The Best Hot Chocolate Recipe

Or maybe “The Best Practical Hot Chocolate Recipe.”
Two Mugs for Hot Chocolate, ©Wendy Journalista

Mugs for Hot Chocolate by Wendy Journalista

As per item #6 on my Autumn Manifesto of yesterday, I herewith share my recipe.  It’s super-easy.

There are two main ingredients:

HOt Chocolate Ingredients, © WendyJournalista

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

Häagen Das Chocolate Ice Cream, and Milk.

(You should know, the pumpkin in the photos is just along for the ride.  No actual pumpkins were harmed in the making of this hot chocolate.)

The measurements are simple.  For one person with tons of self-discipline, smash chocolate ice cream into half of a cup from which you will be drinking.  Your cup could be a mug, it could be a demitasse, it could be something in between  – the choice is yours.  Dump the ice cream into a saucepot.  Now, measure milk up to the “high water mark” left by the ice cream in the cup from the previous step.  In other words, equal parts of ice cream and milk, by volume.  Dump the milk into the same saucepot.  Heat the mixture until it begins to rise in the pot, reaching out to you with it’s wicked, tempting ways.  Switch off the heat entirely or lower the flame and let the liquid reduce a bit, making it thicker.  Remove the pot from the heat – do not let it overflow to detract from your hedonistic imbibing experience by your having to clean a spill.

Pour your steaming thick, aromatic hot chocolate into the cup of your choice.  And here’s the breathtaking finish: place one spoon of cold chocolate ice cream on top where distracting and work-inducing whipped cream might have been.



I’ve had great success with Häagen Das and not so much with many other brands.  The HD thickens nicely, with no concerns (as of this writing) as to how a chemical additive might change when heated.  Do you have another ice cream brand or recipe (although “recipe” implies making something that requires careful thought and extended effort, which this venture is not about) that works for you?  Let me know!


  1. Use half chocolate and half coffee Häagen Das ice cream to heat up.
  2. Use half chocolate and half vanilla Häagen Das ice cream to heat up.
  3. Top with coffee ice cream.
  4. Top with vanilla ice cream.
  5. For adults only: add a splash of Kahlua or any other coffee liqueur.

Experiment as you wish – and let me know what worked for you.

Once you taste this luxurious, thick corner of heaven, you won’t be able to go back to the powdered stuff.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Autumn Manifesto 2013

Autumn Manifesto 2013 ©WendyJournalista

My Autumn Manifesto 2013 is different from My Summer Manifesto 2013.

I made a very long list for my Summer Manifesto this year, knowing that it would be impossible to achieve everything on it.  My Summer Manifesto was an ode to happiness and potential.  It was more about collecting ideas than achieving every one of them.  It was also a push to do more, embrace more life, to see the world through the filter of wonderful potential experience.  A filter like that is like having your own benevolent spirit guide leading you into happiness.

I taped the Summer list on the side of a bookcase right outside my remarkably small kitchen.   The stuff that I did, I checked off .  I feel great about what I did and not at all bad about what was left to do.  Well, except for one thing.  I really wanted to host/participate-in-making-happen an outdoor movie.  Incredibly impractical.  Have I mentioned that I live in a city?  I wanted to hang up that sheet or find that blank outdoor wall, have technology magically cooperate, and show something fun.  I was thinking Swing Time, and some among us wanted Toy Story 2A double feature in the backyard of my cousin-in-law was in the air.

It didn’t happen.  And that brings up perfectionism.  Sometimes, list stuff happens, but not exactly as we envisioned.  For example, that outdoor movie actually did happen.  The City Park’s Department showed Finding Nemo outdoors in Carl Schurz Park on a beautiful starry night at the end of July.


“Finding Nemo” at Carl Schurz Park on July 29, 2013, ©WendyJournalista

“Finding Nemo” at Carl Schurz Park on July 29, 2013, ©WendyJournalista

I should have checked “Outdoor Movie” off of my list, but I have not.  There are reasons why (I didn’t see the whole movie that night chief among them), but I am rethinking perfectionism.  Hit the ball squarely where you want it to land – which may not be as common as one would like, or find the joy in the happenstance?

Enter my Autumn Manifesto 2013.

My Autumn Manifesto is much shorter.  It contains not every possibility, just the essence of the celebration that is autumn.

What’s on your list?