Cold weather makes everyone reach for hot drinks to warm up, and hot chocolate is a universal favorite. Whether you make your cocoa from scratch or use powdered mix, there are many simple and inexpensive additions that you can add to take your cup of cocoa from ordinary to extraordinary. The best part is that many of these add-ins may well be things that you already have in your pantry, and they allow each person to modify their individual cup of cocoa.
Let’s start with additions that can be found on your spice rack:
Cinnamon will turn your ordinary cup of cocoa into Mexican style hot chocolate. Mix in 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon into your cup to take your cocoa south of the border.
Nutmeg stirred into your cup of cocoa makes what I call Pearl’s Spiced Hot Chocolate. I named it after a friend, Pearl, who prefers nutmeg to cinnamon. Again, 1/4 teaspoon is enough to get the job done.
Cayenne pepper adds a nice kick and hint of spice to liven up your otherwise boring cup of hot chocolate. I’m happy with only a pinch of cayenne pepper in my cocoa, but Baker’s Man prefers 1/8 teaspoon.
Among your extracts, you also will find several other flavor enhancers for your cup of cocoa. The addition of 1/4 teaspoon of any of these to your cup will create a very different cocoa experience.
Vanilla extract magically enhances the flavor of hot chocolate and makes it taste even more delicious.
Orange extract gives your cocoa a fresh, fruity, citrus flavor. I love the combination of fruit flavors and chocolate.
Coconut extract adds a tropical taste to your cocoa.
Almond extract makes one imagine an amaretto infused cocoa. This is one of my favorites.
Mint extract provides a cool and minty undertone to your warm chocolate.
We have already covered the spice rack and the extract collection, but there are still a few other pantry items that you can stir into your cup to create a more exciting cup of cocoa.
Stir in a spoonful of peanut butter, the creamy kind works best. This turns ordinary cocoa into a cup of chocolaty peanut butter goodness.
A spoonful of Nutella adds a delicious hint of hazelnut decadence to a cup of hot chocolate.
Maple syrup adds a unique taste when stirred into ordinary cocoa. A teaspoon or just a drizzle of maple syrup is all that you need.
A dash or two of tabasco or other hot sauce can also be used to spice things up much like the cayenne above.
There’s our list of flavor enhancers for your hot chocolate. Let us know which ones were your favorites.
As always, thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.