December 13 National Cocoa Day

“Maybe hot cocoa just wants to be called beautiful cocoa.” Lulu Starchild

I had cocoa today for National Cocoa Day (shhh….don’t tell!) The Range Cafe is the bomb dot com, ya’ll. Everything at the range is quite delish and they didn’t know that it was National Cocoa Day. When I told them, they readily decided that my cocoa should be on the house. Yay me!

Did you know that hot cocoa is NOT the same as hot chocolate? Nope, me neither. I say one for the other all the time. Here’s the diff:

Hot Cocoa = cocoa powder, sugar and water with a few tablespoons of milk or cream. It is in powder form and hot water is added to the powder. It is light and sweet.

Hot Chocolate = shaved or melted chocolate which melts in the heated milk or cream. Usually very decadent and thicker than cocoa.

Here are two recipes, one for each from an Educated Palate:

HOT CHOCOLATE
Makes 1 serving – scale up the quantity for additional servings

  • 4 tablespoons cream
  • 6 ounces milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (add more to taste after the chocolate is melted if desired)
  • 2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped or grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: whipped cream or mini marshmallows for garnish

Put the cream, milk and sugar into a small saucepan and heat to a simmer. Add the chocolate and heat until melted, stirring constantly. Add the vanilla extract and heat for an additional few seconds. Ladle the hot chocolate into a mug and garnish if desired.

HOT COCOA
Makes 1 serving – scale up the quantity for additional servings

  • 2 teaspoons dutched cocoa powder ( we prefer dutched process cocoa because we feel that these cocoa powders have a deeper flavor, darker color and a smoother texture that blends flawlessly in hot beverages.)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream, not heated
  • 6 ounces boiling water

Optional: whipped cream or mini marshmallows for garnish

Place the cocoa powder and sugar into a mug and mix well. Add the cream and stir into a smooth paste. Add the boiling water and stir until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Ladle the hot cocoa into a mug and garnish if desired.

Enjoy! Baby, it’s cold outside!

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