Hands holding hot cocoa wiht toppings around on the table

Hands holding hot cocoa wiht toppings around on the table ()

As I was marveling the Grand Ducal Palace with my mom and spouse, I had to escape the sudden onset of heavy rain on a cold day in Luxembourg City by running into the first open door I saw. To my surprise, we stumbled into the Chocolate House of Luxembourg. While they offered a medley of chocolate treats, what interested me the most was warming up my soul (and my slightly wet self) with one of their hot chocolate spoons from their giant wall of choices.  

As the consumer, you make your choice and hand it to the barista/chef on site and they bring you a giant cup of molten chocolate topped with whipped cream and a giant marshmallow. I went with a white hot chocolate, while my spouse went with a Bailey’s hot chocolate and my mom went with a dark chocolate blend. 

It was the above trip that inspired me to bring that experience home. Why not re-vamp your hot chocolate all winter long at home? 

Start with a solid base: Create a European-style hot chocolate: Adapted from 

1 3/4 cup milk of choice (whole milk for full flavor, but feel free to use soy, almond, cashew, oat, nonfat, etc.) 

1/4 cup cream of choice (heavy cream, half-and-half, evaporated milk, non-dairy substitute) 

1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa or carob powder (carob powder provides a more caramel flavor) 

powdered sugar to taste  

1 tablespoon cornstarch  

3 oz chopped chocolate (70% dark chocolate is recommended to keep it authentic, but feel free to use milk chocolate, unsweetened chocolate or white chocolate) 

1 oz chocolate shavings (to top) 

whipped cream or whipped coconut oil for a vegan option (topping) 

Keep it Simple:  While it may seem tempting (especially for the kids) to pile in all the ingredients possible, two or three add-ins will make for the tastiest treat. 

  Potential add-ins: peppermint, coffee, orange zest, marshmallow, Irish cream, Baileys, white chocolate, berry syrup, caramel, nutmeg, hazelnut syrup, ground cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, cayenne pepper, crushed cookies, mint, chai, ice cream, Nutella, espresso, flavored liquor, dark chocolate, gingerbread spice, pumpkin spice, chili peppers etc. The possibilities are endless.  

Go Fancy:  Use a blow torch to torch the marshmallow, use a candy cane as a stirring device, use high-quality chocolate, use heavy cream and milk instead of water if using an instant hot chocolate powder (or a non-dairy alternative such as whipped coconut oil or almond milk). 

Make a day out of it:   Grab some ceramic paints and a plain white mug for everyone and have every decorate and personalize their own hot chocolate mugs. 

author picture
Tamala Malerk is a writer and editor with Stars and Stripes Europe. She has been with SSE since April 2022 writing articles all about travel, lifestyle, community news, military life and more. In May 2022, she earned her Ph.D. in History and promises it is much more relevant to this job than one might think.

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