For an extra-rich cup of cocoa or hot chocolate, always use whole milk, and stir a teaspoon or more of unsalted butter into each cup at the end, until it dissolves. This produces a better result than using cream or half-and-half to make the cocoa. The butter transforms average cocoa into a good cup, and good cocoa into a memorable experience. If you’re watching your cholesterol and need to hold the butter and use reduced-fat milk, buy the ultrapasteurized milk (called Skim Plus or a similar name). It’s more expensive, but it tastes like milk that’s two levels higher in fat content.
The difference between cocoa and hot chocolate: Cocoa is made from cocoa powder. Hot chocolate is made from bits of actual chocolate (it was originally invented in Switzerland by shaving chocolate bars). It’s also called “drinking chocolate.”
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