hot chocolate three ways
We love a big, steaming cup of hot chocolate on brisk winter days, post-ski or snowshoe, or to wind down after a busy work week. With the bounty of New England herbs and veggies that can be dried and used throughout the winter months, making sipping cocoa mixes that use real, freshly ground ingredients to flavor them makes the freshest, healthiest treat to stave off the chill from a polar vortex or Nor’Easter. And BONUS: you can use them in your favorite baking recipes!
We grind pure dark chocolate from Venezuela for our Drinking Chocolate mix, and blend that with premium cocoa powder, a touch of organic raw cane sugar and freshly ground spices, fruits or veggies for our Sipping Cocoa mixes. All are dairy-free (except the Bonfire Blend, made with rich, caramel-y dark milk chocolate) and can be made with hot milk, water if you’re a purist, or a hot plant-based mylk of your choice.
We went a little crazy with flavors, coming up with everything from the cool and refreshing Forest Blend with Vermont spruce and wildcrafted peppermint, to the umami Forage Blend with medicinal mushrooms and rosemary, Heart Beet with earthy ruby beetroot powder and a hint of raspberry, Golden Chai with a Vermont-made chai spice blend and turmeric, Bonfire Blend with Vermont maple sugar and smoked sea salt, and spicy Xocoatl with locally grown chili pepper and spices based on traditional Mayan blends. With no artificial flavors or colors, the pure aromas come through with each sip and make this one elegant chocolate drink to savor.
And don’t forget our dark and milk chocolate submarinos, perfect for travel, the office or a quick snack. An Argentinian tradition, these solid chocolate cigars can be stirred into hot coffee drinks or warm milk, vegan mylks, or hot water to your taste, and you can nibble on the chocolate as you enjoy. So civilized.
Fresh unsweetened whipped cream or fluffy homemade marshmallows are our favorite accoutrements for hot drinking chocolate, but fresh heavy cream whipped with a nip of your favorite liqueur, natural pure extract, coffee, tea or fruit juice concentrate is pretty darn amazing. Check out our simple instructions below to make a dreamy flavored whipped topping and pillowy vegetarian marshmallows!
Drinking Chocolate & Sipping Cocoa Recipes
For one serving of hot chocolate, simply heat 8 oz. of milk/mylk over medium heat until just scalding, then turn off the heat and whisk in 3 or more Tablespoons of Drinking Chocolate or Sipping Cocoa Mix. Voila!
Our amazing little mixes can also be used in recipes from rich and flavorful ice cream sauces, to swapping them out for chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in your favorite baked goods. Try out our recipe for flavorful fudgy brownies, spiced with your choice of our Sipping Cocoa blends, for a crazy-good and not-too-sweet twist on a classic. And may we suggest a side of hot cocoa to go with?
Flavored Whipped Cream Topping
Per one pint of chilled heavy whipping cream, add one or two tablespoons of the following and whip in a chilled metal bowl until soft peaks appear:
- liqueurs like Frangelico (super tasty paired with Forage Blend Cocoa & Bonfire Blend Cocoa), Chambord (try it with Heart Beet Blend Cocoa), Kahlua (yummy with Spicy Xocoatl Cocoa)
- syrups & sauces like Maple Syrup (delicious with Bonfire Blend Cocoa), raspberry sauce (super good with Heart Beet Blend Cocoa), lemon or lime juice (zesty with Golden Chai or Heart Beet)
- strong brewed coffee (we love it with all of the blends), tea (Mint is amazing with Forest Blend, Earl Grey with Bonfire Blend, and Chai with Golden Chai Blend)
- Create your own combinations! Have fun!
Make at Home Marshmallows
We make seasonally flavored marshmallows here in the shop to float on the top of Drinking Chocolate and Sipping Cocoas, as well as to pair with our bars to make yummy s’mores. Here’s a simple vegetarian, corn syrup-free recipe to make your own delicious, fluffy marshmallows at home, so much better than store bought!
- ~1 cup confectioners’ sugar to coat pan & marshmallows
- 3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes powdered unflavored gelatin (we use vegetarian, 1-1/2 tsp per quarter ounce, so 4-1/2 tsp total )
- 1 1/2 cups raw organic granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract, or your favorite liqueur or housemade extract
- Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil. Dust the pan generously with confectioners’ sugar (we use a fine mesh metal strainer), knocking any excess sugar out of pan.
- Put 1/2 cup room temperature water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin into the bowl and stir briefly to make sure all the gelatin is in contact with water. Let soften while you make the sugar syrup.
- In a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, rice syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Heat on medium and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, using a candy thermometer continue boiling without stirring until the thermometer registers 240°F (soft-ball stage). (Caution: the mixture might foam up and boil over, so turn the heat down slightly if necessary!) Remove the saucepan from the heat and let stand briefly until the bubbles start to dissipate.
- With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar syrup into the softened gelatin in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Gradually increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the marshmallow is very thick and forms a thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla/extract or liqueur.
- Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan wetting your fingertips with a little water to spread the sticky mixture evenly and to smooth the top. Let stand, uncovered at room temperature, until the surface is no longer sticky and you can gently pull the marshmallow away from the sides of the pan with your fingertips, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Dust a cutting board with confectioners’ sugar. Use a rubber spatula to pull the sides of the marshmallow from the edge of the pan and invert onto the cutting board. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Brush a long thin knife with vegetable oil and dust with confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking, re-coating and dusting the knife inbetween cuts. Cut lengthwise into strips and then crosswise to make cubes of your favored size. Coat marshmallows one at a time in confectioners’ sugar, using a pastry brush to brush off any excess. Marshmallows can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a month!
recipe for make at home marshmallows adapted from Epicurious