April 11, 2013

Hot Chocolate - One Little Cup at a Time

chocolate, hot, milk, homemade, hot chocolate

My little girl doesn't particularly like milk too much so to tempt her I make a little cup of hot chocolate for her every once in a while.  It's a warm tasty homemade treat made all the more fun using the whimsical cups and saucers we discover on afternoon rambles through our neighborhood second hand shops.  

It's similar to the drinks that our Hong Kong coffee shops are starting to offer for children, usually know by the cute name of "babyccino."  My girl loves to play at being 'grownup' and carefully sips her hot chocolate in the most delightfully ladylike manner.  Try it as a special treat for kids (or yourself!) on a chilly day.

We use local Hong Kong organic milk when we can get it and raw sugar which is easily available in stores nowadays.  Another must is a good coffee machine with the foam wand which is one of the few machines we've allowed into our tiny kitchen as a 'must have'.  

Indeed, since we have gotten our fantastic little (and surprisingly affordable) coffee machine, I have finally been able to say that I can make a great cup of coffee (and hot chocolate of course) at home.  You can even easily make the expresso with elusive crema (the creamy foam found on top of real expressos)!

chocolate, hot, milk, homemade, hot chocolate
Hot Chocolate-One Little Cup at a Time
makes 1 cuppa (Prep time: 10 mins  Cook time: 2 mins)



Put the foaming cup in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or so til the sides are quite frosty and cold.

Turn on your coffee machine to warm up.  When the machine is ready to go, take an empty cup and turn on the steam into it for 20 secs or so.  This lets out any accumulated water in the pipes so that water doesn't end up in your milk, thereby diluting it and making it difficult to froth.

Pour very cold milk into stainless steel cup.  Froth the milk.  We have a steam spout that uses the one hole in the middle so I keep the spout near to one side.  Open the steam 1/2 turn or more until the milk to go into whirlwind mode, keeping the spout 1/4 inch below the milk surface.  As milk volume grows keep the spout distance to top surface the same.   You can gradually decrease the steam bit by bit.  The milk volume should approx. double.  

You should stop the steam before the milk boils.  Some people stop when it becomes too hot to hold, but I don't hold the cup so I just keep an eye on the amount of steam coming off the milk as a rough guide. (Foaming takes practice!  It took me lots of practice to get it right.)

Put the chocolate and sugar in your cup.  With the back of a spoon hold back the foam while pouring hot milk to fill up 4/5 of cup.  Mix until smooth.  Now add the foam on top and you're done!  Perfect cup of hot chocolate!  Hope your kids like it as much as my little girl likes it!

Make some delicious easy chocolate cookies to go with your hot chocolate!



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