Are you still making hot chocolate from the store bought mix? This winter season, try something different. Make it from scratch, with real chocolate. It's a totally different taste experience. And there's a good chance you won't go back to a mix. And honestly, this doesn't take much longer (unless you are using instant).
I remember the first time I discovered hot cocoa did not have to come from a powdered mix, I was shocked. And this Peppermint Bark Hot Chocolate will make you a believer. I hope you will give it a chance.
The kid's eye's will pop when they see you add the Frozen Peppermint Whipped cream to the top of their mug. Cue happy music.
I broke up my peppermint bark chocolate bars into my saute pan. And speaking of new pan, I am also giving one of these awesome sautes away! You can enter to win one here. Make sure you do.
I love using a large saute pan to make hot chocolate. The large surface area makes it come together and heat up quickly. Easier to stir too.
The base of this cocoa is made from these Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Chocolate Bars. They are widely available this time of year, but will disappear soon. Make sure to stock up so you can make this cocoa all winter long.
Your regular grocery store might carry these bars, but I always find them consistently at Walmart and Target.
I also used another favorite item of mine in this recipe, vanilla bean paste. You can substitute vanilla extract for this, but it can never totally replace the paste. It's full of vanilla bean bits and a hint of sweetness. I love using it in baking, it's just a whole other level of yum. I keep jars around at all times.
To make the peppermint whipped cream I pulverized hard mint candies into peppermint dust with my food processor. You really want it crushed well with no big chunks.
I piped the whipped cream onto a parchment lined tray and stuck it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
The little frozen bites melt slower than just dousing whipped cream right on top of the cocoa. Plus they are super cute after dusting them with leftover crushed peppermint candy.
Who would not love being on the receiving end of this?
Hot chocolate is not just for kids. To make this recipe into an adult beverage, an ounce or two of Creme de Cacao is the perfect finishing touch.
Peppermint Bark Hot Chocolate with Frozen Peppermint Whipped Cream
Frozen Whipped Cream:
- 8 hard peppermint candies, pulverized in a food processor
- 2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 7 oz (2 bars) Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Chocolate Bars
- 3/4 cup brewed coffee
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- Make whipped cream first. Add crushed peppermint (reserve some to sprinkle on top of whipped cream towers), confectioners' sugar and heavy cream to a bowl. Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Place whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Pipe whipped cream into towers on a parchment lined tray (will make about 6-8). Sprinkle with reserved crushed peppermint and place in the freezer immediately and at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a heavy pan over low heat. Stir constantly with a silicone spatula to prevent scorching. Whisk in coffee and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Add milk, cream and salt. Heat, whisking constantly just until steam begins to rise from the surface. Do not bring to a boil. Divide cocoa among cups. Wait until cocoa is sipping temperature to add the dollops of frozen whipped cream.
- To make this an adult beverage, stir in 1 ounce of Creme de Cacao liqueur into each mug before serving.
If you fill your cup too high with cocoa, the addition of whipped cream might cause an overflow...fair warning.
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