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Recipe for Warming Winter Cocoa

Recipe for Warming Winter Cocoa

When you have guests over to your home this winter, treat them to a steaming cup of this lovely cocoa. You’ll have fun preparing it, and they’ll loooooove you for serving it. It has just the right amount of kick to really warm you up!


6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped or grated
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tbsp cardamom pods
1 tsp grated ginger
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1 egg, beaten
Whipped cream
Splash vanilla vodka, spiced rum, coffee liqueur or bourbon (optional)


Heat the chocolate, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder and cayenne in a double boiler. Whisk together until the chocolate has melted, then set aside.

In a separate pan, heat the milk, cream and remaining spices over low heat. Stir until the milk begins to bubble but not boil. Remove from heat and strain out the spices. Whisk the milk mixture into the chocolate.

In a small bowl, whisk a tablespoon of the chocolate-milk mixture into the beaten egg, then slowly stir it into the chocolate (this helps avoid cooking the egg).

Use the double boiler again to heat the combined mixture, whisking briskly, for a few minutes before serving. Stir a little bit of your booze of choice into the whipped cream and a little into the cocoa. Then top each cup of cocoa with the whipped cream, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

See Fresh Food in Winter for many more winter recipes.

Photo by Tim Nauman

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.


+ add your own
12:28PM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

5:48PM PST on Dec 22, 2012

...Oh my! I never knew so many things could go into good "ole" Hot Cocoa, thanks for sharing = ) Merry Christmas!

11:42AM PST on Dec 21, 2012

Wow !! sounds good - thanks for sharing.

9:02AM PST on Dec 20, 2012

mmm, i'd like some right now.

12:52PM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for the info.

10:43AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for the recipe.

7:22AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012


4:47PM PST on Feb 2, 2012

good info to try, thank you.

4:34PM PST on Dec 13, 2011

Serves four? Just get me a straw!

2:55PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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