guess change really can be a good thing.”

bourbonBourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate: Chasing Delicious, photo source & recipe

Will you share a hot chocolate story with me? I’d love to hear from you!

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7 Responses to Some Like it Hot (Chocolate)

  1. Cris Gladly January 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    I love this post! (and great job on the shorter emails. All in one screen view! good job. I’m actually reading them now! haha)

    Emerson and I started drinking hot cocoa this holiday. I had purchased some sipping chocolate powders at Whole Foods and made them with almond milk. Been wanting to try some others. I printed the lavender one … hmmm, curious. And the Bourbon one … for grown ups, obviously.


  2. Kimby | a little lunch January 28, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Sue Ann, thank you for the “field trip” here from your Conscious Bites website. This trio of hot chocolate photos and your lovely recollections and thoughts on “slow food” warmed me to the core. Now I’m off to peruse the recipes — and pick pink peppercorns! — great idea! 🙂

  3. Laura January 30, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    Yes! hot chocolate, having grown up in Syracuse we had a similar climate and even though I live in California now those chilly nights make me yearn for fire, marshmallows and hot chocolate!

  4. shanna January 31, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    This is such a visually satisfying post, Sue Ann! And, of course, I am all out of almond milk–water just won’t do the trick! I love Mexican chocolate made with almond milk and fresh nutmeg grated over the top. Divine!

  5. Tracey Ceurvels January 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Sue Ann, these looks so scrumptious. I’ve been in a hot chocolate fix myself, especially because Sabrina loves a warm cup on a cold day. Next time you’re in NY we’ll have to go to City Bakery where they have homemade marshmallows.

  6. Denise February 16, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Sadly, all the hot chocolate I had growing up came in a little bag marked “nestle” and was made by mixing hot water to that powder. These recipes have me craving something I’ve never thought to try before. Adding the ingredients for the lavender hot chocolate and coconut milk to my shopping list. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  7. rebecca @ altared spaces August 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    My sister and I made hot chocolate late at night when everyone else was asleep. Well, truth be told she made it for me. Milk, real chocolate, vanilla, salt and sugar. OH MY! Then we’d curl up behind the wood stove and listen to stories or she’d have me tell her Rapunzel for the 47th time. Having a sister is delicious.

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