I think for the most part, I know a good thing when I see it.. or taste it. However, I've never been a big fan of whipped cream which most people love, love, love. Most kinds that I've tried don't have much of a taste, and definitely not enough taste to be worth the calories. Store-bought? Blech. Both my mother and mother-in-law make very good whipped cream, though, so I know I can't write the stuff off altogether. And I think that when it comes to hot chocolate, whipped cream really does add something nice in terms of aesthetics, texture, and taste. I want to serve upstanding versions of each with Christmas breakfast, so I did some playing around in the kitchen to see if I couldn't nail down a great, classic hot chocolate and whipped cream recipe that I can use then and in the future. There's no English Toffee, Irish Cream, peppermint, orange, cinnamon, or other flavorings. I wanted to make sure I got the foundation perfect so that I can just add a dab of those flavorings whenever I feel like it and know it'll come out just right.
Before I give you the recipes, let me say that when it comes to hot chocolate, the cocoa makes SUCH a difference. Some are sweetened, some unsweetened, and all have varying degrees of bitterness. You're really going to have to taste, taste, taste as you're making it to get it right. BUT, if you want to use the exact kind of cocoa I bought, you can follow the recipe below and it should come out the same as mine. Kapeesh? Good. :)
Classic Whipped Cream
Serves many :)
2 cups cold heavy cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar
Begin whipping the heavy cream with a mixer on high speed. After about a minute, with mixer still going, slowly add in powdered sugar, and whip until it gets nice and fluffy, and will hold its shape very well. (Don't go too crazy, though, or it'll start to be like butter.)
Classic Hot Chocolate
Serves 1 thirsty hot chocolate lover
2 cups milk (whole milk makes it richer)
5 teaspoons Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa
4-5 teaspoons sugar
Combine cocoa and sugar and set aside. Pour milk into a small sauce pan, add cocoa/sugar mix, and whisk to combine. While stirring, heat over medium heat until it begins to steam. Remove from heat or turn it down to low to keep from burning.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cocoa for looks.
|Just a touch of whipped cream if you'd prefer...|
|...or pile it on for something especially creamy and decadent!|