Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Class is Canceled Hot Chocolate

So, in my 9:30am class, there are two tall windows that flank each side of the south wall. Although I sit on the other side of the classroom, it was quite apparent to me that it began to snow at approximately 9:45 am. Of course I follow the weather but had not expected it to snow (for it had been raining throughout the night) and it wasn't very cold. Anyway, I then went to my 11:00 class, still snowing, not sticking, but slushing....
Someone in my English class said something about hot chocolate. I was immediately filled with warmth and excitement. When did I have hot chocolate last? I vowed to make it when I got back to the apartment.
(view from apartment)

Luckily, my roommate and her friend were already in the apartment and I had someone to share my brilliant idea with. Hot chocolate is so much better when you share it with other people!
Now, I know you can probably buy hot chocolate packets for cheaper than you can make it from scratch, but trust me, it is SO worth it! Now, I know that what I present you with should be healthy, but you are allowed to have these things in moderation. Especially when it snows about 4 days out of the year! And this recipe is a little more in-depth than I'd normally allow, but honestly, it's fun!
So chocolate is good for your skin and (if it is high in cocoa and low in sugar and fats) it is probiotic, which promotes bacteria growth for a healthy bowel. Yes, I went there, but it's true. Also, I used milk, so maybe argue the fact that you need your daily calcium...and dairy.
Also, I added delicious spices. Which brings me to another point: spices and extracts are expensive. If you start investing in basic spices, it will pay off. Cinnamon! This basic spice is pretty versatile, and it will "spice up" things like coffee, hot chocolate, and even chili! (Cinnamon and chocolate in chili is great!) Also vanilla and almond extracts, cocoa powder, garlic salt, chili powder, etc. I added ginger to this recipe because once I made a ginger-chocolate cake and it was the most delicious thing I've ever put in my mouth.
Luckily my roommate said, "OMG I have a huge thing of dark chocolate we can use!" 
If you don't have dark chocolate, you can use something like baking chocolate and maybe chocolate chips; chocolate chips usually have wax to make them harden when cooled. But since this is HOT chocolate, you shouldn't have any problems with that. (Keep in mind that dark chocolate has a higher cocoa percentage [60%-80%] which makes it "healthier." This means it has less milk, fat, and other products.) But when worse comes to worse, and a random blizzard of snow comes through your area, whatever you have lying around is good. 

Class is Canceled Hot Chocolate
3-4 c milk
1/4-1/3 c cocoa powder
4-5 oz dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 drops almond extract
sprinkling of nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
sprinkling of ginger (optional)
pinch salt

1. Start with a medium sauce pan on low-medium heat. Do not boil. Add milk, spices, salt, extracts, and cocoa powder. Whisk together. Let the milk heat up, but not bubble.
2. If you used all of the spices above, you might want to run the mixture through a fine coffee filter. Otherwise the spices will give the hot chocolate a weird texture and may float on top.
3. Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and whisk into warm milk mixture until melted. 
4. Serve with marshmallows if you want.

notice: I didn't have exact prices for these items, so what I found on the internet is what I used. Some items may have been guesstimated--but you may already have these things so your budget will be smaller.
cocoa powder= 2.50 (for 8 oz container)= .45
milk= .88 (for 4 c)
vanilla= 3 (for smaller container) = .20
almond= '' =.20
spices= ~3 each, so =.10 (all combined)

Total Tally: about $2.00

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