Baking cocoa is a popular ingredient used in recipes for baking. Baking cocoa helps baked goods rise properly, making it an essential ingredient.
Can you use baking cocoa to make a hot chocolate? Yes, you can make hot chocolate with baking cocoa, although you will need to add sugar and milk, and you’ll need to mix it more carefully to stop the cocoa powder from becoming lumpy. However, baking cocoa can make a very nice hot chocolate, and some packets will come with a recipe specifically for making hot chocolate.
What Do You Need to Make Hot Chocolate With Baking Cocoa?
Obviously, to start out with, you will need baking cocoa. Next, you will need some sort of sweetener, as baking cocoa does not contain any sugar or anything else, and therefore is very bitter. You can use sugar, or try other sweeteners such as honey, agave syrup, etc.
The amount of sweetener you’ll need to use will vary a little depending on how sweet you like your hot chocolate to be, but a one to one ratio is often a good starting point, and you can always add more sweetener later if you find it’s too bitter.
You will also need milk of some sort. Again, you can choose your favorite, but it’s often a good idea to go for one that is nice and creamy and not too low in fat. Cow’s milk is the most popular option, but you can also try goat’s milk or any of the plant milks (oat milk generally does not do well when heated, however).
What Method Should You Use?
Firstly, check the packet to see if the producers offer any suggestions on how to make a good hot chocolate with the cocoa. If they don’t, you may have to use a bit of trial and error, based on your own personally preferences.
One of the trickiest parts about using baking cocoa for hot chocolate is that the cocoa tends to clump up when you get it wet, and this can lead to pockets of cocoa powder remaining dry. This will lead to thin and lumpy hot chocolate – definitely not what you want, so we’re going to look at some ways of stopping that from happening.
Firstly, if you’re using a powdered sweetener such as sugar, you can sift the cocoa powder and the sugar together into the bottom of your mug. The sugar will coat the baking cocoa and help it not to clump up. Sifting it will also remove any existing lumps and make it easier for the liquid to come into contact with all of the powder.
If you’re using a liquid sweetener, sift the baking cocoa to remove the lumps, and then stir the sweetener into the cocoa powder slowly to get a thick, smooth mixture.
Next, use a mug to measure out a cupful of milk. You are going to warm this up, so tip it into a pan or another mug, and then put it on the stove or in the microwave.
If you are heating it on the stove, keep the heat low and stir it regularly. If you are heating it in the microwave, heat it in short bursts and give it the occasional mix until it’s hot.
When the milk is hot, add a small amount to the baking cocoa and stir well so that you end up with a smooth paste. Keep adding the milk a little at a time to prevent the cocoa from going into lumps.
When the cup is full, taste the liquid and see if it’s sweet enough for you. If not, you can add a little more sweetener. If it is, settle back and enjoy your hot chocolate!
What Else Can You Try?
Using baking cocoa for hot chocolate lets you get inventive with other flavors, and there are lots of things you can try out.
For example, add a little splash of vanilla essence for a hint in your drink, or try grating some nutmeg on top. You could also froth the milk by running it through a blender, or go very decadent and put on some whipped creams and mini marshmallows.
There are lots of other popular flavors to add to a hot chocolate, such as cinnamon. You can buy cinnamon sticks or powdered cinnamon, and either will taste amazing with your hot chocolate, bringing a hint of Christmas to the drink.
Some people put a little butter in the cup to add to the decadence; the salt in the butter will also help to enhance the flavor of the cocoa and make it seem richer. If you like, you can add your baking cocoa hot chocolate to a coffee to make yourself a really tasty mocha.
Does Hot Chocolate Made From Baking Cocoa Taste Better?
This is up for debate, but many people prefer to make their hot chocolate from baking cocoa than from pre-mixed packages. It might be slightly more work, but not significantly so, and it allows for much greater control over what goes in your drink.
If you prefer richer but less sweet hot chocolates, you might find that baking cocoa gives you that option; you can add more cocoa or even other ingredients for the richness, but you aren’t obliged to keep piling in the sugar.
Some people find making hot chocolate using baking cocoa annoying, however. Because it doesn’t have everything that “normal hot chocolate” has, it might taste a bit funny, so some people do not particularly like it.
If you’re looking to branch out into other flavors, however, you might find that baking cocoa gives you more of a “blank canvas” to work with, and you can add more to it without the high sugar content of store-bought hot chocolate from ruining your experiments.
Which you prefer is likely to come down to personal preference and what you’re accustomed to, but baking cocoa can definitely compete with store-bought hot chocolate.
You certainly can make hot chocolate from baking cocoa, and some would even argue that it’s better – while others would argue the opposite. Spend a bit of time tweaking your recipe and trying new things to see what you think. Once you’ve overcome the problem of the cocoa going lumpy, you can do anything you want!