Hot Chocolate

Hibercaving Spicy Hot Chocolate or Varm Chokolade

After a day of navigating icy trails or swooping down ski slopes, it’s time to cocoon in hibercaving comfort with loved ones, wrapped in the warmth of history and the inviting aroma of spicy hot chocolate, a delightful rich drink steeped in ancient Mayan traditions. The roots of this cherished drink stretch back to the ancient Mayan civilization, nestled in the regions we now know as Mexico and Central America. Around 500 BC, the Mayans first tended patiently to cacao trees, unearthing the pleasures of a concoction crafted from its beans. Legend spun that cacao seeds were a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec deity of wisdom. So, in essence, not only will you get warm when consuming this delicious nectar, you will get smarter too! So get out the Crockpot and we shall begin.

Venture forth and gather:

Ingredients:

• ¾ cup sugar

• 6 tablespoons cocoa powder

• 4 cups milk

• 2 cups half-and-half cream

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped or shaved

• 3 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped or shaved

• 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a 3-quart slow cooker set on low, unite the sugar, cocoa powder, milk, half-and-half, and vanilla. Whisk until the cocoa powder melds seamlessly.
  2. Introduce the chopped chocolate, stirring it in gently.
  3. Cover and let the concoction simmer on LOW, remembering to whisk every 45 minutes. This nurturing period spans 2 to 3 hours, allowing the ingredients to meld and the drink to reach a comforting heat. Once achieved, switch to WARM until serving time.

Now you could just go ahead and drink this cup of magic without any adornments…but in YDH, we love to take that extra step, so we suggest you top with a dollop of whip cream or even better, homemade snowy clouds…aka Homemade Marshmallows. We suggest you make the marshmallows the night before if you want them to set…but the warmy gooey wonder of freshly whipped marshmallow is pretty darn tasty.

Homemade Marshmallows:

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoons unflavoured gelatin

• 1 cup cold water, divided

• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

• 1 cup light corn syrup

• ¼ teaspoon salt

• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

• Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions:

  1. Get your comfiest mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over half a cup of cold water. Let it snuggle in there for about 10 minutes, taking its time.
  2. Take a saucepan—preferably your trusty, cozy one—and mix together granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and the other half cup of water. Let them mingle over medium heat, stirring gently until the sugar is all dissolved, creating a sweet symphony.
  3. Turn up the heat a bit, like adding an extra log to the fireplace, and let this concoction bubble away without stirring until your candy thermometer hits 240°F (115°C). It’s like waiting for the perfect moment to savor a warm, crackling fire.
  4. Slowly pour this warm, sugary goodness into the gelatin mix, whipping it up at high speed until it transforms into a thick, glossy wonder. Add a touch of vanilla for that extra cozy flavor and keep beating for 1 or 2 more minutes, enjoying the process like a favorite song.
  5. Now, imagine you’re creating a soft, snowy bed—pour this mixture into a prepared baking pan lined with parchment paper, smoothing the top with a gentle touch using an offset spatula. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top like a dusting of magical snow.
  6. Let these fluffy delights sit uncovered, like a blanket waiting to envelop you, for at least 4 hours or, better yet, overnight. Allow them to set and cozy up nicely.
  7. Once set, gently cut them into squares, and sprinkle a bit more powdered sugar to keep them from sticking—like adding a sprinkle of love to your creations.
  8. Now, picture this: a warm, steaming mug of Spicy Hot Chocolate. Top it off with these cloud-like, homemade marshmallows for a comforting, flavor-filled hug. Enjoy your moment of pure coziness!

By Chef Chuck von Snüg

At YDH, we wouldn’t offer you the best most comforting Snüg-Flaking recipes without telling you about the best places to source the ingredients! Below you’ll find a selection of exceptional local businesses embodying comfort and sustainability.

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