Hot chocolate season is in full swing, so here are some tips for the perfect cup:
1) Choose great cacao. Whether you prefer to whisk cacao powder or let chunks of chocolate melt away, remember that the quality of the product you choose will have the biggest impact on the final flavor of your cup. So have fun discovering craft chocolate origins, percentages and brands where fine flavor is always top priority.
2) Be mindful about your liquid of choice. Nowadays there are endless alternatives to make a cup of hot chocolate. Looking for plant-based options? Almond and coconut milk will confer a nutty note to the chocolate, while soy milk will add a thicker consistency. Rice milk will be the wateriest option, while oat milk the earthiest one. If you want to stick to regular dairy milk, you now have many options too: cow’s milk, goat milk, camel’s milk and more. To enjoy the fine flavors of cacao in their purity, water is the best option instead.
3) Combine your favorite sweetener. There are natural sweeteners like coconut sugar, monk fruit, agave syrup and maple sugar. But also more traditional options like white and cane sugar, together with alternative sweeteners like stevia. Keep in mind that also your choice of sugar is important, as it will add its own flavor to the cacao and the milk/water you previously selected.
4) How about some spices? Cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove are the traditional herbs used to add a spicy twist to hot chocolate.
Instead of throwing together the first options at hand, try to be strategic about your drinking chocolate. You can build an exciting journey of flavors through a studied combination of ingredients. For example, to build a fruity hot chocolate, you might want to combine Madagascar cacao with coconut milk and agave syrup. If you like stronger flavors, we suggest combining Ugandan cacao with oat milk, cane sugar and a pinch of nutmeg. For a true chocolatey cuddle, the perfect combination is fine cacao from Ghana with regular cow’s milk and muscovado sugar.
Have a great hot chocolate season, everybody!