Sunday, January 31, 2016

Best Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe Ever!


I have been tackling more of the hot cocoa recipes on Shari's Berries infographic last week. Last time, I shared version of the Mexican Hot Cocoa recipe with you. And today I am sharing my testing of the Vegan Hot Cocoa recipe, and including a recipe for a slightly more chocolaty version (I can't help myself, I think everything needs to be 'more chocolaty'!).

This is one of my first vegan hot cocoa recipes. I am not vegan and not allergic to dairy, which is why I haven't experimented all that much with vegan hot chocolate. But I do understand why someone might be vegan, and the need for dairy-free for those allergic.  So I have experimented a little with using coconut milk and coconut cream in hot chocolate, as well a soy milk, over the years. I was not a fan of the flavours created by the soy or the coconut. Which is why I think this recipe may be a contender for The Best Vegan Hot Chocolate Award, if such an award exists.

Shari's Berries' recipe called for unsweetened almond milk. This truly had the mildest flavour of all the milk alternatives that I have tried, and once simmered, the almond flavour was almost non-existent. It also paired nicely with chocolate.

When I tried Shari's Berries recipe, it does not provide instructions, so I applied my gelato-making experience. The corn starch clearly meant it needed to be boiled, and was included as a thickening agent. The corn starch does, however, leave a bit of a gelato or store-bought ice cream taste. This is not unpleasant, but it can be reduced by letting the hot cocoa simmer a while.

The resulting drink was very good, but like I said above, needed to be a bit more 'chocolaty'. So I added a 1/4 ounce of semi-sweet chocolate to my cup, and voila! a richer, velvety and very chocolaty hot chocolate was born.

Here is my recipe for vegan hot chocolate (modified from Shari's Berries infographic, which you can find here.

Rich Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe

You need:
  • unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 ounce semi-sweet chocolate (most semi-sweet chocolates are dairy-free/vegan, but check the ingredients list first to be sure)
  • 2.5 tbsp. agave syrup (you can use sugar, if no agave on hand)
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch 
Instructions:
  1. Place the almond milk and the agave in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine and turn on to high to warm for a moment while you prepare the other ingredients. 
  2. Add the cocoa powder and corn starch. Whisk together or use an immersion blender to combine.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and bring to a simmer, whisking all the while. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, up to 10 minutes if you wish.
  5. While simmering, place half of the chocolate in one mug (1/4 ounce), and half in another mug.
  6. Once ready, pour the vegan hot cocoa liquid into your mugs.  Stir in the chocolate immediately until combines. Let cool slightly before drinking.
Makes enough for two, so over with a lid or plastic wrap and reserve the remainder for another time. Reheat in the microwave for 1 minute to enjoy.

Top with dairy-free whipped cream and enjoy!

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