Spiced Hot Chocolate with Black Pepper Marshmallow Fluff


For the spiced hot chocolate:

  • 3 Cups milk
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 Teaspoon dried ancho chiles
  • 1 Cup chopped chocolate

For the black pepper marshmallow fluff:

  • 2 Cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon glucose or corn syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 sheet gelatin (bloomed in ice water)
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt


For the spiced hot chocolate:

Heat the milk, heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon stick, star anise, and chiles until the liquid is steaming. Turn off the heat, cover, and steep for 30 minutes to let the spices permeate the milk. Bring the milk back to a boil and strain over the chocolate. Whisk well.

For the black pepper marshmallow fluff:

In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, water, and glucose to a boil and cook until 250 degrees F (soft ball stage).

In an electric mixer, whip the egg whites to medium peak and add the sugar mixture to them, whisking on medium speed. Add the gelatin, black pepper, and sea salt. Whisk on high speed for 5 minutes.

Top the hot chocolate with some marshmallow fluff and serve.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving1373

Folate equivalent (total)28µg7%

Riboflavin (B2)0.8mg46.9%


3/4 cup cold water

3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavored Kolatin

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons powdered egg white, with enough water to reconstitute according to the manufacturer&rsquos directions

confectioners&rsquo sugar, for dusting

Hot Chocolate Mix

4 cups confectioners&rsquo sugar

2 cups unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder such as Gefen Premium Cocoa Powder

4 teaspoons Gefen Cornstarch

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste

11 Ways to Doctor Up Hot Chocolate

1. Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Spread marshmallow fluff on the rim of a mug and then dip the mug in crushed candy canes. Pour instant hot chocolate mix into the prepared mug, add water as directed and stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.

2. Mexican Hot Chocolate: Stir a generous pinch each of ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

3. Malted Milk Hot Chocolate: Stir malted milk powder into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Garnish with crushed Whoppers (optional).

4. Orange Hot Chocolate: Stir a splash of orange water or orange extract into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate (optional). Garnish with whipped cream and finely grated orange peel.

5. Bourbon-Pecan Hot Chocolate: Soak pecan halves in bourbon for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving bourbon and pecans separately. Spike 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate with the bourbon, then thread pecan halves on a skewer and use as garnish.

6. Chai Hot Chocolate: Stir bottled chai tea latte concentrate into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper (optional).

7. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate: Stir dulce de leche or other caramel sauce, plus a pinch of salt, into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of dulce de leche.

8. Eggnog Hot Chocolate: Stir a splash of store-bought eggnog (or more if you really like it) into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.

9. Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate: Stir cream of coconut into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and toasted, sweetened shredded coconut.

10. Raspberry Hot Chocolate: Stir raspberry jam into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Thread fresh raspberries on a skewer and use as garnish.

11. Pumpkin Spiced Hot Chocolate: Whisk 1 or 2 tablespoons canned pure pumpkin into 1 mug instant hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice

Spiced hot chocolate with cinnamon marshmallow dipping sticks

I’m sad to admit that I’m always leery about giving homemade gifts for the holidays. Especially gifts of food. I mean, I know I would love to get something as useful as a jar of homemade spiced cocoa mix with a couple of cinnamon marshmallow dipping sticks, but I feel like the world has become so driven by the need for the next big thing that the appreciation of a gift from the home (and heart) has sadly waned.

So, here’s me. Bringing homemade gift sexy back.

Everyone loves a mug of cocoa, right? And this cocoa is ah-ma-zingly yummy. Especially when paired with a swizzle stick made from a giant marshmallow dipped in chocolate, sprinkled with coarse sugar, skewered on a cinnamon stick.

Dunk the marshmallow, take a few bites then drop the cinnamon stick in the cocoa to steep. Zoinkies.

This is a really low budget, super easy package that will literally warm the heart. The perfect gift for an office white elephant exchange, nanny or daycare provider, or a much loved and appreciated teacher.

All you’ll need to put the package together is an airtight glass jar, a gift bag, some tissue paper and a few cellophane treat bags with twist ties. I’m even providing you a printable sheet of recipe instructions and gift tags (Click here to download/print.) I’m super nice like that.

Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix
(makes 2 cups of dry mix)
1 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder (sifted)
4 ounces mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp espresso powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp finely ground sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Add all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

To make two cups of cocoa, combine 1 1/4 cups whole milk, 1 cup half-and-half and 1 tsp vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat until just steaming. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 3 – 4 minutes (don’t boil). Remove from heat and whisk in 1/3 cup spiced hot chocolate mix until smooth and creamy. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream, a shake of cinnamon and/or marshmallows.

OR, throw together a few of these and really go cocoa-loco…

Cinnamon Chocolate Marshmallow Swizzle Sticks
(makes 6)
6 large marshmallows
6 cinnamon sticks
4 ounces dark chocolate chips
3 – 4 tbsp heavy cream
sanding sugar (to coat)

Insert one cinnamon stick in the bottom of each marshmallow and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream for 30 seconds then remove and stir to melt completely. Let the chocolate cool just a bit, then dip each marshmallow halfway and twirl to remove the extra chocolate. Sprinkle with a dusting of sanding sugar then stand upright in a glass filled with additional marshmallows to allow the chocolate to set. Chill for an hour or until the chocolate has set.

Just in case I lost you in my earlier rambling, click here to download a printable version of these recipes with a complimentary set of gift tags.

Now, go spread some homemade gift cheer.

Spiked and Spiced Hot Chocolate

This Spiked and Spiced Hot Chocolate came about thanks to the frigid cold weather that moved into most of the eastern part of this country last weekend, including the deepest of The Deep South, and my apparent need to warm up from the inside out. It was bone-chilling cold for this southern gal, and although I was wearing two pairs of sweats, two long sleeved shirts, socks and slippers, and had the central heat going, none of it seemed to help at all. It was definitely a hot chocolate kind of night, and we have another couple of those heading in tonight for the weekend. Just in time for that last minute Christmas shopping, brrrr!

I love hot chocolate and when I want it, I usually break out a saucepan and make the good ole familiar and well loved, old fashioned Hershey's cocoa recipe that many of us have been making all of our lives. This time, there on the counter sat these inviting packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips waiting for holiday treats, and just begging for a feature spot in a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

I also had those nice roasted McCormick spices in the cabinet from our BlogHer Food swag, so I thought why not spice things up a bit too? And of course, why not a little pinch of cayenne pepper to help boost up the good ole circulation while we are at it? What resulted was a delicious blend of spicy flavor, all of which complimented the chocolaty goodness. I probably used somewhere in the middle of 1/8 and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne and it was a very nice, healthy lip tinglier. Feeling adventurous? Go ahead and stir in a bit of Kahlua or bourbon. Give it a try!

Recipe: Spiked and Spiced Hot Chocolate

  • 3 cups whole milk , divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream , divided
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (about 6 passes on a microplane grater)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 ounces Kahlua or bourbon whiskey , or to taste, optional
  • Whipped cream or mini marshmallows , for garnish
  • Grated nutmeg , for garnish

Add 1 cup of the milk with the chocolate chips and sugar to a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat, until sugar and chocolate is dissolved and mixture comes to a near boil. Stir in the remaining milk and heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne bring to near boil again. Remove from heat and stir in Kahlua or whiskey. Pour into mugs, top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows, and grate a bit of fresh nutmeg on top.

Makes about 4 mugs - depending on size. Serve hot.

Check These Recipes Out Too!

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Spiced Hot Chocolate perfect for cold winters

This Spiced Hot Chocolate recipe is the perfect mix of creamy milk, luscious dark chocolate and your favourite spices right from your own pantry- cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves, adding that punch to the flavours of this chocolate milk.

Cozy up because this one is going to become your winter favourite. The recipe uses cocoa powder instead of the hot chocolate mix, because its easily available in most of our kitchens (because we love baking chocolate desserts) and is very easily has much more darkness and depth of flavours than the ready made mix. The chocolate you use will determine the flavour profile of your hot chocolate, but you can use any that you love.

15 Delicious Hot Chocolate Hacks That are Over-the-Top Decadent

Rich hot chocolate is the most compelling reason to endure winter’s sting and chill.

What’s better than a steaming mug of thick, creamy hot chocolate on a chilly day? Not much𠅎xcept maybe a mug scented with cardamom, cinnamon, and other chai spices, a grown-up version spiked with amaretto and sea salt, a frozen hot chocolate milkshake, or a red velvet rendition. Can’t decide? You don&apost have to—throw together a hot chocolate bar and serve them all.

First things first: Know that there is a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. The former (also known as drinking chocolate) is made from solid semi or bittersweet chocolate, sometimes with an addition of cocoa powder, milk, and heavy cream, and perhaps a little sugar or vanilla extract. The latter is made from cocoa powder, sugar, and hot milk or water.

Start with our master recipe for rich and chocolatey hot chocolate here, then add on a few of our favorite indulgent upgrades𠅊ll of which are as easy to make as they are deliciously decadent. Because life is too short to settle for a lukewarm mug of microwaved pre-made cocoa mix.

Related Items

1 Buzzing Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate

This decadent peppermint hot chocolate will have you buzzing in more ways than one. Between the mocha cold brew and peppermint schnapps, you&rsquoll be the life of the party while rocking around the Christmas tree all night long.

Here&rsquos what you&rsquoll need for each serving:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup mocha cold brew
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 ½ oz. peppermint schnapps
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Crushed candy canes (optional)

Here&rsquos how to make it:

1. Heat a saucepan on low and add the milk and both types of chocolate.

2. Whisk chocolate and milk until combined and then slowly add the mocha cold brew and whisk some more.

3. After about a minute or two, remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the peppermint schnapps.

4. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of festive crushed candy cane pieces.

2 Classic Hot Chocolate With Baileys

You know the saying &ldquoif it ain&rsquot broke, don&rsquot fix it&rdquo? That&rsquos exactly how I feel about this feel-good timeless hot chocolate recipe. Skip the fancy toppings and spices and cozy up with this classic combination of warm, rich chocolate and creamy Baileys Original Irish Cream.

Here&rsquos what you&rsquoll need for each serving:

  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1½ oz. dark chocolate
  • 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 oz. Baileys Original Irish Cream
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

Here&rsquos how to make it:

1. Heat a saucepan on low and add the milk and both types of chocolate.

2. Whisk chocolate and milk until combined.

3. After about a minute or two, remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the Baileys.

4. Serve warm in a glass mug with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup and chocolate shavings.

3 Spicy Spiked Hot Chocolate

This kickin&rsquo spicy hot chocolate may be the best way to warm up on a snowy winter day. The aromatic spices pair perfectly with a mixture of dark and semi-sweet chocolate&mdashthis is definitely not your average cup of hot cocoa.

Here&rsquos what you&rsquoll need for each serving:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1 oz. milk chocolate
  • 2 oz. spiced rum
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Caramel syrup (optional)

Here&rsquos how to make it:

1. Heat a saucepan on low and add the milk and both types of chocolate.

2. Whisk chocolate and milk until combined. Add spices and continue whisking.

3. After about a minute or two, remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the spiced rum.

4. Serve hot in a mug with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup (and a tiny pinch of cayenne if you want extra heat).

4 Tipsy Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate

There&rsquos something so irresistible about chocolate and marshmallow together in one delectable dessert or in this case, hot chocolate. Prepare to get toasted with our delicious alternative to a classic s&rsquomores.

Here&rsquos what you&rsquoll need for each serving:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1 oz. milk chocolate
  • 1 oz. Kahlua
  • 1 oz. coffee liqueur
  • 4 large marshmallows
  • Graham cracker crumbs (optional)

Here&rsquos how to make it:

1. Heat a saucepan on low and add the milk and both types of chocolate.

2. Whisk chocolate and milk until combined.

3. After about a minute or two, remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the Kahlua and coffee liqueur.

4. Serve warm in a camper mug.

5. To roast the marshmallows, use a metal-skewer or any type of heat-resistant long utensil, and roast your two marshmallows at a time over a low-medium flame on your stove.

6. Top the hot chocolate with the toasted marshmallows and enjoy.

5 Loaded Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate With &ldquoThe Works&rdquo

Who says you need milk for a creamy, frothy hot chocolate? This boozy beverage is made with an almond and unsweetened coconut vanilla creamer and it is so insanely good. To make it extra festive and fun, go crazy with toppings like whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, or whatever you have in the pantry.

Here&rsquos what you&rsquoll need for each serving:

  • 1 cup Nutpods Unsweetened Vanilla Creamer
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 ½ oz. cinnamon schnapps
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Sprinkles or chocolate shavings (optional)
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

Here&rsquos how to make it:

1. Heat a saucepan on low and add the non-dairy creamer and both types of chocolate.

2. Whisk chocolate and milk until combined.

3. After about a minute or two, remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the schnapps.

4. Serve warm in an oversized mug with a mountain of whipped cream and all of the toppings that your heart desires.

A recipe for spiced hot chocolate

Finely grate the chocolate and refrigerate for about 20 minutes to firm up. Stir in all the remaining ingredients apart from the vanilla pod. Pour the mixture into a presentation bag or jar and add the vanilla pod. Attach a label with the following instructions:


To make the hot chocolate:

  1. Heat 150ml milk, or milk and cream, and bring to the boil.
  2. Place 3tbsp of the hot chocolate mix in a mug and pour over about 2-3tbsp hot milk. Stir until smooth, then pour in the remaining milk.
  3. Add the vanilla pod, leave for a few minutes to infuse, then stir and serve. You can reuse the vanilla pod - wash well after use and leave to dry out.

Spiced Hot Chocolate

This blog now has a new whizzy, pretty home at ahalfbakedidea.co.uk. You can sign up on the right hand side of that page to received updates straight into your inbox once a week. You can find all the old posts from this blog over on the new one, with better and easier navigation, as well as information about my other writing and private catering.

This week’s recipe is an absurdly simple one. As we nose our way into Christmas, and realise that four or so days at home with one’s family is not the idyll we’ve dreamed of for the last three weeks, any excuse to disappear away into the kitchen is a welcome one. This is a recipe for those stolen moments sought out to preserve sanity.

Hot chocolate is one of those things I forget how much I like until it’s right in front of me, like corn on the cob, gammon and pineapple rings, or bread and butter pudding. It’s only when I’m reminded, usually by someone else taking the initiative, I become fixated. Two weeks ago it was hot buttered rum with every meal. If you stood still for too long in my house, I thrust one into your hand.

This week I’ve been falling back in love with hot chocolate. Not the powder stuff – which is not a criticism: I adore cadbury’s hot chocolate powder, never quite progressing to the more grown up, bitter cocoa – but proper, indulgent, standing over a pan of milk, peeling foil off a slab of chocolate with your thumb nail hot chocolate. There’s a time and a place for whipped cream and marshmallows, and it’s generally in a Thornton’s cafe in 2003. This is something different.

It’s dark and glossy and rich, without feeling like you’re just drinking melted chocolate. And because it’s Christmas, it’s infused with mellow, aromatic bay, alongside the fiercer, burn of cinnamon and gentler gratings of nutmeg. There’s orange zest if you fancy it – sometimes I add it, sometimes I don’t – or you can throw in a shot of rum or brandy or Baileys. It is Christmas, after all.

Makes: Just the right amount for two
Takes: 5 minutes
Bakes: No time at all

100g good quality dark chocolate
350g whole milk
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
Tiniest pinch of salt
Orange (optional)

1. Heat the milk in a small pan with the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, salt, sugar and zest of an orange if using. You want it to be just beyond steaming but not so hot that’s it boiling.

2. Chop the chocolate as finely as you can, and place in a jug. Place a sieve on top of the jug and slowly pour the milk onto the chocolate catching the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, orange zest and any larger grindings of nutmeg.

3. Whisk the milk and chocolate together gently: at first they’ll look like they’ll never combine. Be patient, and they’ll come together into a a glossy, dark, smooth liquid. Divide into two mugs and enjoy.

This should be drunk sitting on the stairs, wishing you still smoked, doing your very best to think good thoughts and be thankful for your family. Maybe with a mince pie.

Watch the video: Mexican Style Hot Chocolate. Spiced Hot Chocolate Recipe. How To Make Spiced Hot Chocolate (November 2021).