An easy hot chocolate recipe consists of cocoa powder, sugar, salt, milk, half-and-half or cream and vanilla extract. Almond, soy or rice milk can be substituted for the dairy milk if desired. This recipe serves one person.
To prepare the hot chocolate, stir together 2 tablespoons hot cocoa powder, 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons milk over medium-low heat until the cocoa powder and sugar are completely dissolved. Pour in the remainder of the 1 cup of milk and heat over medium heat while stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot. Stir in the 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and the hot chocolate is ready to drink.
If the drinker prefers a frothy beverage, the hot chocolate can be blended in a blender. The cook can substitute any sweetener they prefer for sugar. Agave nectar, stevia, maple syrup or honey are all good options. Be sure to start with about 1 tablespoon of preferred sweetener to get the taste right.
This recipe can easily be multiplied, but when you get up to a quart of milk, be sure to use 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Garnish with marshmallows or a drizzle of hot chocolate sauce before serving.