What if you could have hot chocolate whenever you wanted? And not just any old hot chocolate but a premium hot chocolate at the drop of a hat? Yep, you can if you make a batch of Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix ahead of time. And keep it in the fridge, obs!
I had fun little thing happen today; I stepped out the door with Chance (my labrador-able) just in time to see a Trumpeter Swan swoop over my house, pick up speed and wing away. Trumpeter Swans were all but gone from Minnesota but for the valiant efforts of a few and they are breathtaking to see. Years ago, back in the 90’s I took my son, Kraig, along with a friend of his on January hike in one of our Northern State Parks, looking for the swans I had heard wintered near a spring that fed into a small river. We got all the way out there, and sure we’d spotted the still very rare at that time swan, pulled out the binoculars only to find our swan was a white plastic grocery bag stuck on a stick and blowing in the wind. Carl, the young friend turned to me and said, “Mollie, can we have hot chocolate, now?” And so we did…
About Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix:
I think that hot chocolate from a thermos, shared with two 9-year-olds in the middle of a snowy path in the middle of nowhere in the middle of January was the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had…and it was probably from a mix. I have another hot chocolate recipe on my site, Best Hot Chocolate that is the best you can have if you’re not in the wilderness, on a snowy path in January. But for ease of preparation, Hot Chocolate made from Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix can’t beat. (You might not want to tell the kids about this Mix! Just tuck your container under the veggies, lol!)
Making the Hot Chocolate from the refrigerated mix, or maybe “batter” would be a better word than mix, just couldn’t be easier. It’s really just a ganache with a little corn syrup in it to help it hold up to the refrigerator temperatures without totally hardening or even worse, crystallizing from using a granulated sugar. If you’re opposed to the corn syrup (there is a difference between the high fructose corn syrup and regular grocery store corn syrup) use agave or any sweetener of your choice.
I came across this Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix by way of a happy accident. When I made my Chocolate Glazed Tart not too long ago, I had to make the glaze twice. I messed up the measurements in the glaze but I wasn’t going to waste all that chocolate. That’s when I decided it would be the perfect thing dropped by the teaspoonful into steaming hot milk. Yep. I just popped my mug of milk in the microwave and when it was piping hot, dropped in the chocolate ganache by the spoonful until I thought it was chocolaty enough. After the chocolate is refrigerated, it will be quite a bit stiffer but still melts in with no problem.
Making Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix:
There’s really nothing to making Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix. Heat the cream in a heatproof container in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop. Allow extra room in whatever container you use because the cream can boil over easily.
When ready to use, just add by the spoonfuls to warm milk. Or any other warm beverage of choice; maybe coffee? If you’d like to use this chocolate in a cold drink, just heat the Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix until it’s pourable. Store in the fridge where it will keep for weeks.
While chocolate chips are fine as the chocolate in Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix, keep in mind that the better chocolate you use, the better the hot chocolate will taste. Go ahead and splurge if you want to. And keep this recipe in mind if ever you should end up with extra ganache from any other recipe you might make.
Saving Money on Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix:
I often use chocolate chips for the chocolate and I don’t really do it so much for cost savings, although chips probably are a savings over some of the other options. I use them because I usually have them around. If you’re looking for better chocolate, Aldi has a couple great bars; they’re oversized candy bars but I often use them for baking (and eating) and of course, you’ll find great chocolate and other gourmet items at Trader Joe’s.
I buy cream often around holidays when it’s usually on sale (sometimes not advertised) or at Aldi. Generally, on sale it’s up to 1/2 off, but Aldi prices often beat the grocery store sales. Cream with its high-fat content keeps literally for weeks in the fridge unopened. This recipe uses 1/2 a cup so if you buy a cup of cream, you’ll have half to whip up to top of your hot chocolate. If you have leftover whipped cream, dollop or pipe it out on a plastic wrapped sheet tray and freeze it. See Whipped Cream for the Freezer. It’s kind of fun to put a dollop of frozen whipped cream on top of hot chocolate and watch it melt.
People freak about corn syrup but do keep in mind that there is a difference between corn syrup and the commercial high fructose corn syrup. Wipe the lip carefully before you seal it up and it will keep, literally for years in the cupboard, even after it’s open.
Refrigerator Hot Chocolate Mix
- 1/2 cup cream
- 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate or other favorite chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (or to taste) light corn syrup
- lightly sweetened whipped cream or marshmallows for garnish
Place chocolate in a heatproof cup. Bring cream to boil on the stovetop or in a microwave, remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Let sit for two to three minutes, then stir until chocolate is melted. Add corn syrup and stir in.
To use, add by the spoonful(s) to warm milk, using as little or as much as desired. Garnish as desired.
Store any extra in the fridge; this has a very long shelf life and should be fine for several weeks.