November 27, 2012

Creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate {Powernap}

Peppermint Hot Chocolate via The Naptime Chef

This is the latest installment of my Powernap column. The series where I share quick, easy food that can be made for all kinds of situations. Powernaps are short and sweet, and so are these recipes. These are the things I make in a jiffy when I need a quick snack, am in the mood for a recipe experiment, or simply need to clean out the pantry.

Today’s post is in honor of my daughter who is celebrating her birthday this month. She is at such a fun age and this year I am going a little overboard with the whole occasion. This week she’ll be having two small parties. The first will be at school where I will bring in a little art project for all the kids to make together. The second will be outside of school with some of her closest friends. Finally, at the end of the week I’ve promised her a flower manicure at our favorite nail place followed by special snack of peppermint hot chocolate and a donut (her favorite treat) at home with Mom.

As you can see above, I’ll be serving her hot chocolate in a bowl because she has become obsessed with the idea ever since she saw me drink hot chocolate this way at Le Pain Quotidien. She was totally in awe when I was served a bowl of foamy milk tinted just the faintest light brown. Confused, she called it chocolate soup and handed me the spoon from her place setting to eat it up.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate with Candy Cane via The Naptime Chef

This trick to making this hot chocolate Le Pain Quotidien-style is to embrace the French style of creamy hot chocolate instead of the American method. Stateside we tend to make hot chocolate by mixing dried cocoa powder and sugar with milk. But in France they make it my melting real chocolate and vigorously combining it with hot milk. To make this at home I melt chocolate squares with a drop of peppermint extract and whisk the silky chocolate syrup right into the steaming hot milk. Then I serve it up in a bowl wrapped with a dishtowel to prevent burned fingers (!) This year we are taking this special drink right over the top by garnishing it with a candy cane. It is up to you whether you want to do that or not. Either way you’ll love the cozy look and feel of this favorite drink. Not only is it perfect for the holidays, it is just the thing for over-the-top birthday celebrations.

Recipe

Creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cups 2% milk (use whole milk if you want it richer)
5 ounces dark chocolate (about 60% cocoa or higher), very finely chopped
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 or 3 drops Peppermint extract
1 pinch salt

Instructions

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat bring the milk to a simmer and stir occasionally until steaming, but not boiling. About 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the chocolate, sugar, extract, and pinch of salt and continue to stir over medium heat until the chocolate is completely dissolved. As the chocolate begins to dissolve completely whisk the mixture to create some foamy froth.

3. Pour into two latte bowls and enjoy!

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

For regular hot chocolate simply omit the peppermint extract. You can also experiment with the chocolate and sugar amounts. For a more bitter chocolate only add two teaspoons of sugar, or even less. For a milder hot chocolate use a milkier chocolate bar instead. You can even try this with white chocolate! For mommy’s little helper use Peppermint Schnapps instead of extract. (I won’t tell anyone!)

Naptime Stopwatch

5 minutes prep, 20 minutes cook time

Naptime Reviews

This delicious hot chocolate is rich and frothy – the perfect anecdote to cold weather!

More Naptime Recipes

  • http://twitter.com/Meaghz Meaghz

    Looks perfect for December! I recently made a batch of homemade hot chocolate with real chocolate as well and could not believe the taste (http://www.2sisters2cities.com/2012/11/homemade-hot-chocolate-mix/)! So much better than the powdered alternative…

    Do you find peppermint extract in the baking aisle (I assume near vanilla and almond extract?)

    -m

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Hi! Yes, near the vanilla extract – in the same aisle!

  • http://twitter.com/HotChocolatBlis Hot Chocolate Bliss

    YUM! Love the candy cane stirrer. Looks divine.

  • Heathbar

    Very cute. How funny that she handed you a spoon! I love those bowls. I wonder what it would be like with almond extract? or orange?

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