hot cocoa

Man, sometimes making recipes is weird.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bounced off sugar-free hot cocoa, for reasons passing understanding; but when my sister mentioned it this afternoon, I gave it one more try.  And this time it worked.  It’s delicious.  Who knew.  :-)

I will say, you’re gonna have to do a lot of whisking.  You will whisk and whisk and whisk if you’re making more than a cup of this stuff at a time.  But, it’s quick and easy to make, and if you’re only doing a cup it isn’t much whisking at all, so no worries.  :-D

Let me put it this way how happy I am with this recipe:  I came up with this probably five or six hours ago, and I’m drinking my fourth cup right now.  This is just what I needed to warm up as the weather gets colder.  I am so happy.  Have some cocoa.  It’s on me.  :-)

Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Hot Cocoa

Yield:  1 serving

Ingredients:

Directions.

1.  In a very small saucepan on the stove, start your half-and-half warming on up to medium heat.  Stir in the stevia and vanilla extracts.  (A heavy-bottomed saucepan is definitely your friend here, because you’ll need both your hands free and the saucepan will need to stay put later.)

2.  Grab a small whisk and a fine mesh strainer (something like this).

3.  Measure out the cocoa powder, then hold the strainer over the saucepan and gently add the cocoa powder to the strainer.  Most of it will stay in the strainer; some of it will dust generously on top of the half-and-half.  Time to start whisking.  Hold the strainer in one hand and the whisk in the other, and constantly whisk the half-and-half until the powder is dissolved.

4.  Gently shake the strainer a little, re-dusting the half-and-half, and start whisking again right away.  Ideally, the half-and-half shouldn’t even settle to a stop between bouts of whisking; whisk with one hand, shake the strainer with the other, whisk, strainer, whisk strainer.  What this will do is add the cocoa powder to the half-and-half slowly and evenly so it doesn’t clump, and it’ll sift out (and often even break up) natural clumps in the cocoa powder.

5.  Once all the cocoa powder’s been sifted into the hot cocoa, remove the saucepan from heat.  (It’s okay if it’s not quite hot enough, you can pop it in the microwave for a minute or so to finish heating it up if need be.)  If you want, pour the hot cocoa through the strainer into a bowl or jug; this will strain out most or all of the few clumps of cocoa powder that inevitably managed to form despite all that whisking.  (Trust me, if you don’t use the strainer, it’s way worse.)

6.  Drink up.  :-)