On a snowy winter day, we often find ourselves craving the nostalgic taste of hot chocolate. The rich creamy taste has a magical way of transporting us back days of school cancellations, snowball fights and building snow forts.
While the memories of our childhood are linked to the store-bought, pre-packed hot chocolate mix, we find ourselves seeking something a little less processed now that we’ve reached adulthood, so we set out to make our own DIY version.
In a small resealable jar, we combined coconut milk powder, Dutch-process cocoa powder, powdered sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Not only is the jar easy to store and transport, but it also makes for a great last-minute DIY gift idea.
Although you could use this mix with water, we always find it be richer and creamier when using some sort of milk. Coconut milk beverage (the stuff from a box, not the can) would be a natural fit. Since the oils have been removed, it won’t develop a slick on the top and it really doubles down on the coconut flavor.
However, we ultimately decided to use oat milk, which we feel has the most “milk-esque” consistency. The coconut milk powder in the mix brings the big coconut flavor while the oat milk brings the rich creaminess. But you can use any milk beverage you like.
And it’s not toasted coconut hot cocoa without toasted coconut. Before we started making the hot cocoa, we just knocked around some shredded coconut in the bottom of the pot. It only takes about a minute over medium-low heat for them to toast. Remove immediately and reserve for topping.
We used a strainer to break up any clumps that developed in our mix and then whisked it together with oat milk. You want to warm it up just to point of bubbles, whisking occasionally to keep it from burning on the bottom. Then serve immediately.
So this winter put a non-diary homemade spin on your hot cocoa and make this toasted hot cocoa your new snow day tradition.
Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate
Yield: 2 cups
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 6 tablespoons coconut milk powder
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (optional*)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
- 2 cups milk of choice or water
- Whipped cream
At home, combine coconut milk powder, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt in a small airtight container.
At camp, gently toast the coconut flakes in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until just golden. Remove and set aside.
Place a fine mesh strainer over the saucepan and pour the cocoa mix in. Tap the strainer with the palm of your hand until the mix has sifted through, using the back of a spoon towards the end to break up any remaining clumps.
Add 2 cups of milk or water to the saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Whisk until the powder has completely dissolved.
Bring to a simmer, then split between two mugs. Top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
*Use cornstarch if you plan on preparing the cocoa with hot water – this will make it creamy. If using milk, you can skip it, though we still add it for extra creaminess!