Every so often, winter takes a break and enough spring sneaks in to make you believe – even though you know better – that it’s here to stay this time.
You start planning. Oiling the garden tools. Making lists.
Then winter rushes up behind you and whomps you face first into a snow bank.
So when it comes back (because you know it will) it’s good to be prepared with some Hot Cocoa Mix.
This mix is adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe available on the Food Network.
I use regular sugar instead of icing sugar, have increased the amount of cornstarch and omitted the cayenne. I also whiz mine in the blender, so it dissolves perfectly without any globby powdered milk blobs.
This recipe suggests using Dutch-processed cocoa.
Dutch-processed cocoa was developed in the Netherlands in the early 1800s, and results in a darker and smoother, more chocolaty-tasting cocoa powder. It involves adding an akaline to the powder prepared from dried cocoa beans, which neutralizes their natural acidity.
This difference in acidity levels can be important in baking. You can use regular cocoa in place of Dutch-process cocoa in most recipes, but not vice-versa. Some recipes rely on the acidity of natural cocoa to help create the chemistry needed for the rise in the baked good.
David Leibowitz provides a thorough explanation of the differences if you would like more detailed information.
- 2 cups / 500 ml granulated sugar
- 1 cup / 250 ml Dutch-process cocoa
- 2-1/2 cups / 625 ml skim milk powder
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml cornstarch
- Place all ingredients in blender.
- Blend thoroughly until mixture is a fine powder.
- Store in airtight container.
- Mix will store indefinitely.