The Best Vegan Hot Chocolate

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week One: Treat Yourself (and others)!

Welcome to Vegan MoFo, aka the Vegan Month of Food! This year, the organizers created both weekly overarching MoFo themes and daily prompts within each theme. I’m choosing to follow the weekly themes; last year’s daily prompts left me feeling a little stifled for creativity. But a broad theme that provides guidance without pinning me down? Sold!

In the interest of treating oneself, today I bring you a revelation in hot chocolate, just in time (?) for the cold weather. (Unless you’re in Maryland. 75˚F in November? Ugh!) If you’re still making your hot chocolate with water, this technique might just blow your mind. If you’ve already graduated to making hot chocolate with milk, it’ll still be a step up — I promise.

The secret? Making hot chocolate with chocolate milk. I’ve been using the new Ripple chocolate plant milk, which I picked up on a whim. I don’t love it on its own, but it does make a damn fine cup of vegan hot cocoa. And make sure you’re using a high-quality hot chocolate mix; I’m really digging Cocoa Felice currently. The result is a creamy, ultra-rich cup of cocoa just waiting to be topped with whipped cream and savored after time spent in the nippy outdoors.

The best vegan hot chocolate -- creamy, rich hot cocoa. // govegga.com

The Creamiest, Richest Vegan Hot Chocolate

Serves 1

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate plant-based milk
  • 3 T hot chocolate powder
  • Optional add-ins:
    • 2 T strong coffee or espresso
    • 2 T liqueur (I love adding maple liqueur)
    • Vegan whipped cream (coconut, aquafaba, Soyatoo)
    • Vegan mini marshmallows (vanilla or pumpkin!)
    • Chocolate shavings

Combine the two milks and heat until it just starts to steam — don’t let it boil. I use the stove, but you can also microwave it if you watch carefully.

Whisk in the hot chocolate powder until dissolved. Add optional extras and enjoy!

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When S Is Away…

Orange rectangle with the white fist-shaped Vegan MoFo logo and the text "Vegan Month of Food 2012."

…Kelly will play. And by “play,” I obviously mean “watch eXtReMe amounts of Law and Order: SVU on Netflix while knitting.” As one does.

S is out of town till tomorrow (Sunday) morning, so I’ve had a quiet Saturday to myself. It was a beautiful, crisp fall day – the internet told me it was about 45˚, but it felt more like the upper thirties, despite the bright sun. I couldn’t stay indoors on a day like that, so I walked down to a shopping center near my apartment and stopped by a couple stores. I giggled over an ergonomic-keyboard-shaped chocolate bar at Marshalls, picked up a few goodies at World Market, and halfheartedly looked for non-leather, narrow-shaft boots at DSW. (For the record, it’s really hard to find boots that meet those specifications. Curse my skinny calves!)

I did, however, manage to spend some cash moneyz at World Market. Besides picking up a handy tube of tomato paste (so much better than the kind in the little cans!), I discovered that World Market carries vegan mochi! Woohoo! I’d only ever eaten the vegan ice cream mochi that Trader Joe’s used to carry; it was majorly delicious and I’ll stock my freezer if they ever start selling it again. Anyway, I picked up the intriguing peanut variety:

Head-on shot of a box of Japanese Style Peanut Mochi. There are Japanese characters on the box.

Legit.

When I got home from my walk, I decided to warm up by noshing on mochi and a hot beverage. Wary of coffee after last Saturday’s unfortunate incident, I opted for hot chocolate. But not just any hot chocolate. No, I whipped out an ingredient I’d stashed away last December when my sister charmingly gave it to me for Christmas:

Head-on photo of a red carton of West Soy's Chocolate Peppermint Stick soy milk.

Blurrier than expected…

Oh yes, I loves me some seasonal soy milks! I poured some milk in a little pot, added my favorite Ghirardelli hot chocolate powder, and opened up my mochi package while I waited for my chocolate to get nice and steamy.

Top-down shot of a carton of mochi, wrapped in plastic packaging with Japanese characters. The mochi is under plastic, and each piece sits in a little red wrapper.

Mochi, wrapped.

If you can’t tell, each piece has its own little red wrapper, like a mini muffin cup. So cute!

As soon as my drink was ready, I settled down to a leisurely half hour of sipping peppermint hot chocolate, munching mochi, and reading the ever-entertaining Willy Street Co-op newsletter (the letters to the editor never fail to amuse me).

Top-down view of a yellow mug filled with hot chocolate and a single piece of mochi sitting in its red wrapper. Both items are on an open newspaper.

Bliss.

I wasn’t let down by any element of my afternoon – the chocolate was rich and just peppermint-y enough, the letters were just as entertaining as ever, and the mochi was delicious! I wasn’t sure how sweet it would be, but it was just right – slightly sweetened, but not at all overly sugary. The peanut was understated, not overpowering but definitely present. Mmm. I can’t wait to go back and try the other varieties – I definitely saw green tea, sesame, and red bean. How exciting!

Top-down view of a single piece of mochi with a small bite taken out of it.

Mid-eating.

Tonight I’m going to refrain from eating the rest of the mochi while I watch more SVU and do more knitting. Yep, I’m a wild one. ;)

What are your alone-day indulgences? How do you feel about mochi?