A very happy Monday to you all! I am blogging from Boston today, and will be for the next three weeks. To everyone who traveled over this weekend, I hope you got home safe and sound. And to those yet to travel, good luck!
I want to keep this post short and sweet, because god knows how much last-minute shopping everyone still has to do. Or how much wrapping. Or, in my case, how much baking.
Center stage today we have this glorious homemade hot chocolate. Specifically, the ultimate peppermint hot chocolate. As I was recipe testing this baby, my goal was to make it as thick and creamy as possible. One of the worst things in life is when you order hot chocolate and it is watery and flavorless. And the saddest part is, this happens all too often.
So rich and creamy is the name of the game here. And flavorful. And downright amazing. The dark chocolate gives a great depth of flavor, while the cocoa and cornstarch thicken everything nicely. The peppermint extract takes things up an extra notch to hot chocolate heaven.
I could barely stop sipping it during its photo shoot. It took a lot of restraint. So just know if you make this, the odds are you won’t be able to not finish it. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Tips for making the best peppermint hot chocolate
As long as you keep the following tips in mind while making this hot chocolate recipe, you won’t have to worry about your hot chocolate coming out sad and watery!
Use whole milk—Whole milk makes this hot chocolate extra creamy and thick and is an absolute must for this peppermint hot chocolate recipe. If you can’t have dairy, I’d recommend using full-fat coconut milk or cashew milk instead. I’ve found those to be the thickest non-dairy milk options, but keep in mind that they might affect the flavor of this drink a bit.
Use chocolate and cocoa powder—Too often, homemade hot chocolate recipes call for either real chocolate or cocoa powder. I prefer using both to really amp up the chocolate flavor. For best results, use a high-quality dark chocolate!
Add in some cornstarch—Cornstarch helps thicken this hot chocolate without adding any unwanted flavor. If you can’t have corn, arrowroot powder would likely work instead.
Don’t add too much peppermint—Yes, I know this is a peppermint hot chocolate recipe, but you do NOT want to eyeball the amount of peppermint extract you pour in. Too much extract will make your homemade hot chocolate taste like toothpaste, so take the time to measure it out properly.
A very merry Christmas to you all. I hope you have wonderful, wonderful holidays with your families and friends. Be back on Friday with some more delicious treats!
Whipped cream and crushed peppermint candies for decorating (optional)
Pour milk into a small pot and heat over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes. Never allow the milk to boil. You want to heat it just enough so it’s under scalding.
After 3 minutes, pour in chocolate, cocoa powder, brown sugar, cornstarch, and both extracts. Use a spatula or whisk to stir every 10 seconds or so. At first the mixture will be grainy, but as the chocolate cools the color will deepen and everything will come together. Heat for around 5 minutes until thick and creamy.
Pour into 2 mugs and top with whipped cream and crushed peppermint extract. Serve immediately!