As someone who is not a coffee drinker, I especially love hot cocoa! When I’m with people who are getting coffee in the cold months, I always get cocoa because it kind of looks like coffee, but is something I actually enjoy drinking, and I feel like I’m fitting in with the coffee people. Of course, most people like hot cocoa, too, but tend to just use the store bought, pre-made mix, when really, you can spend 10 more minutes making your own from scratch at home, and it is SO MUCH BETTER. Not only is the effort for a homemade version still very low, it also means you can customize it with any flavors you prefer. For me, of course, that means dark chocolate for rich, intense flavor, and tahini, for its earthy, salty, savory flavors. The resulting cocoa is thick, rich, and deeply flavorful, perfect for a chilly fall day!
1. Espresso Powder
I know it’s ironic that I have espresso powder in this after explaining how hot cocoa is my coffee substitute, BUT, the small amount of espresso here doesn’t taste like coffee at all, it just makes the chocolate taste even more chocolatey.
2. What’s Tahini?
Tahini is a Middle Eastern paste made from sesame seeds, and it pairs very well with chocolate, not unlike how peanut butter and chocolate also taste great together.
3. Cold Cocoa = Chocolate Mousse!
I had a very happy accident when making this recipe! I put the leftovers in the fridge to reheat later, but when I removed them from the refrigerator, I found that the cocoa had chilled into a smooth, creamy, mousse-like consistency. I’m happy to report that it tastes delicious served this way, too!
Dark Chocolate and Tahini Hot Cocoa
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup brown sugar well packed
- ¼ teaspoon espresso powder optional
- Pinch kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream for serving
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, add heavy cream. Heat for 2 minutes, or until warmed through, then tahini, cocoa powder, brown sugar and espresso powder. Whisk for 1-2 minutes, or until cocoa powder and tahini are fully incorporated into milk. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, whisking frequently to ensure mixture does not burn. Once the flavors have married, remove from heat, add vanilla extract and whisk to fully incorporate.
- To serve, equally divide between 4 glasses and top with whipped cream and sesame seeds.