Monday, January 23, 2012

Almond Joy Hot Chocolate


Ok, so I admit it...I haven't had real hot chocolate in years!  It is a tradgedy I know.  No, I don't mean the cocoa that comes in the packets, as I refuse to drink that stuff which is mostly just sugar and little chocolate.  I mean the rich melt real chocolate in your milk type. 


For some reason I was really in the mood for it this weekend so I had to make it no question!  I used to make a version with good quality dark chocolate and milk infused with vanilla beans that I loved, so I used that as a starting point. 


However, I no longer keep milk in the house, just soy, almond and coconut so it was to be vegan.  I decided on the coconut milk, because if you are going to have dessert, then have dessert!  It is the silkiest and richest of the three and I just love it in drinks. 


I didn't want just plain hot chocolate however, I wanted something special...so I came up with a coconut almond variation (as the coconut would already be there) with the flavors of an Almond Joy but much better. 
I flavored my coconut milk base with real vanilla bean, then melted good quality dark chocolate into it as well as added some almond extract for a sweet almond flavor.  It was divine, and super rich...but it needed something to top it off and make it pretty. 


I am in love with whipped coconut cream as of lately, and I happened to have some in my fridge from a dessert I made the night before, so I used it to top off my hot chocolate!  It was amazing, the intense dark chocolate with the hint of coconut and almond...the coconut whipped cream slowly melting into it.  Quite beautiful actually if you can call a cup of hot chocolate that!  I enjoyed it far more than if it had been made with whole milk and heavy whipping cream because the coconut milk gave it such a lovely flavor. 
I will not let it be years before I enjoy hot chocolate again as this was so delicious!  Here is the recipe if you would like to experience it for yourself!


Almond Joy Hot Chocolate
Serves 3-4

4 cups lite coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise and seeds scraped out (some seeds reserved for topping)
4 oz good quality vegan dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped
2 tsp pure almond extract

Topping:
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk, chilled (from the top of the can, the thick part)
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup toasted large flake coconut
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
dark chocolate shavings


Before you begin, chill a medium bowl and beaters in the freezer (for topping). 
To make hot chocolate, in a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk to a simmer with the vanilla bean and 3/4 of its seeds (reserving the rest for the topping).  Add chopped chocolate and whisk to melt until a uniform color.  Add almond extract, remove from heat and keep warm while you prepare topping. 
To make coconut whipped cream topping, remove bowl and beaters from freezer.  Add coconut milk to the bowl, and whip to soft peaks, then add agave nectar vanilla beans and vanilla and continue to beat to stiff peaks. 
To serve, pour chocolate into mugs, and top with a bit of vanilla whipped coconut cream, some toasted almonds, and some toasted coconut as well as a little chocolate shavings.  Enjoy!

22 comments:

  1. Ooh, this looks decadent--I haven't had packet hot chocolate in years, either--it just isn't worth the calories. I like the recipe and might add just a smidge of red pepper so I can have a spicy hote chocolate.

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  2. Oooh, yummy! I love the combo of coconut and chocolate...so fabulous!!!

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  3. This sounds totally amazing, Amy! I love real hot chocolate but don't have it often. This however will be getting made very very soon!

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  4. This has got to be the best hot chocolate recipe I have ever seen. What a combination of flavors. Scrumptious!

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  5. I love the idea of using coconut milk in hot chocolate! Brilliant!!

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  6. Oooooh, that sounds so amazing! Coconut milk should be wonderful for this! :)

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  7. Ahhhh....this sounds heavenly! Why haven't I thought of this? :) Thanks for sharing, and I'll be making this ASAP!!!

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  8. Almond Joy is my fav candy ever! I just want to slurp your hot chocolate right from the screen! Yum!

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  9. This sounds like a great way to get myself acquainted with coconut milk. This just has to be delicious-you really cannot go wrong with coconut and chocolate.Yum!

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  10. I don't know why...but i really like coconut...but i've never thought about using coconut milk to make my hot chocolate :) definitely goig to give the

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  11. Delicious...Totally Yummy..

    Aarthi
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

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  12. Coconut, chocolate and nuts - life doesn't get any better.

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  13. Wow! Those flavors in a hot chocolate sound awesome. Must try soon!!

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  14. If you're going to have hot chocolate this is the way to have it.

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  15. Oh this is a great recipe. Coconut and almond sound delicious. This is my kind of recipe.

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  16. This looks delicious and perfect for this cold weather!!

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  17. I love this, I just recently started drinking the coconut milk from Pure Silk in the grocery store and I love it. This will be on the "to try" list really soon, thanks.

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  18. I'm drinking a hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts as I read this, so it makes mine seem very sad! ;(

    Yours sounds very decadent and delicious, so I'll definitely have to try it! Besides, it's much better looking, and we eat (drink) with our eyes first.

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  19. I would take a mug full of this any day.

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