Rating International Hot Chocolate

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As the new year approaches, Harrisites can enjoy this time by participating in a universally special holiday activity: making hot chocolate. It is a common sweet treat to make during the colder seasons, and each country features its own unique recipe.  With break finally arriving, here are some hot chocolate recipes from many different countries. Whether it’s slightly sweet or a full blown sugar rush, these assorted drinks are easy-to-make delicacies waiting to be tried out. 

Belgian Hot Chocolate:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 ounces Quality Dark Belgian chocolate 72% max.
  • 1 1/2 ounces Quality Milk chocolate
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon White sugar (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions: In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the chocolate into half of the milk. After the chocolate is melted, add the remaining ingredients and mix consistently. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Rating: 6/10 

Belgian hot chocolate is great for people with a sweet-tooth. Upon following the recipe, the hot chocolate was very thick, sweet, and creamy. This comes from the use of semi-sweet and semi-dark chocolate. The rich chocolate flavor overpowered the cinnamon and vanilla, but the drink rarely hinted bitterness. After adding more milk to the chocolate, the drink instantly became lighter, smoother, and robust, but equally just as sweet. This drink is not suited for those who are seeking a lighter and less potent drink. The recipe can easily be altered to fit one’s preferences. For instance, adding whipped cream is recommended because it’s a great neutralizer against the powerful chocolate taste. 

French Hot Chocolate:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate at least 70%, chopped*
  • Giant bowl of whipped cream for serving
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions: In a saucepan on medium heat, whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, powdered sugar and espresso powder until bubbles appear on the edge. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Stir in the chocolate until melted, and serve warm. 

Rating: 9/10

This recipe accommodates both coffee and chocolate lovers, and most conveniently, only takes ten minutes to make. This French hot chocolate was exceptionally creamy. It possesses all the essential characteristics of a good hot chocolate, and is very easy to adapt to  personal preferences. However, the hot chocolate did not rank a ten because it is slightly too sweet. This can easily be changed by the type and quantity of chocolate used. Again, whipped cream is a perfect add-on as it makes the drink creamier and softer. 

Mexican Hot Chocolate:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 ounces Mexican chocolate OR bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Whipped cream (optional) 

Instructions: In a saucepan on medium heat, mix all ingredients (except the whipped cream) until it starts to simmer. Stir and keep it on heat for three minutes, and then with the pan off the stove, whisk until a frothy layer forms on top. Quickly serve, add whipped cream on top if desired, and dig in.

Rating: 7/10 

This Mexican recipe stood out compared to conventionally sweet and simple hot chocolate drinks. This is perfect for anyone who loves hot drinks in winter but can’t stand to drink something overly sweet. From the first sip, the flavor of spice and pure cacao wafts into the nostrils and explodes in the mouth. Contrary to the initial sugary burst of flavor, this drink is sharper and less sweet, making it a lighter snack. For many, however, that may not be what they are looking for. This recipe lost a few points since hot chocolate is generally expected to be a sweet beverage. On the other hand, a light refreshment may just be what someone needs if they want to enjoy the winter season, and it only takes five to six minutes to make.

Brazilian Hot Chocolate:

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions: Take a saucepan, place it on medium heat, and mix in all ingredients except the whipped cream until it comes to a simmer. Keep stirring until the hot chocolate is as thick as preferred, but don’t let it boil. If it’s heated too long and gets extra thick, add milk to thin it out. Finally, serve in a mug (with whipped cream if desired) and enjoy.

Rating: 10/10 

This hot chocolate recipe was utterly exquisite and should be the top choice when picking out a hot beverage to drink during the holiday season. For fans of sweet and creamy bases, Brazilian hot chocolate is perfect. The addition of sweetened condensed milk and cornstarch was phenomenal and added an entirely new dimension of flavor, including a saccharine and richer treat for the tastebuds. The recipes on this list are exceptional and easy options to make from home in a short amount of time, but this Brazilian version was certainly the best left for last.

Recipes found on https://worldstrides.com/blog/2020/11/9-heavenly-hot-chocolate-recipes-from-around-the-world/

Artwork by Eric He

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