07 January 2012

Hot Chocolate

Being increasingly upset with the concept of "instant hot chocolate", I showed my brother and sister that it is perfectly simple to make hot chocolate from unsweetened cocoa powder and sugar (and vanilla, cinnamon sugar, nutmeg, and whatever else). We rarely buy single-serving packaged hot chocolate, but I feel unhappy knowing that THAT STUFF GETS SOLD, and people LOVE IT! It's not my business to poke my spoon into other people's mugs, but I don't understand why one'd shell out more money than necessary for mugs of mediocre -- six packets (packaged in a neat box, which may or may not be wrapped in plastic) of mostly sugar, a tiny scoop of cocoa powder, some sort of creamer, partially hydrogenated oil, flavouring, FD&C Yellow #5, and caramel flavouring. 

"But, but, but, my method is convenient too!", I whine, with pearly tears gushing down my face. "And my hot chocolate's packaging is recyclable, unlike the foil-and-paper-blend wrapper that most companies use!"

So, here's something that's intensely bitter-chocolatey (whoo!) or super sweet (if you're my sister), depending on your preferences, gives you 8 g of protein, and doesn't take much time at all! No stoves! If an 8 year-old enfant gâté [read: spoiled brat] can do it, so can you (yes, even the time-deprived and sleep-deprived college students)!

Ingredients -- for a mugful
1. UNSWEETENED cocoa powder
2. Sugar (or honey/molasses/aspartame/candy)
3. Water (preferably at room temperature)
4. Fat-free milk! (preferably at room temperature)
5. Flavourings/garnishes -- vanilla, cinnamon sugar, coffee powder, nutmeg, chilies, marshmallows, pudding...
1. Add 1-3 tsp cocoa powder and 1-3 tsp sugar. Add flavourings. I would prefer 2-3 tsp cocoa powder and 1 tsp sugar... but my sister would honestly just want a pinch of cocoa powder and some 50 g of sugar.
2. Add enough room temperature water to submerge the solids, microwave for 30 s, and stir.
3. Add room temperature milk until your mug is 6/7 full. I don't want to add more because I'm scared that things will explode in my microwave.
4. Microwave for 50 s. Stir. Repeat until your hot chocolate is hot!
5. Add garnishes. We added ice cream and coloured marshmallows.
Actually, if you really wanted to, you could eat half a canister of unsweetened cocoa powder (bake with it, make pancakes with it, mix it with peanut butter etc.) and then pour sugar into the canister's remaining space. Now, you have enough hot chocolate mix to last a winter. Or just the finals season.

While my brother and I were enjoying our cocoa-studded hot chocolates, my sister was complaining that we don't have whipped cream in the house, and that the hot chocolate at the Diner is so much better. She was on the verge of shooting out those irksome tears. I sometimes wish that she understood that when my brother and I were her age, we didn't have hot chocolate in the house. We didn't have an oven or a microwave! I didn't even know what cinnamon was!

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