Italian Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot
2 cups milk or half milk-half water
Mix the cocoa, sugar and cornstarch together until thoroughly blended.
Add 1/2 cup liquid to a medium saucepan and set over low heat. Whisk in the cocoa mixture until thoroughly incorporated and no lumps remain. Add the rest of the liquid.
Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat, until the mixture is thickened (it coats the back of a spoon), about ten minutes.
The cornstarch is a great thickener - it won't clump like flour will, it's smooth and tasteless. Don't use regular flour to thicken this.
Serving-wise, once the cocoa has thickened, you can stir in a hint of additional flavorings before serving. 1/4 tsp vanilla or almond extract or Grand Marnier would be nice. Dust with cinnamon or nutmeg. Alternatively, you can make this, substituting half the liquid with coffee, to make a nice mocha.
Double or triple the amount of the dry ingredients, mix, and keep in a sealed jar in the cupboard. To make, it's one part mix to two parts liquid. Just remember to give the mix a shake before using, to reintegrate the sugar.
Pairs Well With
This came straight from The Joy of Cooking. It's dense and far, far more satisfying than that thin watery stuff you'd get from a packet.