Serious Chocolate: Hot Cocoa

Serious Chocolate: Hot Cocoa

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Tired of the normal kind?

Try adding a dash of cayenne, pumpkin pie spice (mmm), ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and crushed candy canes.

My apartment is so cold that I've started wearing fingerless gloves in the shower. I layer my Slankets. I even cover my windows with a flimsy plastic wrap designed to keep out windy drafts. It doesn't work, on both aesthetic and practical levels. So, woe is me, I've had to resort to concocting a series of hot beverages to keep me from freezing.

And keep me warm they do. But regular old tea or coffee or cocoa gets pretty old when you're drinking gallons per night, so I've been experimenting with add-ins to enhance the taste, using an adapted version of Alton Brown's cocoa as a base. After the jump, my favorite cocoa recipe and some fun add-ins.

Hot Cocoa

About the author: Melody Kramer is a chocoholic living in Philadelphia. She writes for a variety of publications, including her own blog Philly Dame.

  • Yield:about 5 cups of dry cocoa mix


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2.5 cups powdered milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of add-ins (see below)
  • Pinch of cornstarch


  1. 1.

    Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour a heaping amount of this mixture into a mug. Cover with hot water and stir.

  2. 2.


  3. 3.

    A dash of cayenne (for a Mexican cocoa kick); pumpkin pie spice (mmm); ginger; nutmeg; cinnamon; and crushed candy canes (to make good use of those leftover Christmas treats.)