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TIP OF THE DAY: White Hot Chocolate For A White Christmas

Tis’ the season for white hot chocolate. No matter what the weather is like where you live, you can have a white Christmas with a cup of it.

Here are two recipes that give a gourmet twist to hot chocolate. The second recipe, for hot chocolate on a stick, can be given as party favors and stocking stuffers.

The first recipe from the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel outside Chicago, which has been serving up the Christmastime concoction to guests in their fireside lounge. The blend of whole milk and half and half makes it very rich, indeed.

RECIPE: WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 10 ounces quality white chocolate (we use these Callebaut white chocolate disks)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  •  

    White hot chocolate is made with top quality white chocolate disks. Photo courtesy Schaumberg Renaissance Convention Center Hotel.

  • Optional garnish: shaved chocolate, cocoa powder and/or whipped cream (try this candy cane whipped cream recipe)
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE milk and half and half; heat to a slight simmer.

    2. SLOWLY whisk in chocolate and vanilla until the chocolate has fully melted.

    3. GARNISH as desired and serve.

     


    Hot chocolate on a stick: fun party favors
    and stocking stuffers. Photo courtesy
    McCormick.
     

    Here’s a fun project: Make your own hot chocolate on a stick. This recipe from McCormick creates a fudgy square of peppermint-flavored white chocolate and a marshmallow on a lollipop stick. You swirl it into a cup of hot milk until it melts into rich, creamy and minty hot chocolate.

    You can wrap them in cellophane bags, tie with a ribbon and give them as gifts. The chocolate squares can be made up to two weeks in advance and assembled up to 2 days in advance.

    RECIPE: Peppermint White Hot Chocolate On A Stick

    Ingredients For 36 Pieces

  • 2 pounds white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 4 drops red food color
  • 18 large marshmallows, halved crosswise
  • 36 lollipop sticks
  •  
    Preparation

    1. LINE a 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray foil with no stick cooking spray. Place chopped chocolate in large bowl. Set aside.

    2. BRING sweetened condensed milk and cream to simmer in medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring frequently with wire whisk. Pour over chopped chocolate. Let stand 1 minute. Whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

    3. STIR in peppermint extract. Remove 3/4 cup chocolate mixture. Tint chocolate mixture pink with red food color.

    4. POUR remaining (plain) chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Drop tinted chocolate mixture by tablespoons over chocolate mixture in pan. Swirl with knife for marble effect. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight until firm. Cut into 36 squares. (May be made ahead to this point. Store chocolate mixture, tightly covered, in pan in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before cutting into squares.)

    5. ASSEMBLE: Thread a marshmallow half and a chocolate square onto each lollipop stick. Wrap each hot chocolate on a stick in plastic wrap or small cellophane bag.

    6. MAKE hot chocolate: Stir hot chocolate on a stick into 8 ounces hot milk.

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COCOA AND HOT CHOCOLATE

    Most people use the terms interchangeably, but they’re actually different.

  • Cocoa is a drink made from cocoa powder, which has had a portion of the cocoa butter removed.
  • Hot chocolate is a drink made from actual chocolate, usually ground or shaved into small bits. Chocolate has more cocoa butter than cocoa powder, so it makes a richer drink, all things being equal (the same type of milk, e.g.).
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