There are countless occasions in life that just call for a steaming hot cup of cocoa… coming in from your last run on the slopes, a brisk final lap around the ice rink, or just sitting cozily with friends and family by the fire. And while that old dry-mix envelope suffices in a pinch, there are few things that warm the soul like good, rich, decadent home-made hot chocolate. Our easy method here uses a few quality ingredients and the magic of the slow cooker to make a delightful drink that’s worlds above the cocoa packet.
There’s definitely no skim milk here. We use whole milk and heavy cream to give it a silky, velvety quality and both chopped semi-sweet chocolate AND cocoa powder for a depth of flavor that will cure pretty much any chocolate craving. It’s just sweet enough, but it tastes so creamy and indulgent that it feels like a complete dessert in and of itself.
And, it takes so little effort! All you have to do is dump some ingredients in the slow cooker and come back every once in a while to stir it. In the name of some absolutely amazing chocolatey liquid, I’m sure we can all handle that.
The slow cooker makes easy work of this recipe, but it’s also a perfect use for when you want to have a big batch available for friends and family. (Think Christmas morning or New Year’s party!) You can make this ahead, set it to ‘keep warm,’ forget about it, and let your guests serve themselves right from the slow cooker when they’re so inclined. And how cute would a little hot chocolate toppings bar be? With whipped cream and mini marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles and chocolate sauce… Yum!
Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
4-6 hours to prepare serves 8
6 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped cream, to garnish
Chocolate sauce, to garnish
(Big and small) marshmallows, to garnish
Chocolate sprinkles, to garnish
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cocoa powder.
Add milk, cream, and vanilla extract to slow cooker. Add cocoa powder mixture and stir to combine.
Add chopped chocolate, then cover slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6. Make sure to stir every hour so chocolate melts consistently and doesn’t burn.
Remove cover and, optional, stir in marshmallows. Transfer to mugs and serve hot, garnished with marshmallows, whipped cream and sprinkles.