February 26, 2014 by BettyCupcakes
This Texan is D.O.N.E. with winter in Massachusetts. Our little south shore town has been pummeled with storm after storm. I swear we will have snow piles in parking lots until June.
The good news is that the wee one got to build his first snow man.
The bad news: it warmed up just long enough to melt poor Frosty (and the dog kept eating his nose- naughty puppy!). #reasonmysoniscrying
In an effort to stop my winter whining, I drowned my snow sorrows in cup after cup of hot chocolate- The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook’s Hot Chocolate Mix, to be exact.
This chocolate-y brew is filled with goodness and three surprise ingredients.
Ingredients for the Hot Chocolate Mix:
- Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- Semi-sweet chocolate (I used the 87% Dark Stone Ground Chocolate from Taza Chocolate which is made locally in Somerville, MA- it was AMAZING.)
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Espresso powder (Wham!)
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Ground cinnamon
- Fine sea salt (Kapow!)
- Cayenne (Holy Smokes, Batman!)
So why would Cheryl and Griffin Day use espresso powder, sea salt, and cayenne pepper in their hot chocolate mix? Let me try to decode their genius.
Espresso powder: Coffee and chocolate are a natural pairing. The coffee flavor is very subtle, but just seems to enhance the chocolate’s richness.
Sea salt: If you’re not salting your sweets, then you are living under a rock. Salty-sweet combinations are en vogue right now and for good reason. The touch of salt helps your tongue detect more of the nuances of the sweet components: sugar, cinnamon, and chocolate. Balance is a good thing!
Cayenne pepper: This one may seem like a total curveball to some, but we’ve already discovered the magic of chocolate and pepper. Remember my Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies? Cocoa and cayenne play off each other beautifully. Plus, the smallest burst of heat at the end of each sip really warms you up on a cold day.
Bonus tip: if you’re lactose intolerant (and I am), then you’ll be pleased to know that this hot chocolate mix is just as good with almond milk. Yum!
How many marshmallows do you put on your hot chocolate?
P.S. If you saw my post on the Back in the Day Bakery Facebook page, hello new friend! You can find all of my Back in the Day Bakery posts on the Stuff I Love page. I’m baking my way through the cookbook. You can follow my adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!