Today is National Cocoa Day so warm up with a piping hot cup of cocoa. For you restaurateurs, encourage your customers to order hot chocolate today! It should definitely be your featured item this week considering the horrific temperatures that’s been foretasted. While its origins date back more than 2000 years, and was even used to treat stomach ailments prior to the 19th century, hot cocoa has become America’s favorite winter drink. So, what makes hot cocoa worthy of a National Holiday?
1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa Dash salt 1/3 cup hot water 4 cups (1 qt.) milk 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract Miniature marshmallows or sweetened whipped cream (optional)
1. Stir together sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan; stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. Do Not Boil.
2 Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. Five 8-oz. servings.
VARIATIONS: Add one of the following with the vanilla extract:
SPICED COCOA: 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Serve with cinnamon stick, if desired.
MINT COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon mint extract OR 3 tablespoons crushed hard peppermint candy OR 2 to 3 tablespoons white creme de menthe. Serve with peppermint candy stick, if desired.
CITRUS COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon orange extract OR 2 to 3 tablespoons orange liqueur.
SWISS MOCHA: 2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee.
COCOA AU LAIT: Omit marshmallows or whipped cream. Spoon 2 tablespoons softened vanilla ice cream on top of each cup of cocoa at serving time.
SLIM-TRIM COCOA: Omit sugar. Combine cocoa, salt and water; substitute nonfat milk. Proceed as above. With vanilla, stir in sugar substitute with sweetening equivalence of 1/2 cup sugar.
CANADIAN COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon maple extract.
Hot cocoa isn’t the only thing that can be done with cocoa, but it’s the most delicious! Cuddle up with a mug of this, a good book, and the flicker of the fireplace in the background and you’ll have the perfect snowy night! Enjoy!