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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Gourmet coffee shop quality hot chocolate

I like coffee, and I like tea; but I LOVE a good quality hot chocolate.  Even on hot summer days, if I’m craving chocolate, I’ll have a hot chocolate to curb my craving (because it takes a long time to sip, I can keep my weight in check by having a hot chocolate instead of a huge pile of chocolate).  My favorite is the one in a small coffee shop in Los Angeles that I discovered because of a dear friend during a business trip.  My second best, and one in Canada, is the one at Starbucks.  However, both options (Los Angeles and Starbucks) are expensive.  As well, neither of them is convenient when I want my hot chocolate, which is after dinner, at home; if I start driving to Starbucks every time I want hot chocolate, I’ll spend money on gas, on a pastry, and I’ll be wasting my time.
So obviously I needed to find a home recipe for decadent hot chocolate.  So by talking to people at Starbucks and at the Los Angeles shop, and by trying many recipes at home, this is what I came up with.

For one mug of hot chocolate:
2 Tbsp of commercial hot chocolate instant powder (I like the President’s Choice light version)

¼ tsp of ground cinnamon
1 ‘squirt’ of coffee syrup (we buy the NescafĂ© Ice Java syrup – needs to be in the fridge after opening)

about 1/8 cup milk
boiling water.

Plug in the kettle for boiling water.  In the bottom of your mug, put the hot chocolate powder and the cinnamon.  Add the coffee syrup and the milk.  At this point, before you add the boiling water, mix well until the dry ingredients get mixed in the milk.  Add boiling water to fill the cup. Mix again, and drink.  It’s not quite as hot as if you had made it with boiling water alone (since the coffee syrup and the milk are cold), so you can start drinking faster.  This is my favorite home recipe.  I use the light hot chocolate to cut down on the calories and because I like its taste. 
Hot chocolate may not be your favorite drink – but we often have a favorite, inexpensive ‘thing’ that messes up our budget, something we often can’t resist.  Try to avoid seeing it in the store, and try to find a good replacement at home – it can be a food, a drink, a video game, a hand lotion.  Be creative!

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