Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spiked Hot Chocolate

    My husband Matt loves good quality things that taste good.  I love good quality things that taste good as well, but I do not like to pay good quality prices sometimes.  This evening I made hot chocolate, spiked with brandy, and I was able to get it tasting rich by using very simple and thrifty ingredients.

     I started with Swiss Miss instant hot chocolate and added a bit of cocoa powder to it, along with boiling water and a shot of brandy.  Topped with whipped cream, sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon, this was delicious.  Matt loved it.  The taste was very rich and chocolate-y, and not too sweet.

     This was a perfect solution to our state of mind of "I want something delicious but don't want to pay $20 for us to go out for spiked hot chocolate."  It's been pretty darn cold in St. Louis, so spiked hot drinks are completely appropriate - necessary even - in case you were confused by our selection.

     I was lazy this evening and didn't want to dirty another bowl by making homemade whipped cream.  But I do highly recommend you try that sometime.  Just buy whipping cream, pour it into a bowl, add some sugar and milk, and whip into deliciousness (Here's a recipe  I sometimes use regular sugar, and just use a little more.  It is so much better than store-bought.  A little too good - you might finish the leftovers with a spoon.

     In the future, I might try to make homemade instant hot chocolate mix, using milk powder, sugar, and cocoa powder.  For now, I'll use the Swiss Miss till it's gone.  I bet homemade would be great, though - cost-efficient, and you can make it as sweet/unsweet or rich as you want.

     Some of you might be interested in using milk instead of water as the hot liquid base.  Go ahead.  I didn't want anything very creamy this evening.  This recipe brings out more of the chocolate flavor - it literally tastes like melted chocolate - and the spike of brandy.


-12-16 oz. water
-4 tbsp instant hot chocolate mix (regular, sweetened, as cheap as need be)
-1 tsp cocoa powder
-2 oz. brandy or other liquor
-Whipped cream
-Dash of Cinnamon, plus more to sprinkle
-Nutmeg to sprinkle


-Set 12-16 oz. of water to boiling in a kettle or a pot.
-Put hot water from the sink in two mugs to warm while you prepare everything else.
-In a small bowl or another mug, mix the instant hot chocolate, cocoa powder, and dash of cinnamon (just a dash, mind you, don't overdo it - Katie, I'm thinking of you right now).  Stir until it all looks like a darker version of the instant hot chocolate mix.
-Dump out the tap water from the mugs.
-Divide the chocolate mixture between the two mugs.
-Add water to fill 3/4 of the mugs and stir until it is dissolved and hot-chocolate-y.
-Add 1/2 or 1 oz. brandy to each mug.  Taste and add more if needed ; )  Add more instant mix if you need more creaminess or sweetness.
-Top with a generous amount of whipped cream, and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Drink up and be happy!