Mama's Amazing Hot Cocoa

Gaia Cisto


I could never express how cherished this recipe is in my family. This is the cocoa that I grew up with and the cocoa that my family today adores. We serve this for the first time on Thanksgiving night - in celebration of the start of the Holiday season and make it throughout winter on special occasions. It stores beautifully in a mason jar (when there is any left over) and is equally delicious cold. Think rich chocolate milk with a kick. The cayenne's heat only adds a richness to the cocoa. It's a decadent winter treat for all ages to enjoy. My daughter is 5 and LOVES this!!

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5 Min


15 Min


Stove Top


1/3 c
cocoa powder
1/3 c
3/4 c
3 tsp
cinnamon, ground
3 tsp
ginger, ground
1/2 tsp
clove, ground
1/2 tsp
pink himalayan salt
2 dash(es)
cayenne pepper
1 can(s)
evaporated milk
3 c
whole milk
1 tsp
vanilla extract
1 tsp
almond extract
freshly grated nutmeg

Directions Step-By-Step

In a medium saucepan, mix water, sugar, cocoa and spices with a whisk. Bring to a bubbling boil. (this is a very key step - the bubbling boil is very important. You are toasting the flavors together at this step and it makes all the difference to the taste of the cocoa.) Allow to bubble and stir consistently. I let the bubbles raise up a bit, then whisk them down. Bubble up again, then whisk them down. Do this at least 3 or 4 times.
Slowly add 1 can of evaporated milk while whisking.
Pour in 3 cups of whole milk and stir - not only circularly, but back and forth - side to side as well. Stir in this way until steam begins to rise off the cocoa.
Remove from heat source and add freshly grated nutmeg. Stir again in circular, back and forth - side to side motion.
Optional: Top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a dash of cinnamon.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Dairy
Regional Style: Italian