Hot! Hot! Ooh, we got it! Hot! Hot! Hey, we got it! Hot! Hot! Say, we got it! Hot chocolate!
Here, we’ve only got one rule: Never ever let it cool! Keep it cookin in the pot, You’ve got- Hot choc-o-lat!
Our family loves the Polar Express. Even before we had our son, this movie won our hearts and we bought a copy of this feel-good Christmas movie because we knew it would become part of our holiday tradition. And long before we even dreamed of allowing our son to hold a semi-hot beverage in his hands, he too loved taking the steam engine adventure to the North Pole, watching this (and other) Christmas movie in July and dancing full tilt around the living room when the Hot Chocolate song came on. While I am not generally a fan of hot drinks, I am a big chocolate enthusiast, so if I am going to enjoy a hot beverage in the winter it would be hot chocolate.
“Winter?” you say, “it’s not winter yet.” Oh but my dear friend, it is indeed winter in northern Manitoba. Mother nature has decided that despite the fact that there were still mounds of snow and deserted campgrounds on the May two-four weekend this year, we northern Manitobans should be treated to an early winter. Hence tonight’s snow fall warning of 15 to 25 cm! And even if the only chill you are experiencing is the one that ran across your back when you read the words “snow fall warning”, the temperature is changing everywhere, Thanksgiving is around the corner and fresh pumpkins are on display in grocery stores nationwide. So in honor of shorter days, cooler weather, brilliantly coloured leaves and homemade apple pie, here is a simple recipe for hot chocolate that will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep away the chill. It’s also easy to double or triple if you are making a thermos for the gang while sitting outside around a crackling fire watching the northern lights or stars twinkling in the sky.
Hot Chocolat – No Refined Sugar
Makes One Mug
- 1 tablespoon, heaping, of cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon, overflowing, of pure maple syrup
- almond milk, unsweetened, approximately one cup or the size of one standard mug
In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and maple syrup until combined, the mixture will look like a thick icing; set aside. Heat the milk in a small pan over medium heat until scalding (or until desired temperature is reached; with smaller children you do not want the milk too hot). Stir the chocolate mixture into the milk and whisk until combined. Pour into a mug and serve with vegan marshmallows, candy canes or fresh fallen snow (a fun way for children to ensure their beverage is just the right temperature)!