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Recommednation for Hot Chocolate Drink Mix

Chemicalkinetics Jan 25, 2014 07:29 PM

I love hot chocolate, especially during cold weather. A couple years ago, I bought some nice hot chocolate from TJ Maxx or Home Goods, but I cannot remember the brand anymore. It is not a well known brand.

At this very moment, I am drinking from the Nestle brand. Any recommendation for instant hot chocolate mix? What brand do you like?

Thanks.

  1. b
    blizzardgirl33 Mar 22, 2014 06:25 PM

    Cocoa Camino Dark Chocolate Mix - Organic and Fairtrade. But more often I just use Cocoa Camino cocoa powder, and add milk (dairy or otherwise) and honey. And perhaps some cinnamon. Yum.

    1. DiningDiva Feb 8, 2014 07:10 PM

      This is for all the folks that were fans of Abuelita Mexican chocolate. I was at the grocery store this afternoon and happened to go down the aisle with the drinking chocolate. Abuelita was available in 3 formats - traditional tablet, powdered (takes care of the problem of chopping it up) and syrup in a squeeze bottle.

      1. s
        suburban_mom Feb 7, 2014 06:23 PM

        Here is my recipe:

        1 3/4 cups sugar
        1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
        1 vanilla bean
        1 t salt

        Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Combine the vanilla seeds and the sugar. Wisk in the cocoa powder and salt. Put cocoa mix and the vanilla bean pod in a jar.

        Heat a mug of milk. Add 1 heaping soup spoon of mix and stir.

        I gave this mix as Christmas presents to my friends and neighbors and everyone loves it. I always have it on hand here at home too.

        1. z
          zoe willet Feb 7, 2014 05:58 PM

          Why buy a mix? Hot chocolate is so incredibly easy to make! This is how I do it, but there are as many ways as preparers almost:
          I like the extra kick coffee gives, which makes 'mocha', so I start with a little coffee, but this is optional;
          Fill up your mug about 2/3rds with unsweetened chocolate almond milk (ok, if you insist, you can use dairy);
          Add a HEAPING tablespoon of cocoa powder- best quality you can find, and if you sift it, it will mix in better;
          Add about a capful of vanilla;
          Add 1/2 to 1 tsp of brown sugar (or honey if preferred);
          Heat for 2 mins in microwave, stir, taste and adjust sweetness to your liking. (I am diabetic, so I use the absolute minimum, which is one reason I make it from scratch- the mixes are WAY too sweet for me.)

          So to summarize: mix milk, (coffee), cocoa, sweetener, vanilla, and heat. Could that be any easier?

          6 Replies
          1. re: zoe willet
            Chemicalkinetics Feb 7, 2014 10:34 PM

            Why almond milk? For health or for taste?

            1. re: zoe willet
              m
              MacGuffin Feb 8, 2014 06:44 AM

              That's cocoa, not chocolate. :)

              http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main...

              I love both equally, depending on my mood, but they're not the same.

              1. re: MacGuffin
                Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2014 08:02 AM

                True to that. Hot chocolate vs hot cocoa

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  m
                  MacGuffin Feb 8, 2014 11:14 AM

                  ...and both potentially Nirvana! :))

                  1. re: MacGuffin
                    Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2014 11:40 AM

                    And healthy too -- for me anyway.

                    Because of the fact that I want to drink hot chocolate/hot cocoa every evening, I am starting to exercise a little bit.

                    :D

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      m
                      MacGuffin Feb 8, 2014 09:10 PM

                      Its merits include an ability to motivate. :)

            2. q
              Querencia Feb 7, 2014 03:57 PM

              Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate is very well-known in England but is not sold in the US except from certain grocery jobbers who sell British products online and by mail order. It is better than any other brand I know of. I don't know the real story but have heard that Nestle's and Hershey's have, through their lobbies, successfully kept Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate off US shelves. It is worth hunting down.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Querencia
                m
                MacGuffin Feb 7, 2014 05:59 PM

                It seems to me I've seen it at Fairway here in NYC but I've never bought it. Now I'll have to take a closer look.

                1. re: MacGuffin
                  Ttrockwood Feb 8, 2014 09:38 PM

                  Yup. Its at fairway near other british groceries. It was $$ but now i'm thinking to try some...!

                  1. re: Ttrockwood
                    m
                    MacGuffin Feb 9, 2014 07:34 AM

                    +1 and thanks for confirming. (It's always nice to learn that you're not imagining things! Maybe I'll pick up a can of that canned custard as well--it's been a while.)

                    1. re: Ttrockwood
                      m
                      MacGuffin Feb 9, 2014 11:06 AM

                      It's not there now. :`( They had two types of Cadbury plain (or so they'd have you believe) cocoa and the guy who stocked the area said he didn't know when the Drinking Chocolate would be in because getting shipments from the distributor for any of the UK tends to be hit or miss.

                  2. re: Querencia
                    z
                    zoe willet Feb 7, 2014 06:18 PM

                    I thought Cadbury's was taken over by an American company- I forget which one, but it is huge and the ceo is a woman. So that shouldn't be an issue.

                    1. re: Querencia
                      Chemicalkinetics Feb 7, 2014 10:33 PM

                      Oh, I love Cadbury's. I grew up with that chocolate candy (not drinks). Ok, I will look around if there are any Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        j
                        Jet Feb 8, 2014 12:34 PM

                        Yes, our beloved late-grandmother always had the Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bars on-hand for us lucky grandchildren. To this day, we always seek out Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bars whenever they're sold in our local markets. By the way, Cost Plus, which today is known as "World Market" has an extensive selection of Cadbury and other imported bars. Among them is "Violet Crumble" which is ridiculously delicious!!! I am thinking that they may have the other drinking products, too? -JET

                        1. re: Jet
                          Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2014 02:42 PM

                          I love Violet Crumble. I remember them.

                          1. re: Jet
                            m
                            MacGuffin Feb 9, 2014 11:18 AM

                            According to Wikipedia, Violet Crumble is Australian and made by Nestlé and Cadbury produces something similar called Crunchie.

                            1. re: MacGuffin
                              j
                              Jet Feb 9, 2014 01:51 PM

                              Delectable, and great texture. There actually is a bit of Violet essence infused in the crunch!

                              1. re: Jet
                                m
                                MacGuffin Feb 9, 2014 02:29 PM

                                Damn, I can't have it because it contains "gelatine" (I'm vegetarian). "Flavour" is mentioned, but it's in the chocolate--maybe the violet's there? And the chocolate isn't real, either. It's made from cocoa and vegetable fat, no cocoa butter listed. I'll have a look for the Crunchie--no gelatin and real milk chocolate according to the ingredient list.

                      2. j
                        Jet Feb 7, 2014 03:02 PM

                        There was a time a few years ago, that I felt I had to discover THE best of the drinking chocolates, and so I mail-ordered those that fellow-foodie David Rosengarten mentioned in his then newsletter, that he felt were the best. I don't like the cup to be cloyingly sweet, and I like my drink creamy & smooth. These are my absolute favorites; Vosges Haut Chocolate, L.A. Burdick, and Marie Belle. The eating chocolates from those purveyors are also exquisite, and all have storefronts available (depending on where you are geographically). The cakes & baked goods of New Hampshire/Boston based L.A. Burdick are so delicious as well! JET

                        1. c
                          CDouglas Feb 7, 2014 07:55 AM

                          Valor Spanish drinking chocolate is the best:
                          http://www.tienda.com/food/products/b...

                          This is bar chocolate used for making hot chocolate but they make a powder as well.

                          1. m
                            msgevalt Feb 7, 2014 04:23 AM

                            Starbucks has a great instant hot chocolate that i get… it's good and a huge can is about fifteen dollars at Costco… it lasts me two seasons, and I live with an eleven year old that is sipping it as we speak.

                            1. JMF Jan 31, 2014 08:50 AM

                              I'm another one of the fans of the Mexican hot chocolate. Abuelita, Ibarra, etc. Many years ago I did a long review of a have dozen or so Mexican hot chocolates here on CH. I like to add just a dash of cayenne to it.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: JMF
                                DiningDiva Jan 31, 2014 10:37 AM

                                The spicy Mayan hot chocolate mix from Chuao Chocolates is outstanding. Far, far better than either Abuelita or Ibarra. Of course, it's also far more expensive too ;-)

                                http://chuaochocolatier.com/drinking-...

                                I travel frequently in Mexico and for a while I always stopped by a grocery store or tienda and purchased some Mexican chocolate to bring back. Mayordomo and Guelaguetza from Oaxaca are pretty decent. Moctezuma from Uruapan I liked, La Lucha, also from Urapan is also nice. There is a woman in Patzcuaro who sells amargo (semi-sweet) and dulce (sweetened) chocolate de metate that is absolutely outstanding, even for baking. The chocolate is called Josephina and I've successfully used her amargo chocolate for baking.

                                I picked up some flavored chocolate from Casa Crespo in Oaxaca recently that is really, really good. They come in about 15-20 different flavors, from the mundane (mocha) to the exotic (flowers).

                                Mexican chocolates are fairly difficult to work with for baking because of the added sugar, but they do make a nice cup of hot chocolate. I usually add a few cloves, a few chile flakes and a few drops of orange oil (or a strip of orange peel) when making Mexican hot chocolate.

                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                  m
                                  MacGuffin Feb 7, 2014 06:03 AM

                                  The Josephina sounds WONDERFUL!

                                2. re: JMF
                                  m
                                  MacGuffin Feb 7, 2014 05:55 AM

                                  If you like those, you'd probably like the similar Colombian drinking chocolates. This is the one I like: http://www.shoprite.com/pd/Corona/Swe... . The flavor profile includes a bit of clove (not clover!), which makes all the difference.

                                3. JayL Jan 29, 2014 05:27 PM

                                  Abuelita tablets are my favorite. It's a little different, but tasty.

                                  You're supposed to be able to just drop the whole tablet into hot milk and it will melt. We find it quicker to take a chef's knife and chip it up. Fairly thin slices literally crumble apart. This dissolves a lot faster than big chunks.

                                  I also tend to sometimes use a little less milk than they recommend.

                                  1. e
                                    eastbroadway Jan 29, 2014 05:44 AM

                                    Trader Joe's Sipping Chocolate is rich and thick.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: eastbroadway
                                      m
                                      MacGuffin Feb 7, 2014 05:46 AM

                                      +1. Since I enjoy hot chocolate and cocoa all year 'round, I stock up on it and their Peppermint Hot Chocolate when they appear during the holidays. The sipping chocolate suggests using either ½ cup or ¾ cup of milk; I split the difference and use ⅔ cup milk for both products which yields something between the too-much-like-pudding-for-my-taste and not-intense-enough results I got from following the directions. I also like to add some cinnamon to the peppermint mix. :)

                                      A bit OT: I wish I'd also stocked up on the Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte Mix. I was surprised at how much I liked it. And their packets of instant hot chocolate aren't bad. The ingredients are better than Swiss Miss and the like. I keep them in my office at school.

                                    2. viperlush Jan 28, 2014 03:17 PM

                                      The Penzeys mix is quite good.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: viperlush
                                        m
                                        MacGuffin Feb 7, 2014 06:00 AM

                                        That's interesting because my tendency is to love all things Penzeys and I really expected to like it (I got the peppermint), but was underwhelmed. Strictly speaking, their mixes are cocoa, not chocolate, but I knew that going in (I love cocoa). Which one did you buy?

                                      2. h
                                        hnderson Jan 28, 2014 02:56 PM

                                        I've started drinking a mix of Ghirardelli 100% unsweetened Cocoa in a mug with Lactose free milk, cinnamon, and a bit of Cayenne. The first time I used a bit of sugar. The next time I forgot the sugar and realized I liked it just as well without. The only problem I have with this is getting the chocolate to mix well in the hot milk so it gets pretty thick by the time I get to the bottom of the mug.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: hnderson
                                          hill food Jan 29, 2014 12:52 AM

                                          hnderson - that sludge is what biscotti are for...

                                          1. re: hnderson
                                            a
                                            alex348 Feb 7, 2014 07:02 AM

                                            I am avoiding sugar and processed foods as much as I can. So I buy a $2 bar of Ghirardelli 100% baking chocolate (cacao). I put one square in the bottom of a cup and pour 1% milk over it, microwave for 2 minutes,stir. It mixes easily. Voila! Wonderful and sweet to me if I haven't eaten a dessert for several days.
                                            Note: Cocoa has been processed and all cocoa butter removed.

                                            1. re: alex348
                                              h
                                              hnderson Feb 7, 2014 09:25 AM

                                              We pretty much solved the "sludge" problem by taking a bag of the Ghirardelli's 100% cocoa, mixing it with a small amount of hot water in a mixer at high speed for a few seconds to make a syrup, then putting it in a dispenser in the fridge. I use 1 tbsp per mug and only add hot milk and cinnamon to it. There's still a little thickness in the bottom of the cup but it's delicious.

                                          2. chowser Jan 27, 2014 07:04 PM

                                            Trader Joe's sipping chocolate

                                            What I like to do is make ganache into balls and keep them in the refrigerator. Pop a few into hot milk for hot chocolate. Or just eat...

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: chowser
                                              s
                                              sandylc Jan 27, 2014 07:29 PM

                                              Sounds like a truffle!

                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                chowser Jan 27, 2014 07:36 PM

                                                It is!:-) I was making truffles one day and it occurred to me that they'd make great hot chocolate.

                                            2. John E. Jan 27, 2014 06:35 PM

                                              If you're drinking hot chocolate at home, then I assume an instant hot chocolate powder is not the only way to go.

                                              We make hot chocolate using chocolate, either milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Heat up some milk in the microwave and for each cup of milk, put 1/4 cup of plain M&M's in a blender. Pour in the hot milk and blend until the choocolate is melted and smooth. Sometimes the milk cools down in the blender so it might need a few more seconds in the microwave. I also like to make it with Aldi's dark chocolate bar.

                                              16 Replies
                                              1. re: John E.
                                                Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2014 06:59 PM

                                                <We make hot chocolate using chocolate, either milk chocolate or dark chocolate. >

                                                I tried to use baking chocolate bar, but I had difficulty for melting it and have it homogenizes into a drink.

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                  s
                                                  sandylc Jan 27, 2014 07:16 PM

                                                  Typically when making ganache, the cream is heated, then chopped chocolate is added and the mixture is stirred until the chocolate has melted.

                                                  Perhaps finely chopped chocolate should be whisked into the very hot milk...?

                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                    John E. Jan 27, 2014 07:23 PM

                                                    That's what I do. I don't put in big chunks. The blender does the work

                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2014 07:41 PM

                                                      How do you chop chocolate? I used a knife, and the pieces were flying everywhere.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                        John E. Jan 27, 2014 07:47 PM

                                                        I can tell you how I do it. Using a chef knife I keep the tip of the blade on the cutting board (I use a flexible cutting mat) and shave the edge of the chocolate bar. You should be getting shavings. Then I go through the shaved chocolate with more chopping, still with the tip of the blade on the cutting mat.

                                                        Edit: apparently I should be using a bread knife.

                                                        http://youtube.com/watch?v=NVRSJTpyig8

                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                          s
                                                          sandylc Jan 27, 2014 07:52 PM

                                                          Yes, this. Your knife needs to be large and sharp, and don't try to take off too much at once.

                                                          1. re: John E.
                                                            Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2014 08:01 PM

                                                            Ah, shaving. I see. I was just chopping my chocolate bars like tofu and onions. The pieces start to fly everywhere, and they were too big to be dissolved. I will give the shaving a try next time. Thanks.

                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                              s
                                                              sandylc Jan 27, 2014 08:11 PM

                                                              Pay particular attention to what John E. says about keeping the tip of the knife down on the board. Good advice.

                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2014 08:20 PM

                                                                Got it. Use the tip almost like a pivotal point. I have a bread knife by the way, which the video suggests will work well.

                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                            Sarah Perry Jan 29, 2014 09:12 AM

                                                            One solution: chocolate chips! Melt a few tablespoons of chocolate chips with a couple tablespoons of cream over low heat, whisking until you have a thick, smooth chocolate sludge, then whisk in some milk and continue to heat. I've never had this method fail, de-emulsify, etc.

                                                            1. re: Sarah Perry
                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jan 29, 2014 10:32 AM

                                                              Like these?

                                                              http://www.gotchocolate.com/wp-conten...

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                mcf Jan 29, 2014 10:40 AM

                                                                Ghirardelli 60% are better, and Guittard 63%. And for my tastes (yours may differ) Scharffen Berger 70% is even better.

                                                                1. re: mcf
                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jan 29, 2014 10:43 AM

                                                                  Ah. I need to look up the Nestle Toll House one (for cocoa %). I remember looking up the numbers a long time ago, but I forgot now. Thanks for the information.

                                                                  Are you talking about Scharffen Berger chocolate bars or chocolate chips? I only see chocolate bar.

                                                                  https://www.google.com/search?q=Schar...

                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                    mcf Jan 29, 2014 10:53 AM

                                                                    I think Toll House chips are in the 55 or 58% range.

                                                                    Scharffen Berger makes square chocolate chunks: http://shop.scharffenberger.com/70-Bi...

                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                              l
                                                              Leepa Jan 31, 2014 08:58 AM

                                                              Using a serrated knife to chop chocolate helps with the flyaway factor.

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                m
                                                                Magmoore1 Feb 7, 2014 12:49 AM

                                                                Food processor or spice grinder works well.

                                                        2. v
                                                          vttp926 Jan 27, 2014 04:49 PM

                                                          One of my favorites is the Ghirardelli White Mocha which really isn't a hot chocolate but reminds me of a white chocolate hot chocolate.

                                                          1. c
                                                            chocolate Jan 27, 2014 11:56 AM

                                                            I just reread your post and now see you are looking for recommendation for "instant" hot cocoa. Although this isn't instant, William Sonoma's hot chocolate that they offer during the holidays is really good and its on sale now too. If you never have had it, you should definitely give it a try and today (1-27) their also offering free shipping.
                                                            I send so many of these as gifts during the holidays and everyone seems to love it. The classic is great as well as the Peppermint. I gave my friends daughter the Peppermint Bark one at XMAS this yr and she also loved this one as well.

                                                            I'm embarrassed to say, but as I'm typing this I'm waiting for my hot water and making myself a cup of instant hot cocoa too. I'm having Swiss Miss "Diet" cocoa. Definitely not Chow worthy, but if you need to be good and cut calories, only 25 cal. p/cup. Not bad for diet, but no comparison to the real deal.

                                                            I have both WS and Burdicks hot chocolate in my house now..both delish but I drink to much hot cocoa to be having them more then once a day so the diet helps. Sometimes, I put a few shavings from either in the diet one.
                                                            (Both WS and Burdicks are shaved chocolate not a powder)Both really really good!

                                                            www.williams-sonoma.com

                                                            13 Replies
                                                            1. re: chocolate
                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2014 11:59 AM

                                                              Thanks I will give it a try -- just because of your login name. :)

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                c
                                                                chocolate Jan 27, 2014 12:25 PM

                                                                Funny...
                                                                Don't think you'll be disappointed. I just bought 2 more myself to get me thru this winter.
                                                                (The diet one just isn't doing it for me today, may need to make a cup of the real thing)
                                                                Enjoy!

                                                                 
                                                                1. re: chocolate
                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2014 12:49 PM

                                                                  :) Thanks. Free shipping too (no minimum needed)

                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                    c
                                                                    chocolate Jan 27, 2014 01:01 PM

                                                                    Your very welcome. Yes, its a great deal today. Soo glad I saw your post and could share….

                                                                    1. re: chocolate
                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2014 08:22 PM

                                                                      Just order the classic hot chocolate from Williams Sonoma.

                                                                      http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                                      Yeah.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                        c
                                                                        chocolate Feb 16, 2014 12:08 PM

                                                                        Hi Chemicalkinetics…

                                                                        Haven't been on the boards for awhile but just ordered another tin of WS hot choco. to send as a gift today and thought about you. Wondering if your enjoying the can you ordered from here?

                                                                        I sure hope so but forgot to mention, for some reason if its not to your liking, WS has a great return policy. No questions asked and can even return at store although you ordered on line but again hope your enjoying it.

                                                                        I wanted to thank you too for starting this discussion. Some great suggestions! Will definitely have to try a few.
                                                                        Its been a long cold winter.

                                                                        FYI… The hot chocolate I ordered today came to something like $6.30 including shipping. Offered free ship today for Pres, Day and an extra 20% off. Can't beat that when at XMAS its around $19.99. Hope your staying warm too w/ all these hot chocolate ideas.

                                                                        1. re: chocolate
                                                                          j
                                                                          Jet Feb 16, 2014 01:16 PM

                                                                          Hi Chem, I don't know which can you're referring to??
                                                                          Which brand were you referring to? JET

                                                                          1. re: Jet
                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Feb 16, 2014 07:38 PM

                                                                            Jet,

                                                                            I bought this one (see link):

                                                                            http://rk.wsimgs.com/wsimgs/rk/images...

                                                                          2. re: chocolate
                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Feb 16, 2014 07:36 PM

                                                                            Hi Chocolate,

                                                                            Thanks. I did received the WS Hot Chocolate, and enjoyed it very much. It is very smooth and very tasty, but maybe just slightly sweeter than I was used to, but I accustomed to it rather quickly. Thanks for the great recommendation. I went to Williams Sonoma (brick and mortar store) yesterday just to see if I can pick up another can, but I didn't see any in the real store. I then stopped by Sur La Table to see if it has its own version of hot chocolate, and didn't see any neither.

                                                                            Meanwhile, I also have been shaving chocolate block to make my own hot chocolate mix (using a knife and chocolate blocks). For unknown reasons, some of these chocolate shaves seem to melt much better than others. For example, I tried a no-name chocolate block from my local supermarket, and the 70% baking cacao from Ghirardelli:

                                                                            http://www.ghirardelli.com/store/70-c...

                                                                            The Ghirardelli chocolate shaves just didn' melt very well, while the no-name bitter chocolate block melted much better.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                              m
                                                                              MacGuffin Feb 17, 2014 08:05 AM

                                                                              You'll undoubtedly think this philistine on my part but I have no problem whatsoever melting an entire square of Baker's unsweetened baking chocolate with a tablespoon or two of sugar, a pinch of salt, and 8 oz. of milk (I add some vanilla when I take it off the heat). As you can imagine, this isn't for woosies. :)

                                                                              1. re: MacGuffin
                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Feb 17, 2014 10:17 AM

                                                                                I was going to try to use the Baker's chocolate, but decided to get the Ghiradelli chocolate just because Ghiradelli one is more expensive. :P

                                                                                Yet, it was my cheaper no-name chocolate block which worked out better -- for hot chocolate anyway. I am going to try the Baker's chocolate next. Thanks for your suggestion.

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                  m
                                                                                  MacGuffin Feb 17, 2014 12:58 PM

                                                                                  Let us know what you think. It's very tweakable--you can use raw sugar or, if you can get your hands on it (I can't anymore), piloncillo, and cinnamon is also good, even with the added vanilla. It's by no stretch of the imagination an elegant brew but it's awfully intense, and very satisfying when you're jonesing for chocolate.

                                                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                c
                                                                                chocolate Feb 17, 2014 02:06 PM

                                                                                Soo glad to hear you liked the WS hot chocolate! I know people go nuts when it shows up around the holiday and stock up since you usually can't get it after then. Luckily, on line they still had some and when they offer the free ship you can't beat it when it's on sale. Next year, you'll have to try the Peppermint bark hot chocolate. Sent it to my friends daughter at XMAS and she loved it.

                                                                                Well sounds like you have plenty of good hot chocolate now at your house with all these great suggestions.I'm definitely bookmarking this thread too.

                                                                                Just looked again at WS site. Their now out of Classic but they have the sampler pack available. It comes also to $6.39 w/shipping. Great sale! Both the Classic and Peppermint are good but have seen mixed reviews on the salted Carmel. Haven't tried it myself.
                                                                                If anybody is interested, once on site , click on Sale at top then select Foods and you'll see it. For some reason if you just click on sale won't come up. You can also type hot chocolate in search bar and you'll see it too.

                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                2. Ttrockwood Jan 26, 2014 10:49 PM

                                                                  I love Abuelita- it isn't too sweet and has a hint of cinnamon and other spices. I usually just find it in the box with the chunks of chocolate that you just stir into hot milk. I love it with almond milk.
                                                                  It is not good with marshmellows! But whipped cream yes :)
                                                                  Looks like this:
                                                                  http://www.nestleusa.com/brands/Bakin...

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Ttrockwood
                                                                    mcf Jan 27, 2014 07:41 AM

                                                                    It has sugar as its first ingredient, 5.5 teaspoons of sugar to make 8 oz. of drink. http://www.nestleprofessional.com/uni...

                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                      Ttrockwood Jan 27, 2014 03:46 PM

                                                                      I didn't say it does not have sugar.... It doesn't taste overly sweet to me (like swiss miss can) since the chocolate is darker/more flavorful.

                                                                  2. a
                                                                    acgold7 Jan 26, 2014 06:55 PM

                                                                    A recent thread asked about sugar free hot choc mixes and I posted my recipe here:

                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3414...

                                                                    1. s
                                                                      Susangria Jan 26, 2014 06:42 PM

                                                                      Mexican hot chocolate tablets are good, and their availability in the US has increased in the last few years. They come 4 or 5 tablets to a box, and each tablet has 6 portions. They can be cut or grated, then dropped into heated milk. Two brands I've seen in the US are Ibarra and Abuelita. I believe Nestle owns Abuelita now.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Susangria
                                                                        hill food Jan 26, 2014 06:54 PM

                                                                        I have come to really like those Mexican brands (current one in the pantry is 'el Caporal' and sadly is pre-sweetened but life goes on), they have an interesting spice 'profile' it also makes a really good base for a dessert mousse (although I add extra bitter cocoa)

                                                                        1. re: hill food
                                                                          DiningDiva Jan 26, 2014 09:00 PM

                                                                          The bulk of Mexican chocolate sold in the US contains sugar. They also can contain canela, almonds and vanilla.

                                                                      2. h
                                                                        Hobbert Jan 26, 2014 06:30 PM

                                                                        I like Silly Cow for a quick fix, but making my own is so much more satisfying and delicious.

                                                                        1. p
                                                                          phantomdoc Jan 26, 2014 06:22 PM

                                                                          Chop up some Trader Joes bittersweet Belgian chocolate and mix it in hot Half and half. It don't get better than that unless you stir with a candy cane. Make it as rich as you like and still not too sweet.

                                                                          1. s
                                                                            sandylc Jan 26, 2014 06:12 PM

                                                                            I use Cocoa Barry Extra Brute, sugar, whole milk, and a splash of vanilla.

                                                                            This is hot cocoa, not hot chocolate, of course. It would be interesting to learn to make top-quality real hot chocolate from scratch.

                                                                            1. mcf Jan 26, 2014 04:37 PM

                                                                              Not a mix, but a cocoa; Penzey's high fat extra dark, the top one here: http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzey...

                                                                              You can add sweetener and dry milk powder if you want, or add sugar, a touch of salt and hot whole milk. Nothing touches it, IMO.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: mcf
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                                                                                wonderwoman Jan 27, 2014 06:08 PM

                                                                                my favorite, as well.

                                                                              2. Chemicalkinetics Jan 26, 2014 04:31 PM

                                                                                Thank you everyone.

                                                                                1. kattyeyes Jan 26, 2014 07:13 AM

                                                                                  I like the "dark and white" cocoa they used to serve in my workplace cafe years ago:

                                                                                  1/2 Ghirardelli white mocha
                                                                                  1/2 Ghirardelli double chocolate OR sweet ground cocoa
                                                                                  Milk

                                                                                  It's about 1 tablespoon each of the cocoa per mug of milk.

                                                                                  I also mix it up with slightly less cocoa and my favorite liqueur--last night I had it with Pisa nut liqueur. DELICIOUS!!!

                                                                                  Don't forget the whippy cream!

                                                                                  1. b
                                                                                    BobbieSue Jan 26, 2014 06:43 AM

                                                                                    My favorite is Ghirardellli Hazelnut Hot Chocolate, which you make with hot milk, sold at the regular grocery store.

                                                                                    1. DiningDiva Jan 26, 2014 06:38 AM

                                                                                      Chuao drinking chocolate is excellent. It comes in 2 varieties, regular and spicy.

                                                                                      http://chuaochocolatier.com/drinking-...

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jan 26, 2014 04:34 PM

                                                                                        Look nice. I think I may get the Deluxious Dark (regular)

                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                        Clams047 Jan 26, 2014 05:03 AM

                                                                                        We find Aldies Beaumont hot chocolate to be far superior to other mixes.

                                                                                        1. daislander Jan 26, 2014 12:20 AM

                                                                                          using a good coco and a spoonful of sugar is just as fast as 'instant'. Just have to add your own fresh milk instead of powdered that comes in the packet. That may take a extra 10 seconds. No comparison. I like Frys cocoa I think the recipe is on the container. Basically mix 2 tsp of cocoa and 2 tsp of sugar in a cup, mix. Depending on how sweet you like it. Boil water, mix a bit in and mix a paste add 3/4 water, stir top with milk or cream. You can nuke a cup of milk and mix into cup holding cocoa for extra richness. My grandma made this for us for years. I just can't do the premixed to sweet. I hope you give it a try.

                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: daislander
                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Jan 26, 2014 12:29 AM

                                                                                            You mean like unsweetened cocoa powder for baking? I have those. Or do you mean different kind of cocoa?

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                              daislander Jan 26, 2014 12:36 AM

                                                                                              Yup. Lots of recipes on the internet. Just saw one on mart has site mix hot milk with nutella! omg. This is also interesting http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/12...

                                                                                              1. re: daislander
                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Jan 26, 2014 04:33 PM

                                                                                                I love Nutella and I think I have tried to use Nutella to make drinks when I was a kid. I cannot remember the results, but this conversation is making me want to try again. I have also just tried to use baking cocoa powder. It works ok, but I will need to optimize it.

                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                  Chris VR Jan 27, 2014 12:09 PM

                                                                                                  For teacher gifts last Christmas, I bought mugs from local artists and packaged them up with a homemade cocoa mix, made from 1 part cocoa to 2 parts sugar, with directions to heat 1 mug milk (or rice/soy/almond milk) in a microwave for 1 minute. Stir in 1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa mix. Microwave another 30 seconds and mix well. Add additional sugar to taste (although I liked it just as it was). I keep a container of that mixed up in my cupboard.

                                                                                                  I found that Saco Premium Dark Cocoa mix (which is a blend of regular and dutch cocoa powder) worked really well here, as well as Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa powder (also a blend). When I'm feeling really decadent, I'll drop a square of dark chocolate into the milk (any type of dark, semi-sweet chocolate works well here) at the beginning, and them microwave it for an extra 30 seconds. The result is a thick, rich chocolate drink reminiscent of what you might get in a cafe in Madrid.

                                                                                                  1. re: Chris VR
                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2014 12:14 PM

                                                                                                    Ah, I was just going to ask you guys about Dutch cocoa too. The current cocoa powder I have is blend of regular and Dutch as well. I tried a 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1.5 teaspoon sugar along with some hot water and whole milk.

                                                                                                    In other words, is Dutch cocoa desirable?

                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                      Chris VR Jan 27, 2014 12:25 PM

                                                                                                      I think it depends on whether or not you're a dark chocolate or a milk chocolate person, because Dutch cocoa has a much stronger and richer chocolate taste. For me, dutch chocolate all the way, although I like 1:2 cocoa/sugar ratio and I like it with all milk.

                                                                                                      I was surprised, both my kids love this cocoa as well. One of them loves dark chocolate but the other won't touch the stuff.

                                                                                                      1. re: Chris VR
                                                                                                        Chris VR Jan 27, 2014 12:27 PM

                                                                                                        If you wanted to make up a cocoa mix that came closer to what you might get out of a packet of Swiss Miss, you'd probably want non-Dutch cocoa, more sugar and probably also some dried milk powder. That way you could just add hot water.

                                                                                                        Alton Brown's got a recipe here, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                                                                                                        2 cups powdered sugar
                                                                                                        1 cup cocoa (he recommends Dutch process)
                                                                                                        2 1/2 cups powdered milk
                                                                                                        1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                        2 teaspoons cornstarch
                                                                                                        1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
                                                                                                        Hot water

                                                                                                        Fill mug halfway with this mix, then add hot water to fill the mug.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chris VR
                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2014 12:48 PM

                                                                                                          <I like it with all milk.>

                                                                                                          I like all milk too, but I find it is difficult to dissolve in warm milk, so I now use a bit of boil water to dissolve the cocoa before add the milk. The water to milk ratio may be 1:4.

                                                                                                          By the way "The current cocoa powder I have is blend of regular and Dutch as well. I tried a 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1.5 teaspoon sugar along with some hot water and whole milk. " this is far from my perfect recipe. This is just something I tried two days ago -- first trial.

                                                                                                          1. re: Chris VR
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                                                                                                            MacGuffin Feb 7, 2014 06:18 AM

                                                                                                            I think Dutch-processed cocoa tastes anemic, although it certainly looks prettier than natural cocoa (to be fair, it's in TJ Sipping Chocolate, which I happen to like and which, strictly speaking, contains no chocolate). I grew up on Hershey's from a toddler and as a young child, I pestered my mother to buy Droste because it was in a cool tin. I was REALLY disappointed in the cocoa, though, and I still don't like cocoa that has been Dutch-processed, including Valrhona, which I keep on hand for baking that calls for baking powder (Whole Foods has it in bulk). I keep Trader Joe's natural cocoa on hand for everyday stuff (it's really good for the price) but I this stuff http://www.amazon.com/CACAO-POWDER-CE... is sublime and I would use it for everything (except the aforementioned baking) if I could afford it. You need to shop around for the best price.

                                                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                                                            zoe willet Feb 7, 2014 06:02 PM

                                                                                                            Sure, why not?

                                                                                                            1. re: zoe willet
                                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Feb 7, 2014 10:32 PM

                                                                                                              Why not perfect? I think it needs a bit more cocoa and a bit more sugar. I probably diluted it too much. However, the one to one ratio seems to be working out for me thus far.

                                                                                                  2. re: daislander
                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                    BobbieSue Jan 26, 2014 06:45 AM

                                                                                                    I have to agree that there's nothing like the stuff made from scratch with cocoa.

                                                                                                    1. re: daislander
                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                      tastesgoodwhatisit Feb 7, 2014 07:18 PM

                                                                                                      This is what I do. I find you need to mix the cocoa powder with the sugar and then add a bit of hot water to make a paste, then stir in cold milk, and microwave it until hot.

                                                                                                      You can also add a bit of vanilla, or cinnamon, or alcohol, or nutella, or almond extract, or almond milk powder, at the paste stage, for variety. I find a mix of cocoa powder and almond milk powder is very nice.

                                                                                                    2. ipsedixit Jan 25, 2014 07:33 PM

                                                                                                      I recently bought some Hot Dark Chocolate mix, as the weather in the east has been miserable.

                                                                                                      Not for everyone, but if one's palate leans towards bitter and less towards milk, then this is a definite winner.

                                                                                                      http://www.mouth.com/collections/all/...

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
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                                                                                                        Jerseygirl111 Jan 26, 2014 03:44 PM

                                                                                                        That looks so decadent. Yum!

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