I LOVE hot chocolate. My infatuation with high end sipping/drinking chocolate started with a gift from my hubby when he bought me some chocolate shavings and homemade marshmallows from Williams Sonoma.
Did you know that there is a difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate? True to my love of dropping a knowledge bomb on you, I’m here to tell you there is and they are two very different beverages.
Hot cocoa comes from a powder, while hot chocolate, also known as “drinking chocolate” or “sipping chocolate” is made from small shavings or chopped bits of chocolate or tiny chocolate “chips” that are melted (slowly and lovingly) and then blended with milk or cream. True hot chocolate tends to be much thicker and richer than the powdered version. It’s like liquid velvet- but without all those microscopic prickly velvet “hairs” that fall off if you rub velvet the wrong way and then somehow manage to get stuck in your skin. In fact, prickly velvet “hairs” would not be a good thing on the tongue or in the throat, so maybe liquid velvet is a bad analogy. But I digress…
Traditionally hot cocoa is an American thing and Sipping/Drinking Chocolates are a European thing. Sipping chocolate is very rich. Hot cocoa can be poured into any type of mug because there are no fast hard rules here in the US. Over in Europe, sipping chocolate is meant to be enjoyed in a smaller cup that is just a tad larger than an espresso cup.
Basic hot cocoa is equivalent to weak, watered down instant coffee. Sipping/drinking chocolate is equivalent to a rich, concentrated, deep-flavored, almost bitter espresso that just happens to be thick like cream, and in some cases depending on where you purchase it, it could be even thicker- think runny pudding. Um, now *there’s* an appetizing visual- Oy! I seriously need to come up with better descriptions.
After my gift of insanely priced, premium chocolate shavings ran out, I needed a more affordable option so I came up with these. The best part is that I was able to find the SAME brand of chocolate that Williams Sonoma uses for their sipping chocolate and my version costs about $30.00 less! I know, right?!?- You’re thinking “Shut the front door- $30.00 less?!” Yes! $30.00 less.
It’s like every little thing I do is magic!
On those cold nights when I’m at home and my teeth are chattering from living in a state that gets below zero for the better part of winter so I’m freezing despite wearing fleece jammies with long underwear underneath and a bathrobe and socks and slippers- (takes a deep breath) I can pop a few of these hot chocolate truffle balls into a mug of hot milk, and thaw myself out! Do you guys like hot cocoa? How do you like to drink it? And don’t say “With my mouth”… smarty pants!
You know, if wrapped creatively, these would make a great Holiday gift. You could roll the ganache balls in crushed candy canes, or white chocolate dyed green (with a natural food dye, not synthetic) and a couple drops of peppermint added so they look like real truffles. Hot Chocolate Truffles make a great gift with a beautiful mug. Better yet, you could have a hot cocoa bar at your next holiday party and serve several varieties of these. How much fun would that be? It’s like the brilliance never ends with me. 😉
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Hot Chocolate Truffle Balls
By September 28, 2013Published:
- Yield: 20- 1 (10 Servings)
- Prep: 05 mins
- Cook: 05 mins
- Ready In: 15 mins
The richest, creamiest mug of hot chocolate you'll ever sip.
- 2 bags High quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips Such as Guittard. Or one bag semi-sweet and one bag bitter-sweet
- 1 cup organic cream
- 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
- Put chocolate chips and cream into a double boiler, and melt S L O W L Y over simmering water with your burner on low heat. Stir frequently. Do not allow water to boil. Also- Don't get any water on the chocolate or it will seize. There is nothing sexy or yummy about chocolate that has the texture of freeze-dried sandy dirt.
- Once chocolate chips are almost fully melted, remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract.
- Transfer ganache into a glass bowl and refrigerate until firm- about 2+ hours.
- Using a 1-inch scoop make little balls from the ganache and place balls onto a parchment lined 11x15" inch baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the freezer for at least 1 hour to freeze the ganache.
- Transfer frozen ganache balls into a gallon sized zipper top bag, or a plastic container- placing a piece of parchment between each layer of ganache balls.
- When the mood for sipping chocolate strikes, drop 2-3 (depending on how chocolatey you like your cocoa) balls into the bottom of a mug filled with 8 ounces of milk. Microwave until milk is hot- stirring every 30 seconds to ensure the ganache has melted into the milk.
- Top with homemade whipped cream, or marshmallows and enjoy!
For a fun variation- substitute peppermint or raspberry or orange extract for the vanilla extract!