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A perfect mug of cocoa

March 23, 2021

How to make it?

That, of course, depends what you’re looking for.

A quick, drink to warm you up from hiking all day when you don’t have any milk with you?  For this you need a package of Swiss Miss. You could get a fancy cocoa powder to use, but it’s never as good without milk.  Why bother?

A blanket to wrap around yourself after a long day?  Fill your favorite mug with milk–almost to the top, but not quite; the mug will be a little fuller when you’re done. Pour it into a pan and set it on the stove. While it heats up, mix a spoonful of cocoa powder with a spoonful of sugar.  Dip your spoon into the milk three times (or maybe two, or maybe four–whatever.  Are you hovering over the pot and looking for a way to use your time, or are you eager to get back to the book lying face-down on the kitchen table?).  Pull out those spoonfuls of milk and mix them with the cocoa and sugar until you have a paste.

Watch the pot for a small hint of steam, then pour the milk into your mug and stir.  If you don’t wait for the steam, the cocoa will only be lukewarm–okay, but not the sinking-into-a-warm-bath feeling that it should be.  If you let too much steam appear, the cocoa will be too hot.  You’ll have to hold your mug gingerly so as not to burn your fingers as you wait for the cocoa to cool.  (This might be an advantage if you need an excuse to linger over that book.  Say, if you have schoolwork to get back to as soon as you’re done drinking your mug of cocoa.)

If you’re reading while waiting for the milk to heat up, be careful.  Too engrossing a book might make you forget to watch the pot.  Luckily, at some point the milk will boil up over the sides of the pot and onto the burner, making a hissing noise.  That should alert you to come back to the present.  Jump up as quickly as you can to move the pot off the burner. It takes some elbow grease to clean burnt milk off the burner.  (Though it’s a good procrastination tool if you don’t want to go back to that schoolwork.)

Luckily, slightly scalded milk adds a depth of flavor to the cocoa that you might not otherwise have achieved.  It takes longer for the cocoa to cool enough to drink, but with your engrossing book, that’s not really a problem.  The time will fly.

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  1. So sorry for your “scald”, but oooh yes- I may fix myself a cup.

  2. I love this reflection about the mug. How lovely

  3. Such a great description of hot cocoa – I had to read it because I just had some hot cocoa tonight! Mine was dairy free… and made quickly in the microwave before I had to go pick up one of my kids … I was so tired and the warm mug helped me drive. 🙂

  4. Season of Service permalink

    This post is utter amusement. I truly wanted to keep reading. Now all I want is a “small hint of steam” temperature hot cocoa. You tie in humor so well with the procrastination of school-work and getting lost in a good book. Lovely post!

  5. So great! You sound like a devoted hot cocoa drinker. I am familiar with that milk bubbling over the sides and making a mess!!

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