I'm sure a lot of great chefs draw inspiration from amazing trips, delectable dinners at swanky restaurants, and of course seasonal ingredients. I'm also sure that a lot of them stumble upon a delicious concoction because their significant other randomly declares that he wants hot chocolate and while they would love to make some, they have been dragging their heels to go to the grocery store and cupboards are.. well bare to say the least.
Well not bare exactly, we have truffle butter, three types of gouda, pear balsamic vinegar and figs. We just don't have any...you know... normal food...like Swiss Miss.
When possible I like to make homemade hot chocolate anyways, so I was hoping I had some bakers chocolate stored somewhere, no such luck. I was about to tell bf he was out of luck when I found Nutella stuffed behind some boxes of pasta (oh yeah, we had that too). So I gave it a think, and decided that not only would I make some good hot chocolate, but I would make the bomb-diggity-best thing you ever drank hot chocolate. Okay, I may be overselling it, but seriously, it was good. I gathered up what I had on hand, and the result was a phenominally rich and decadent chocolatty, nutty, boozy, butterscotchy (or if your bf pepperminty) treat.
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I will admit I was able to make it all the more decadent because of my Nespresso machine and milk frother. I bought mine on black Friday (like stood in line to get one) and I am obsessed with it. I can't recommend it enough. I promise you; you want one (although it doesn't come with George Clooney, which is too bad). If you don't have one though, you can still make this, you just have to take an extra step.
Here's what you need:
1/4 cup Nutella (or more depending on how rich you want the taste)
1 cup Milk (I think whole milk works best for this but you could literally use any kind you want)
Espresso (or strong coffee)
1/2 oz Chocolate Liquor (optional but highly recommended)
1 oz Butterscotch schnapps or Peppermint Schnapps depending on your hotcho preferences (optional)**
**You can sub the schnapps for Peppermint Extract or Rum Extract if you're not imbibing
Step 1: Nutella Hot Chocolate
Get a very large mug (the biggest you have). Add a 1/4 cup of Nutella to the bottom of the mug. You can certainly add more if you want a richer and thicker flavor. My local grocery store has Nutella for a good price, if yours doesn't carry it, you can order here, but its a bit pricier (though oh so worth it).
If you have the Nespresso machine and the Aeroccino frother (or any frother that also heats) this step is pretty easy. Simply pour the milk in the frother and press the button. When it's done (about 3 minutes) pour the hot milk (keeping the foam in the container) into the Nutella. Whisk quickly until its blended into a thick but smooth liquid. Once this is done, add the foam from the frother and fold in to create a luxurious fluffy hot chocolate.
If you don't have a frother you can achieve the same consistency in two steps. First pour 1/2 a cup of milk into a small sauce pan and heat on medium-high until simmering. Once small bubbles form (don't let it boil) add in the Nutella and whisk together to create the base liquid. To achieve froth, add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk into a small microwavable container and shake vigorously for 3 minutes. Once shaken, pop into the microwave for about 30 seconds. You should have foamy milk that you can now fold into the hot chocolate base.
Whichever method you used, pour the mixture into a mug. Add your coffee or espresso (which ever you prefer). I added right from the Nespresso machine, but you could brew some strong coffee and add from the pot. If you're doing espresso you want to add about 3oz (a double shot) if you're doing strong coffee and the mug is big enough you can add anywhere from 3-5 oz.
Give it a quick stir. From this point you have a few options. I added .5oz of delicious dark chocolate Belgium liqour. This really boosted the chocolate flavor. If you don't have this you can omit, but it's worth it as it really rounds it out. If you're making this sans booze, you can use a good quality dark chocolate syrup (not the sugary Hershey stuff, but real dark chocolate syrup) and you can find it at Homegoods or similar stores.
Finally, I added 1 oz of butterscotch schnapps to mine, and peppermint schnapps to bf's. Both were d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s it just depends on your flavor preference. This would also be great with Baileys. If you're making this without the alcohol than you could easily sub with a 1/2 tsp of Peppermint Extract to achieve the same flavor. You could also add a rum extract if Peppermint isn't your thing.
Top it with whipped cream and chocolate or caramel syrup (I love Torani syrups) and cancel all of your plans for the afternoon. Grab a blanket, wrap your hands around the mug, and smile because life is good, and for the next five minutes, you are going to be in blissful chocolatey nutty heaven.
What's your favorite way to jazz up hot chocolate?