Italian Hot Chocolate
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Why I Love This Recipe
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.
Ingredients You'll Need
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.