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Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint hot chocolate with marshmallows

There’s hot chocolate, and then there’s hot chocolate. Some of us who grew up in the 70s became used to packaged mix with dehydrated marshmallows, which is actually hot cocoa. So, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I discovered real, creamy hot chocolate made from scratch.

What’s the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate? Hot cocoa is usually made with cocoa powder, milk and sugar. Hot chocolate is just melted chocolate with milk or cream. Sugar is not added but I have added it into this recipe since I’m using dark chocolate.

​It’s very easy to make but requires a little patience to allow the milk to boil without scorching and the chocolate to melt completely. The real secrets are using a whisk and boiling the mixture a second time.


  • You may use dark, bittersweet, semi-sweet or white chocolate. If using milk or white chocolate, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.

  • If using skim, 1% or 2% milk, use 1 1/2 cups of milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream.

  • Don’t like milk, try 2 cups of almond milk instead.

  • Stir in peanut butter, or add a pinch of sea salt, or try cinnamon and nutmeg.

  • Celebrate the season by adding bourbon, brandy, spiced rum, Irish cream or dry red wine to taste.

Gingerbread cookie stars

I made gingerbread cookies to go with my hot chocolate!

Hot chocolate in blue mugs with dripping chocolate syrup

I shot this image for the Nourish and Flourish Magazine chocolate issue in 2019. It was a lot of fun trying to work out the shot while the hot chocolate was melting the whipped cream and marshmallows.

I really love this recipe because you can add almost any flavor to the chocolate.



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