I had every intention of posting a healthy smoothie recipe, because let’s face it, I need one and have no business making and drinking decadent hot chocolates. But it’s cold and I’m a baby, and with a recurring series devoted to fried food, you’re not coming to this blog for the leafy greens. So hot chocolate it is. And since I’m already throwing caution to the wind, I thought I’d share the richest, most delicious hot chocolate there is. Stop reading now if you’re trying to cut back on sugar and happiness. Proceed at your own risk, but I really hope you do.
Salted Caramel and chocolate. Is there a better combination than that? It’s so good that there doesn’t need to be, but make it hot and sip-able, and you’ve got yourself a great time. I don’t drink coffee, so I’m partial to hot chocolate as it is (check out some of my favorites here), but this one with its rich milk chocolate, caramel and sea salt both in the drink and sprinkled over the whipped cream, is my new favorite.
To make one big serving, you’ll need: 1½ cups milk (I went with whole because I’m bad), ½ cup milk chocolate chips (semi-sweet is good too if that’s your preference), 2-3 tablespoons caramel sauce (I used Smuckers), ¼ teaspoon sea salt, and an extra pinch of sea salt, drizzle of caramel and whipped cream for topping.
1 cup of this stuff is more than enough, so adjust the ingredients as you see fit. Again, caution totally AWOL.
Making hot chocolate is one of those easy things that doesn’t require much in terms of instruction, but for the heck of it, do it like this: heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the milk is warm, stir in the chocolate chips and start the melting process. As it melts and blends, add and taste the caramel to your liking. Next, stir in the ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Remove from heat.
Now, you can totally just mix everything together and forget about the gradual increments, but adding them one at a time lets you personalize things to your taste. Why add more sugar and calories if you don’t need to, you know?
Let the hot chocolate cool slightly, then top with whipped cream, caramel drizzle (drop it right on there with a dipped spoon) and a pinch of sea salt sprinkled on top.
If you look closely, you can make out the sea salt granules in that thick puddle of caramel on the right.
Ah. I remember sinking my lips into that caramel and whipped cream like it was yesterday, because it was.
The last and most important step of all: Enjoy!
I’m telling you, this is the best, most delicious, most bad-for-you hot chocolate there is, but it’s so good and really so easy to make that you owe it to yourself to try. And if heating milk and melting chocolate is too much work for you, try using a hot cocoa mix as your base. Instant hot chocolate isn’t my first choice for this, but Swiss Miss with caramel and sea salt is better than nothing at all.
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips
- 2-3 tablespoons caramel sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- whipped cream for topping
- caramel for drizzling
- pinch of sea salt for sprinkling
- Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the milk is warm, stir in the chocolate chips. As it melts and blends, add and taste the caramel to taste.
- Stir in the ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Remove from heat.
- Allow the hot chocolate to cool slightly, then top with whipped cream, caramel drizzle and a pinch of sea salt sprinkled on top.
- Makes 1 generous serving. Reduce milk to 1 cup and scale down other ingredients to taste.