Hot cocoa has always been there for me. In the cold, it's warmed me up. In the summer, it's satisfied my most stubborn chocolate cravings. In middle school, it was the first thing I wanted when I woke up, and my favorite late-night snack during sleep overs. My best friend and I would camp out in the living room, building a fort or watching a movie, and after everyone else had gone to bed, we would break out the chocolate syrup and milk. This was such an important tradition to us, that I even bought her a "moo mixer" for her birthday. (I instantly envied her ability to make the frothiest, creamiest cocoa).
Here's the thing about cocoa: it's really simply to make. It essentially takes two steps. Warm. Stir. Even two giggly sixth graders can handle that. This recipe for Paleo Toasted Coconut Hot Cocoa ups the ante a bit, but it's still easy enough for a sixth grader to follow. This is good, because the winter wonderland we've been living in has left me craving few things more than hot cocoa, and when I crave cocoa, I don't want to fuss over it. I just want my fill of chocolate.
What happens when you put almond milk, toasted coconut and chocolate together in the same mug? Something halfway between hot cocoa and an Almond Joy.
This recipe is for a true "hot cocoa," meaning it uses cocoa rather than chocolate to give it that chocolatey flavor. For a richer, sweeter "hot chocolate", replace the cocoa and the honey with 1 to 2 ounces ground semi-sweet chocolate chips (grind them in your food processor until they produce a sticky flour).
Paleo Toasted Coconut Hot Cocoa - yields 1 mug
3/4 cup non-dairy coconut or almond milk beverage
1 tablespoon full-fat canned coconut milk
1/2 to 1 teaspoon honey or other liquid sweetener
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon toasted desiccated coconut
1. In a small pot, combine the milks and honey. Bring them just to a simmer, stirring until the honey dissolves. Pour it into your mug. (Optional: use a milk aerator at this point to add froth. If you do not own an aerator, you can also use a blender, or pour the milk into a french press, moving the press up an down to create bubbles).
2. Bring the water to a simmer and whisk in the cocoa. Pour the cocoa mixture into your mug of frothed milk.
3. Top with toasted coconut an serve!