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.
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.
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.