I am oh so desperately awaiting the start of winter; seriously I can’t wait for it to snow. Growing up in the Canada, “The Great White North” as it is often called we have two seasons – winter and construction. Also winter lasts for about 8 months, so it’s a little strange for me to be able to walk to my gym in a sweatshirt and shorts at the start of December. Growing up I loved winter; I never really played on a sports team but winter sports I loved. Skiing, sledding, were regular activities in my life and of course there was also skating.
I was once taking a taxi here in Boston and when the driver found out I was Canadian he said to me “So you were born with skates on your feet eh?” (Actually he probably didn’t say eh, that might just be subconsciously fixing his grammar in my mind). Honestly though skating is a huge part of not just Canada, but my hometown as well. My city is home to the largest skating rink in the world. The Rideau canal is measured at 7.8 km long , and I have skated its entire length several times. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for the hot chocolate and the beaver tails. Beaver tails? Yes! Well actually no, not real beaver tails. Beaver tails are pieces of fried dough in the shape of a beaver’s tail. They come with al different seasonings too, but the best is cinnamon sugar – trust me. That was always my favorite part of winter, and something that I miss most about home. This week, waiting for winter to start and feeling particularly homesick as the holiday season approaches I decided to bring a little slice of home into my dorm room. Unfortunately I don’t have a fryer so I had to settle for some delicious homemade hot chocolate (and some home made whipped cream obviously!)
As I mentioned before I simply love anything and everything chocolate, and hot chocolate is just another way to incorporate that love into my life. However I have never been a fan of store bought mixes, and I would NEVER use water to make my hot chocolate, in fact I wouldn’t even use skim milk (and that is saying something because normally I only drink skim). Watery hot chocolate is the easy way out. Same goes for store bought whipped cream, to me it tastes like cardboard. Nothing beats a dollop of homemade whipped cream – and they are both so easy! So if you want some truly rich and delicious hot chocolate, please follow this recipe, grab a good book, curl up on your couch and enjoy a cold (almost) winter day with your mug of deliciousness.
Hand whipped whipped cream!
Homemade Hot Chocolate
4 cups of 2% or whole milk
4 squares of good quality dark chocolate (I used Lindt)
¼ cup of cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 tablespoon of sugar
(Optional – 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract)
Place milk in pot over a medium high heat. Bring to an almost boil while stirring constantly. Once milk is heated add the chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar and optional peppermint extract and mix until melted and combined.
Divide into 4 cups and garnish with whipped cream (see below)
½ cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of sugar
Pour ingredients into a metal bowl. Either with a hand help mixer or a whisk mix ingredients until light and fluffy. Be careful not to over mix or you will end up with butter.