Sunday, January 20, 2013

Everyday Hot Chocolate in the City - Sonoma-Williams Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Salted Caramel Hot Choco - Williams Sonoma brandIt is still winter in Northern California and it has been colder than usual. We've been having freezing temperatures at night and mornings and we are just in the middle of January. 

As a consolation, this weather brings out the creative thinking out of me to keep ourselves warm. When I think of winter, a cup of hot chocolate comes to mind.

It is one thing to buy a cup of hot chocolate at your local cafe and it is another thing to enjoy a cup of homemade hot chocolate at home. Staying at home and putting together this kind of confection is something I find very delightful.

This week, we are sampling Williams-Sonoma's Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate mix. I've tried their classic hot chocolate mix last winter and I liked it. That is the one that comes in a dark brown tin can. This year, I wanted to try another variety of their hot chocolate suite. The salted caramel comes in a caramel tin can. I am not sure, but it may be available only during the winter season.

Salted Caramel Hot Choc - Williams Sonoma brand

If you are familiar with Williams-Sonoma's classic hot chocolate, the salted caramel mix is also made of fine chocolate shavings. Five teaspoons of this is mixed with a cup of warm but not boiling pot of milk is the suggested ratio. I usually mix the chocolate shavings using a bamboo matcha stirrer to easily dissolve any lumpy chocolate pieces in the mix. The chocolate shavings, the right temperature of the milk, and the stirring action create a frothy consistency. The resulting mix is sweet enough without any need to add sugar. 

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate - Williams Sonoma brand

I sometimes add vanilla marshmallows to make it more traditional looking. The marshmallows add a hint of vanilla, make the drink a little bit sweeter and the consistency thicker. When I don't want the additional flavors and sweetness but prefer it thicker, I usually add a pinch of arrowroot powder. 

I also tried the mix using almond milk and it still tastes great. I'll try their Chai hot chocolate or the peppermint hot chocolate when they come out next holiday season.

A can of hot chocolate mix makes eight (8) cups of velvety smooth hot chocolate drink.


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