Today we're going to take that delicious almond milk we talked about in the last blog post and make--what's that? You haven't made almond milk yet? Well, what are you waiting for? It's awesome! Go make some right now. I'll wait.
You're back? Wonderful. As I was saying, almond milk is a great addition to many recipes. Aside from drinking it plain or using it in cereals, its natural creaminess makes it a perfect fit for smoothies, coffee, and best of all, hot chocolate. And when you combine that almond milk and chocolate with a little coconut flavor...you have a ridiculously good cup of thick, rich sipping chocolate, inspired by a classic candy bar.
Almond Joy Hot Chocolate
yield: 2 small mugs of chocolate
- 1 cup almond milk, preferably homemade
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 3.5 oz (about 1/2 cup) milk or semi-sweet chocolate, or mix of chocolates. Don't use dark chocolate unless you like a slightly bitter cup of chocolate
- toasted coconut
- 1-2 drops almond extract (optional)
This first step isn't mandatory, at all, but I must recommend it because it makes your hot chocolate mugs look ever so cute. Melt the chocolate, and dip the tops of the mugs in the chocolate about 1/4". You can leave them like they are...
Or dip the wet chocolate tops into the toasted coconut! This gives your mugs a lovely rim of chocolate and coconut, and not only does it look great, but it adds a little extra flavor as well. Place them in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the hot chocolate.
Combine the almond milk and the coconut milk in a small saucepan. If you want to boost the almond flavor, add a drop or two of almond extract. You cannot be too careful in adding the extract! Few things are worse than an overpowering almond flavor, so start small and taste as you go. The extract should add just an extra hint of almond, and should barely be noticeable.
Once your liquids are mixed, add the chocolate you previously melted to the saucepan, and place the pan over medium heat.
Whisk the chocolate and milks together over medium heat. At first, they'll resist combining, and you'll have little specks of chocolate floating in your milk. Don't give up hope! Keep whisking and heating...
And as the chocolate heats, everything will even out and become beautifully thick and smooth. Taste the hot chocolate--if your milk and your chocolate are not very sweet, you might want to add a litttle sugar or honey to balance them out.
Serve your almond joy hot chocolate in your beautifully crafted mugs. This is a very rich "sipping chocolate," and I have found that a little goes a long way--even with my sweet tooth. It also thickens as it cools, so be sure to drink it when it's warm. Enjoy!