Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Hot Chocolate

Servings: 4-6
Making cocoa (or hot chocolate) from scratch lets you enrich it with cream, if desired, and adjust the amount of cocoa and sugar to your personal taste level. Marshmallows, too, are subject for individual adjustment (I'm for 'em). Start with this fairly straightforward recipe, which is adapted from the one on the Hersey's cocoa box. Who would know better?

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup hot water
3 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream, or 1 additional cup milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Miniature marshmallows (optional)
Semisweet chocolate, grated (optional)

In a heavy saucepan, stir together the cocoa powder and sugar. Gradually whisk in the hot water. Stir in the milk, cream, and salt, and set the pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until just steaming (do not boil).

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. For a frothy beverage, beat the cocoa with a hand-held electric mixer for about 1 minute. Ladle the cocoa into mugs, top wih marshmallows and grated chocolate, if desired, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Date: September 29, 2005