Hot Chocolate for Grown-Ups


  • 1/3 cup high quality cocoa (min. Ghirardelli. Valrhona, Scharffen Berger, Maison du Chocolat, or other premium brand preferred.)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 TB cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cups (or 1 liter) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Kahlua (optional)


  1. Mix dry ingredients except nutmeg in 4-quart saucepan. Add hot water and stir to incorporate over high heat until it boils. Start with 1/3 cup and add up to ½ cup if necessary to prevent from burning.
  2. Slowly pour in milk while stirring.
  3. Heat until hot, stirring occasionally, until almost at a boil. But do not bring to boil.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and nutmeg.
  5. Ladle into mugs and add 1 TB Kahlua per cup.


  1. Splurge for the “good stuff”, the quality of the ingredients makes all the difference. The cocoa, cinnamon, and vanilla should be the best you can get your hands on.
  2. For an extra kick, add a shot of espresso. Then top with some frothed milk. Just like your favourite coffee shoppe, only much better, and 1/8 the price.


Kid’s Version

Follow the directions on the side of Hershey’s cocoa box. Essentially the same as above, but use ¼ cup Hershey’s coca, ½ cup sugar, 1 quart cow milk, omit spices and Kahlua, and top with mini marshmallows.

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