I usually prefer to eat, rather than drink, my calories and carbs. But I’ll sometimes make an exception for Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa. “Hot Cocoa” is sometimes used interchangeably for “Hot Chocolate.” But there is a difference. Hot Chocolate refers to the luxurious beverage made from ground-up chocolate pieces. Hot Cocoa doesn’t contain cocoa butter so it’s not as rich but added cream and milk enrich this hot beverage.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with traditional Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa, I wanted to find out how chocolatiers and bakers are pushing the “Hot Chocolate envelope.” Here are some of the more innovative Hot Chocolate/Hot Cocoa varieties:
Jacques Torre’s Wicked Hot Chocolate. Why is it “wicked”? Because it’s spiced with allspice, cinnamon, ground ancho chili peppers, and smoked ground chipotle chili peppers.
The Black & Tan. It’s on the menu of the aptly named HotChocolate restaurant in Chicago. To ensure you’re getting your chocolate fix, this beverage is comprised of 1 part Hot Fudge to 2 parts Hot Chocolate.
The Ode to Polar Bear Hot Chocolate. This offering, from New York City’s City Bakery, is for fans of White Chocolate. Perched on top of the hot white chocolate is a floating iceberg (homemade marshmallow). Or how about Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate? Yes, this Hot Chocolate sports not just a homemade marshmallow, but a toasted one at that. While traditional Hot Chocolate is always on City Bakery’s menu, special flavors are offered during the annual Hot Chocolate Festival.
Serendipity’s Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. Who says Hot Chocolate has to be hot? As the name implies, it’s served frosty cold, with straws.
Hmm, we still have several days of winter left. Plenty of time to enjoy Hot Chocolate!