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Hot Chocolate with Almond Milk

This dairy free hot chocolate is made with almond milk and is perfect for when the weather turns cold and rainy or crisp and snowy. This recipe is very simple and uses cocoa instead of melted chocolate for ease.

Dairy free hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon

Nothing warms me up in the cold weather like a glass of hot chocolate!

Whether it is snowing in New York or raining in Israel, when the temperature drops and the weather makes me grateful to me in a nice warm house, I crave hot chocolate.

What I love about hot chocolate with almond milk is that I feel less guilty about indulging in it because almond milk is very low in calories.

My first time having hot chocolate with almond milk was honestly not great. I was by a friend and the almond milk she had as thin and I found the hot chocolate tasted better cold than not.

This made me prefer my dairy free hot chocolate as hot chocolate made with oat milk.

Then, I discovered barista versions of almond milk and I fell in love!

Now my hot chocolate with almond milk is creamy and delicious while being a lighter in calories so I can indulge more often in a less guilty pleasure.

HISTORY OF HOT CHOCOLATE

The first chocolate drink was created by the Mayans around 2,500–3,000 years ago. It was served cold and made of cocoa seeds ground into a paste, then mixed with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and more. 

The Aztecs used a cocoa drink as an essential part of their culture. This version was also served cold and was said to be flavored with vanilla and other spices.

Europeans’ first recorded contact with chocolate wasn’t until 1502 on Columbus’s fourth voyage. 

Later, Spaniards came the New World in what is now Mexico where they were introduced to the chocolate drink. They brought the drink back to Europe where it became extremely popular with the upper class.

At the time, chocolate was very expensive because the beans were grown in South America and imported to Europe. 

In fact, it was so expensive that cocoa was even given as a dowry when members of the Spanish Royal Family married other European aristocrats.

By the 1600’s sugar was added and cocoa was considered a luxury item among the nobility throughout Europe. At the time spices were still a common addition to the drink and they soon found adding milk made it more palatable. 

The aristocratic nature of the drink led to chocolate being referred to as “the drink of the gods.” Even when it became a little more accessible to the masses when first Chocolate House was opened in 1657, chocolate was still very expensive.

Hot chocolate has even been used as medicine until the 1800’s.

They may have been on to something though, since today, there is discussions that it’s abundance of antioxidants.

WHAT TYPE OF COCOA TO USE

For most other recipes, including this one, always use unsweetened cocoa powder.  This allows you to have better control of the sweetness of what you’re making.  There are three basic forms of unsweetened cocoa powder. 

NATURAL COCOA POWDER

Natural powder is your regular cocoa powder found in stores. It comes from from roasted cocoa beans and is acidic and bitter, with a very strong and concentrated chocolate flavor.

DUTCH-PROCESS COCOA POWDER

Dutch-process cocoa powder starts with cocoa beans that have been washed in potassium carbonate which neutralizes their acidity.  It can also be used in place of natural cocoa powder in hot chocolate, sauces, frostings, ice cream, pudding, etc.

RAW CACAO POWDER

Raw cacao powder is different from natural and Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder. It is pure powder from the cacao bean and is not nearly as processed as both natural and Dutch-process.

You can use raw cacao powder in this recipe. However, raw cacao powder and natural cocoa powder two taste very different and will change the flavor of the recipes.

TYPES OF SUGAR

There are many different types of sugar, including white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla sugar, powdered sugar, and demerara sugar.

When a recipe (any recipe, not just mine) says “sugar” without specifying anything else, it is regular white sugar.

WHITE SUGAR

White sugar (sometimes called granulated sugar, table sugar, or white granulated sugar) is made of either beet sugar or cane sugar, which has undergone a refining process. It is the easiest to find and
most commonly used.

BROWN SUGAR

Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it. It is commonly used in chocolate chip cookie recipes, and it’s rare for a recipe that calls for brown sugar not to also call for white sugar as well.

When a recipe calls for “brown sugar” but doesn’t specify what type (light or dark), it is referring to light brown sugar.

In my recipes, you can use whatever type of brown sugar you have on hand whether it is dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, or demerara sugar – which is very common in Israel. Just keep in mind that the flavor and color will be slightly different depending on what you choose to use.

VANILLA SUGAR

Vanilla sugar is not very common in the States. However, it is common in Israel and parts of Europe. This is sugar that sat for an extended period of time with vanilla beans, giving it a vanilla flavor.

POWDERED SUGAR

Powdered sugar, sometimes known as confectioners’ sugar, is a sugar with a powdered texture. This sugar is rarely, if ever, used for baking. Instead, it is used for dusting desserts and making frosting and icings.

In some countries, you can also find powdered vanilla sugar. It is made the exact same way regular vanilla sugar is made. However, the sugar used is powdered instead of granulated.

VANILLA EXTRACT VS VANILLA SUGAR

In my recipes, I don’t specify what kind of vanilla to use. The reason for this is that in the States, vanilla extract is exclusively used while in Israel along with many European countries, vanilla sugar is common.

Why is there salt?

Salt really brings out the flavor in other things such as sugar. If you’re on a no sodium diet you can leave it out, however if not, it’s best to add it.

Yield: 1 cup

Hot chocolate with Almond Milk

Dairy free hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon

This hot chocolate with almond milk is delicious and perfect for cold winter days!

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup barista almond milk (235 milliliter)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Optional Additions

  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • dairy free whipped cream, for serving
  • marshmallows, for serving

Instructions

    1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring almond milk to simmer.
    2. Whisk in cocoa, sugar, salt, and cinnamon or vanilla if desired. Stir until well incorporated. Remove from heat.
    3. Pour hot chocolate into a mug and top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 148mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 37gProtein: 3g

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