Indulge

Warm Up With These Hot Chocolate Recipes

In the deep, dark winter, when the cold has seemed to settle in for good, there are a few options to warm up. 1. Electric socks. Yes they exist, and yes they are an important investment for those frigid toes of yours. 2. The three turtleneck trick. One turtleneck is warm. Two turtlenecks are warmer. Three turtlenecks and you won’t even remember what it felt like to be cold. 3. Hot chocolate. Drink five a day and you’ll be your own personal radiator. Luckily, we have five deliciously creamy, flavorful, creative hot chocolate recipes for you to mix up for your loved ones the next time you run out of turtlenecks and those electric socks short circuit.

Chai Hot Chocolate

Chai spice is a blend of warm spices like cardamom, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper, (yes black pepper) that is traditionally brewed with black tea, mixed with milk, and sweetened with sugar. It’s robust flavor is warm and spicy, with a hint of natural sweetness—much like a great friend: warm, welcoming, spicy, and sweet. Chai flavored tea lends its spiciness (and a boost of caffeine!) to this hot chocolate so share it with those spicy, sweet friends of yours.

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of cardamom
4 chai tea bags
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 quart whole milk
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions:
In a small pot over medium heat, bring milk to a simmer, steaming but not scalding, 1–2 minutes. Remove pot from heat, add tea bags, and allow tea to steep in warm milk, 10-12 minutes. While milk steeps, whip cream with cardamom until soft peaks form. Discard tea bags, then return milk to simmer, 1-2 minutes. Add cocoa powder, chocolate chips and sugar, whisking continuously, until dissolved and well combined, 2–3 minutes. Divide between mugs and top with cardamom whipped cream.

Orange Hot Chocolate

There is a YouTube goldmine of videos about dogs and their unlikely best friends that deserves some attention. Videos about Tommy the Golden Retriever and his best friend Salati the leopard. And about the jaguar and Jack Russell Terrier that are inseparable. And, of course, about the duck and the dog that hang out every day. They are beautiful, mysterious pairs and deserve their time in the spotlight—much like this orange hot chocolate. Unexpected? Maybe. But the slightly bitter, fragrant orange peel and excellently creamy milk chocolate pair perfectly once allowed time to combine. Now go watch those videos with a mug of this hot cocoa because that’s the winter afternoon you deserve.

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
Dehydrated orange slices
1 orange
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 quart whole milk
8 ounces milk chocolate chips
¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions:
In a small pot over medium heat, bring milk to a simmer, steaming but not scalding, 1–2 minutes. Using a peeler, peel three strips of orange zest to steep in milk. Add cocoa powder, orange zest, chocolate chips, and sugar, whisking continuously, until sugar and chocolate is dissolved and well combined, 2–3 minutes. Discard orange peel. Meanwhile, whip cream until soft peaks form. Divide hot chocolate between mugs and top with whipped cream. Top with a dehydrated orange slice.

Oatmeal Creme Pie Hot Chocolate

It’s gotten way easier to spend money on caffeine now that the “non-dairy milk” list of the world is growing. First soy. Then almond. What’s next? Oat milk! Inspired by a newbie’s first oat milk experience, this hot chocolate uses oat milk as a base for a creamy drink that tastes like one of those magnificently dreamy oatmeal cream pies you ate during elementary school snack time.

Ingredients:
Marshmallow fluff
1 oatmeal creme pie
Pinch of cinnamon
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 quart unsweetened oat milk
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions:
In a small pot over medium heat, bring milk to a simmer, steaming but not scalding, 1–2 minutes. Add cocoa powder, cinnamon, chocolate chips, and sugar, whisking continuously, until dissolved and well combined, 2–3 minutes. Divide between mugs and top with marshmallow fluff and tuck in half an oatmeal creme pie (eat the other half while Instagramming this deliciousness!).

Peanut Butter Cup Hot Chocolate

Peanut butter and jelly. A true classic. Songs have been written about this pair and it’s a staple in many a lunch box. When chocolate enters the scene, however, jelly tends to leave, and that’s okay. Nothing against jelly but we don’t need jelly here today. Peanut butter and chocolate may not have a song or get much lunch box time, but today they are together, warm, and drinkable, and that’s pretty cool.

Ingredients:
Mini marshmallows
4 peanut butter cups
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 quart whole milk
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions:
In a small pot over medium heat, bring milk to a simmer, steaming but not scalding, 1–2 minutes. Add cocoa powder, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and sugar, whisking continuously, until dissolved and well combined, 2–3 minutes. Divide between mugs and top with mini marshmallows, then pop a PB cup on the side like a tropical drink would get a pineapple.

White Hot Chocolate

To love, or not to love white chocolate–that is the question. This question tears apart even the closest of families and best friends. At Plated, we too are divided, but for those of you who happily climb aboard the white chocolate train, we have just the recipe for you.

Ingredients:
Prepared whipped cream (can is fine here!)
Vanilla bean
1 quart whole milk
8 ounces white chocolate chips

Instructions:
In a small pot over medium heat, bring milk to a simmer, steaming but not scalding, 1–2 minutes. Carefully score vanilla bean lengthwise and, using the tip of your knife, scrape vanilla beans out of pod. Add vanilla beans, vanilla pod, white chocolate chips, and a pinch of salt, whisking continuously, until dissolved and well combined, 2–3 minutes. Discard vanilla bean pod. Divide between mugs and top with whipped cream.

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