hot cocoa

This winter we are having in Canada right now is kicking our behind from west coast to east!  Seems we have had weeks of below -25, windchill, frostbite warnings, and unpredictable highway driving conditions.  Bah!  I feel cooped up.  It’s one thing getting myself layered up to go outside, but it’s a-whole-nother thing to get a baby layered up, and even then you can’t spend a long time out there.  The sun may be shining, but “it’s colder than it looks outside” (thanks, Ladies, now I know what that means).

And so, while we are “trapped” indoors, we must do things that make us feel better.  What does that look like for you?  Wrapped in a blanket with a good book?  A hot bath?  Skyping with friends and family?  Playing a board game?  It kind of sounds like when the power goes out!  One of my comfort measures is making homemade hot cocoa, and then either spending time with family inside, or reading a book.  Or writing.  Writing’s good too.

I find store-bought or cafe/restaurant hot chocolate often too watered down, too sweet, or too bland.  They are too much of an effort to get to when it is so cold, so I found an easy recipe.  It’s yummy, waste-free, and cheaper.

How to make a great-tasting cup of hot cocoa:

Put the kettle on to have boiling water ready.  Put a small saucepan (why are they called saucepans?  I call them pots.  A small pot.  Or is it because of the handle?  Are you enjoying this inner dialogue?) on the stove-top, but don’t turn the heat on yet.  Put about 1/3 cup of cocoa powder in the pot, and 1/3 cup of sugar; you can experiment with this ratio, depending how sweet/rich you like it.  Add a pinch of cinnamon, if you like.  Add about 1/3 cup of the boiling water.

With a small whisk, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, and water until it resembles a chocolate sauce; make sure you scrape the sides of the pot with the whisk so you don’t miss any powder.  Depending if you like water or milk-based hot chocolate, add your desired amount of water or milk, or water AND milk for a happy medium (this makes about 3-4 cups, so adjust your measurements according to how many people are having hot chocolate).  Now turn on the element to low-med until your preferred temperature.

Optional:  Once removed from heat, add some cream to make it…well…creamy.  You can also add a little bit of vanilla once removed from heat.  I don’t buy vanilla anymore because of how expensive it is, so I use maple syrup instead.

The cocoa powder and sugar/cane sugar I can purchase in bulk at Bulk Barn or at Fullfill in Kimberley.  I use half water and half milk – Kootenay Meadows from Creston in returnable glass containers, as well as the cream.  I can refill cinnamon, and maple syrup at Fullfill.

What’s your go-to comfort drink?  How do you make it?



  1. Spiced milk! Either soy or cow’s milk, we heat it up on the stove with cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper, then pour it into mugs through a small tea strainer (actually a mesh tea ball that broke in half…convenient for this use!) and add honey if we want it sweeter. My friend also gave us a small jar of tumeric tea (spice mix) for Christmas; I don’t know which other spices she included but it’s amazingly warming and comforting if you enjoy tumeric. I like to make mugs of that one with coconut milk and honey. Yum yum yum.


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