I’ve been playing with hot cocoa as a drink (sans alcohol) for a while. This is what I’ve come up with, as a great drink with few calories (because there’s no sugar):
– A LOT of cocoa powder. Two big heaping table spoons or so. This drink is all about the cocoa and not about sweetness.
– A TOUCH of mint extract. Just enough that you can tell it’s in the final product. I’d suggest making it a few times and starting with the smallest amount of extract you can get out of the container…
– Just a touch of cayenne pepper. That’s right: Cayenne pepper. Somehow these two tastes go really well together. Like with the mint, you want just enough but no more. I typically take a fork and stick it in the pepper, getting just enough pepper to cover half the prongs (and not too high of a stack!). This method was totally an accident, too. I meant to grab a spoon. Shrugged, and it worked. So I’ve kept doing it instead of trying to figure out how much of a spoonful this is.
Mix the above together in your cup of choice. My preferred cup looks like Santa Claus.
– Boiling or very hot milk.
I don’t care how you get the milk hot. Sometimes I use the stove and sometimes I use the microwave. The only real goal is to get it HOT. It has to be pretty hot to melt the above concoction just right.
Stir the milk in slowly, making sure to get as much mix as possible without drowning the mixture.
Now, you have a hot cup of cocoa with some pepper and mint in it. Drink up once it’s cool enough not to burn you.
This is a great drink to end a day with. The cocoa and pepper together have some magic restorative property that I don’t totally understand. And they taste great. And you’re not getting a load of sugar and calories. Don’t drink your calories.