Classics are great, but once in while we need some variation to make our
lives interesting and to impress our friends. And yes, even when we’re talking about hot chocolate, there are a lot of fancy-ass possibilities!
Aztec hot chocolate
One of the greatest gifts to the world from Mexico is chocolate. The cocoa bean was, as it is by many (women) today, highly treasured in the Aztec Empire. The Aztecs loved chocolate so much that they used it as a currency and more surprisingly: they garnished their chicken with it. However, the cocoa beans were also used to make a thick chocolate drink, a drink far different from the hot chocolate we know today. Since they didn’t use sugar, the Aztecs added peppers, corn flower and spices. As the European food industry puts sugar in all edible stuff (yes, also in your super healthy biological vegetable burger), we stick to this Aztec tradition and present our own version of the Aztec hot chocolate. Enjoy!
Needed: 6 cups of milk, 10 ounces of chopped dark chocolate, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch or two of cayenne and marshmallows/cinnamon sticks for garnish.
How to: Combine the milk and chocolate in a pot. Melt the chocolate over low/medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted and the mixture is warmed through, stir in the cinnamon and cayenne.
The polar bear
From Mexico all the way to the Arctic we find the next variation: The polar bear! In fact, this drink has not much to do with polar bears, despite the fact that the top is white. The most well known variation is the one with rum, but in Canada for instance, people drink it with peppermint Schnapps. This drink is easy to make and the combination of hot chocolate and liquor really warms you up.
Needed: Hot chocolate (In the way you like to have it), rum or any other liquor and whipped cream.
How to: Just mix everything, put whipped cream on top and voilà!
Oreo hot chocolate
Oreo cake, Oreo milkshakes, Oreo tiramisu (I’m sorry Italians, it does exist), Oreo this, Oreo whatever… The world’s favorite cookie is everywhere and the hot chocolate version can’t be left out. The recipe begins with Oreo and ends with Oreo, so you know it’s good!
Needed: 4 cups of milk – divided, 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, 8 regular Oreos, 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and whipped cream.
How to: Blend 1 cup of milk, the sweetened condensed milk, Oreos and cocoa until it is smooth. Heat the remaining cups of milk until just barely steaming (8-10 minutes), while whisking occasionally. Add the chocolate Oreo mixture and continue to heat while whisking for 5-10 more minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove from heat. Serve topped with whipped cream and Oreo Cookie crumbles.
Vegan hot chocolate
Vegans and lactose-intolerant people don’t have to miss the hot chocolate happiness, of course we thought of a vegan version.
Needed: 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of coconut palm sugar, pumpkin pie spices or cinnamon (optional)
How to: Place all ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan, adding a little bit of pumpkin pie spices or cinnamon, if desired. Bring to a boil and, reduce heat and let it simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.
Peanut butter hot chocolate
As you might have noticed by the smell of it, Dutchies love to have a sandwich with peanut butter for lunch. However, peanut butter has more to offer. Although it might sound a little bit weird, the taste of this hot chocolate will blow you away!
Needed: 1 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1,5 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
How to: Whisk the milk, cocoa powder, vanilla and sugar together in a pan on the stove. Bring to a simmer and then add the peanut butter, stirring well to get rid of any clumps. Pour into your favorite mug and serve with whipped cream and some salted peanuts on top.