Caramel Hot Chocolate

01.24.2013

Have you ever wondered, why do we call it hot cocoa half of the time and hot chocolate the other half of the time? The answer is very simple really and makes complete sense. Hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder, therefor it doesn’t have the cocoa butter in it and hot chocolate is made from chocolate (which contains both the cocoa and cocoa butter).  It seems pretty obvious and I had never really thought about why there are two names, until I went to post this recipe and was wondering what to call it.

caramel hot chocolate

You may have noticed my set today is dun duh duh dah – snow! Yes, lovely, lacy, glittery, perfectly bright and gorgeously white – bitter cold snow. There is actually a story behind it. Not that you care, but I just love the memories so I have to share. When I was young my siblings and I would go out to play in the snow and I got this grand idea once to build giant chairs out of snow, as large our little legs could roll and push a giant snowball. Yeah they’d get pretty heavy, it would probably be such a funny thing to watch us little kids trying to do. Anyways, we’d get our “thrones” as big as we could, then build a step in front so we could climb to the top of it (but it’s not like it was large enough we actually needed the step =), then we would build a backrest and arm rests on each side (snow is pretty mold-able under the proper conditions, on powdery snow days we’d never be able to do it). After our hard work was complete, I climbed onto my chair and about then I’d realize how cold I was (because when you have work to do it’s easy to forget such things), and I decided I needed a cup of hot cocoa to drink while sitting in my throne. So, I shaped a little cup holder into one of the arm rests, ran inside and prepared my hot cocoa then returned to my prized piece of art. I’d sit in my chair, until my butt started to go numb from being so cold from the chair – that was essentially made of ice ( which only took a few minutes ha ha) sipping my warm cup of cocoa. It was so much fun.

As you see because of that I will always love hot cocoa and not just because of it’s silky smooth, warm chocolaty decadence. Now if I would have had this caramel hot chocolate back then I really would have felt like royalty in my throne =). I had some caramel sauce waiting for a good use in my fridge and I thought seeing as it’s been negative degree weather it was the perfect time for hot cocoa. This hot chocolate is blissful to say the least. I will say, yes you could use store bought caramel sauce but it won’t be near as good as what you get with the homemade caramel sauce. It’s worth the little bit of extra effort. If you want a salted caramel version, simply sprinkle some Maldon sea salt flakes over the top. This recipe really is very versatile and can be prepared to suite your personal taste. You can add in more chocolate, use more caramel sauce, you could use semi-sweet chocolate chips or even cocoa powder and sugar. I think it would also be delicious with dulce de leche in place of the caramel. How ever you make it, don’t forget to drizzle the top generously with caramel, it’s the best part – when you get a sip of half hot chocolate, half caramel drizzled whipped cream or marshmallows. MMMMM. Enjoy!

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I don’t usually show the set (and don’t you love how I call it a “set” like I’m some pro photographer – I wish =), but this my view, peering out the window after I nearly froze my hands off getting the above pics. I came inside and ran my hands under warm water, the sting ahhh. Then I walked back over to the porch and peered out at the gorgeous little beauty awaiting and decided it was worth going back out for =).

hot cocoa set

I know this is turning into a seriously lengthy post, but I’ve been waiting for a great fit for my snowflake photos. Around Christmas time we had the most gorgeous snowflake storm I’ve ever seen. The snowflakes were visible to the naked eye. I spent about 2 hours taking pictures of snowflakes. They were stunning to say the least. I wish I would have had a ridiculously expensive camera along with a macro lens that captures perfect detail. Rather I own a Canon rebel,  a 50mm macro lens and I don’t even own a tripod. For close ups like this, it would be nice so I’m not sitting their holding my breath trying not to shake my camera. The second was my favorite photo. I call it the mother snowflake. I wanted to call it such because it was like a mother snowflake, if you look closely their is a small snowflake safely resting upon it. Snowflakes truly are a gorgeous.

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Print

Caramel Hot Chocolate

Yield: 2 Servings (recipe can easily be doubled)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk , preferably whole
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I recommend Ghirardelli)*
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce , recipe link follows
  • Sweetened whipped cream or vanilla marshmallows
  • Grated chocolate for garnish , optional
  • Caramel Sauce , recipe below

Instructions

  1. Prepare caramel sauce according to directions listed and allow to cool slightly. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once milk is warm, stir in chocolate chips and caramel, and cook whisking constantly until chocolate has melted. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm topped, topped with sweetened whipped cream or miniature marshmallows, drizzle each serving with 1 Tbsp caramel sauce and garnish with grated chocolate if desired.
  2. *For a richer hot chocolate, you can use up to 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips and mix in more caramel sauce as well if desired.
  3. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Recipe Notes

Caramel sauce recipe and step by step tutorial HERE (just leave the salt out if you don't want salted)

I love the snowflakes that shine like diamonds.

snowflakes9

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41 comments

  • Kari@Loaves n Dishes: When I was a kid in northern Canada, I made entire suites of snow furniture in the backyard; we’re so much more easily amused when we’re young. I would have loved a cup of this rich hot chocolate to warm me up when I came in from playing. The snow flake photos are amazingly beautiful! January 25, 2013 at 3:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Kari for your sweet compliment! January 28, 2013 at 1:13pm Reply

  • Debs @ The Spanish Wok: OMG I could just do with this right now. Rather indulgent but who cares when it’s cold outside and being the weekend nearly, this would be comfort drinking at it’s best, must just make myself a Spanish (La Mumba) version this weekend. Thanks for sharing.

    Love the pics too, very pretty. January 25, 2013 at 4:51am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Debs! January 28, 2013 at 1:10pm Reply

  • Trish: Hi, Jaclyn, I just wanted to say hello and tell you that those snowflakes are beautiful!! They are so pretty I’m going o save them on my computer, thanks for sharing! January 24, 2013 at 4:44pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Trish – I’m so glad you think so =)! It’s so cool to see what snowflakes really look like up close. Thanks for your comment! January 25, 2013 at 10:56am Reply

  • Yammie @ Yammie’s Noshery: Yum!!!! Awesome pictures! Btw, I was just wondering… what camera do you use?? January 24, 2013 at 3:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Hey Yammie! Thanks! I use a canon rebel xsi, but this year I’m really trying to talk myself into the canon 5d mark II with a 24-70 mm lens. It’s an investment but it may just be worth it. The one I have now gets the job done but it’s that annoying thing thing where you want more than what you have =). I just love the photos of Helene Dujardin (tartlette) and that’s what she uses – the 5d. January 25, 2013 at 11:48am Reply

      • Yammie @ Yammie’s Noshery: Oh yeah! I love her photos!! I’m in Nikon world at the moment so I’m thinking more of the D800 someday. :) January 26, 2013 at 8:33am Reply

  • Natasha of Natashaskitchen.com: I love that you put the hot chocolate in the snow. It seriously looks amazingly good. I think I’ll brew myself a cup of hot chocolate asap. Thank you!! January 24, 2013 at 3:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Natasha for stopping by =). I always love your blog everything looks amazing! January 25, 2013 at 10:57am Reply

  • Jackie: Oh, those snowflakes are gorgeous! And I loved your story. I wish I had a snow throne right now! I am never around snow, but when I am, I just end up running back indoors. (I don’t do well in the cold, even though I get so excited about snow.)

    I also like how you put in the set picture. It’s always great to see what happens “backstage.” :) January 24, 2013 at 2:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s funny isn’t it to really see the behind the scenes set, it looks all pretty sitting there with just a snowy background then you see that I took the photo on the ground on my cement porch which was only halfway covered in snow =). Thanks for your nice compliment! January 25, 2013 at 11:10am Reply

  • Sarah: Oh my goodness, this looks AMAZING! And your pictures are gorgeous as always! January 24, 2013 at 2:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Sarah, I always love your blog! Thanks for stopping by! January 25, 2013 at 11:08am Reply

  • Kate: This looks so delicious, love the glass mug as well.
    The snowflake pictures are truly wonderful, as well xx

    http://wethingin.blogspot.co.uk/ January 24, 2013 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Kate! I love clear glass mugs because then you can actually see whats inside =). January 25, 2013 at 10:59am Reply

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