Since Hazel was a tea drinker and Leila was a coffee drinker, I knew for Pip I wanted something different, which is why I chose to give her an obsession for hot chocolate!
Greyson is an excellent mate, and in Fated he admits that he learned how to make homemade hot chocolate specifically for her. I went through a lot of recipes in figuring out what ingredients he needed and I tried a few recipes myself, but I was more than a little surprised at all the requests I got for Greyson’s recipe, so here it is!
Approximately 1 cup milk of your choice (Whole or 2% cow milk will make for a creamier, richer taste, but if you REALLY want a rich flavor, add some cream or half and half)
Sugar (I use a large tbsp but you might want 2 tbsp depending on if you choose to add toppings and how sweet you like your drinks)
Baking Cocoa Powder (A heaping tbsp, but again you can add more to adjust for your taste and based on the cocoa powder you use)
Large pinch of Cinnamon
Large pinch of Nutmeg
Splash of Vanilla extract (I’m very generous with my vanilla–it smells soooo good–so I usually add two splashes.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: To get your hot chocolate to taste the best, you really want to focus on the kind of cocoa powder you use. Most recipes I came across recommend Dutch Cocoa–I bought mine at Penzey’s Spice–but I also used the Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder for baking, and that turned out fabulous as well. (I also made some with store brand baking cocoa powder. It was tasty, but the Ghirardelli and Dutch cocoa was definitely a big step up. If you don’t want to buy the fancy baking cocoa powder, I’d suggest you cheat and add in a few semi sweet chocolate chips to melt in the milk!)
Second note: Adjust the cinnamon and nutmeg to your taste–the less sugar you use the less spices you’ll want to use, or the nutmeg can make the chocolate taste slightly bitter. In general I’d say use more cinnamon than nutmeg–nutmeg is a very flavorful spice!
Heat the milk in a saucepan on the stovetop–don’t let it boil or it will get this gross skin on it–and stir near constantly. Once it warms to a drinking temperature you want, stir in all of the above ingredients.
I personally think it tastes best when topped with whipped cream and/or marshmallows! (Especially whipped cream because then you can add sprinkles or chocolate or caramel drizzle if you’re feeling fancy!) But Greyson is not going to stretch his cooking skills, so he typically gives it to Pip without anything extra. (Unless he needs to apologize for something. Then out come the sprinkles!)
Does anybody have homemade hot chocolate recipes they’d like to share in the comments? I was astounded by the huge varieties in recipes I found when I was doing my research, but as I experimented I realized it mostly comes down to personal taste!