Orange-Scented Hot Chocolate

0 Comments 24 January 2014

I don’t know if you all have noticed – but it’s really cold out there lately.

No – seriously!

People, even us warm-weather-in-December Southerners are having a Very Cold Winter. For us. I’ll hand it to our Northern and Midwestern neighbors, you all are some sho nuff tough folks. Are we still under that Polar Vortex’s influence? Sure feels like it if we’re not. So what better time, my fellow frigid snow bunnies (down south we’re frigid wind bunnies), than now for some homemade cocoa?

Orange-Scented Hot Chocolate-1

Next time I think I need to get stronger oranges for this hot chocolate. While it was extremely tasty, I could neither smell nor taste much orange in it. Maybe just a little. Then again, I did use a couple of kidlet’s Halo oranges. Maybe they’re not the strongest orange peel on the block.

Orange-Scented Hot Chocolate-2

Turns out homemade hot chocolate is one the easiest homemade treats you can make for yourself. In a pinch, some good chocolate and milk will do just fine, but if you get the chance to bump it up a notch, something like this recipe is just as easy.

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We used mostly two percent milk and a little half and half in our own hot chocolate, but do whatever appeals to you. Only low-fat milk, whole milk, a mixture, it’s your game.

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This chocolate is double-boiled. Between the two boilings, you whisk it vigorously until frothy, then again when it’s done boiling. The results were a really decadent, rich hot chocolate. It’s got no sugar added to it, just what comes in a bittersweet bar of chocolate and this makes it a little more of an adult hot chocolate. Well, that and the added caffeine from the instant coffee. To the moon, hot chocolate!

Orange-Scented Hot Chocolate-8

This is an easy drink to make, though you have to take the time to heat it slowly over low heat. I always forget how long that takes, and while it’s not a terribly long time, it’s still noticeable for a drink recipe. Still, it’s worth it, and no powdered mix on earth can compare to something like this recipe. It’s absolutely perfect for a cold day. Top it with some whipped cream or marshmallows – or both – and prepare to get warm.

Orange-Scented Hot Chocolate

from Bon Appétit, May 1992 via Epicurious.com

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook time: about 25 to 30 minutes    Level: Easy    Serves: 1-2

  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 2 by 1-inch orange peel strips (orange part only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Increase heat and bring just to boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and whisk until frothy. Return to heat and bring just to a boil again. Repeat heating and whisking once again. Discard orange peel. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Before serving, bring just to boil, remove from heat and whisk until frothy.) Pour hot chocolate into mugs.


If you want your drink on the sweeter side but don’t want to add sugar, definitely use the semisweet chocolate. A mixture of bittersweet and semi might work well, too.

If your orange peel has too much of the white pith on it, lay it orange-side down on a cutting board and use the sharp edge of a knife to scrape the pith from the peel till you see a faded orange color.

The recipe as-is above won’t make much, barely enough for two people to have one serving each. Definitely double it for three or four people and triple it for more than that.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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