This is heaven sent on a cold wintry day. Make yourself a generous cup of Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and curl up in your favorite armchair and you will cheerily sing 'let it snow, let it snow, let it snow '.
On a recent trip to Starbucks, we had their Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. It was really delicious. I loved the caramel, salt flecks, whipped cream and hot chocolate combination. The next day I set about re-creating this drink. So after a lot of trial and error, I found a recipe that duplicates it exactly as I remember it.
This hot chocolate use cocoa powder instead of chocolate bars, great for the times when your stash of chocolate bars are finished. Use a good brand chocolate powder, I love Pernigotti cocoa. Remember to fill your glass only 3/4 full so as to leave some space for the whipped cream and caramel.
I adapted the hot chocolate recipe from a recipe by Jeanie Bean at allrecipes.com. And the caramel recipe that I like best was from Simply Recipes ( link provided below ). Please do not be put off by the photo below, this is one of the best hot chocolates I have ever had.
For the Hot Chocolate
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Pernigotti Cocoa, I love its flavor)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cup milk ( I used 2 % milk )
1/2 tsp vanilla extract ( I used Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla )
For the Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar / icing sugar / pithi sakhar
1/4 - 1/2 cup of caramel ( you can use store bought, or use homemade - I made some myself, and it is quite easy. I used this recipe from Simply Recipes )
1/4 - 1/2 tsp fine ground sea salt ( use sea salt for an authentic taste )
For the Hot Chocolate
- Combine the cocoa powder, the sugar and the salt with the hot boiling water in a medium sauce pan. Keeping the heat at a medium low, bring this mixture to a boil.
- Stir in the milk and keeping the heat low, you make the hot chocolate very hot but do not bring it to a boil.
- When it is heated through, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla. Mix it in properly, and it is ready to pour. Divide into 4 glasses.
- Pour the cream into a chilled bowl ( place your bowls and beater in the freezer for 10-15 minutes ) Tip: I sometimes skip this step in the winter times.
- Add the sugar and beat the cream using your hand mixer till it forms firm peaks. Store in the fridge till ready to use.
- Pour the hot chocolate into 4 glasses, top with a dollop of whipped cream, swirl about a tbsp or two of caramel on the whipped cream and lastly sprinkle a generous pinch of sea salt all over the caramel.
- Enjoy it while it is still hot.