The best thing about making your own hot chocolate mix is you have total control. You can go with whatever type of cocoa you like, use more or less sugar, add a favorite spice — the possibilities are endless. The basic ingredients are sugar, cocoa powder and salt, but I was inspired by Alton Brown’s Hot Cocoa Mix recipe to add a little cayenne. And it’s seriously good! It’s not enough to taste spicy, but adds a layer of flavor that really enhances the chocolate.
2 cups granulated sugar (baker’s sugar is nice because the grains are finer — but it’s not essential)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 pinch cayenne
For the mix: Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined. The recipe can be scaled up to make a bigger batch if desired.
For making hot chocolate: In a small pot over low heat, whisk 2 tbsp of the mix into 1 cup of milk (or scale up in the same proportion) until hot and smooth. Don’t allow the milk to boil.
- Make a chocolate marshmallow latte: Decrease the sugar in the mix to 1 1/2 cups. When serving the hot chocolate, add enough marshmallows to form a foamy layer at the top of the mug.
- Make it spicy: Increase the cayenne in the mix to 1/4 tsp (or more to taste).
- Make it Mexican: Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon to the mix.
- Make it boozy: Spike with your favorite liqueur (can’t go wrong with Baileys Irish Cream or Kahlua) or vodka.
Pictured: Pyrex Spring Blossom 442 Cinderella Mixing Bowl, Pyrex 508 Measuring Cup, Corning Ware Spice O’ Life P-81-B Menuette Saucepan, Corning Ware Snack-It Plate