I meant to post this for valentines day…. but life has been hectic since christmas. So, here it goes! If you’re like me, and appreciate some hot chocolate any day of the year, this one’s for you! (If not, just keep it in mind for the next cold snap…)
Strawberries may very well be my favorite thing to pair with chocolate. (Nothing personal, peanut butter!) They’re just such a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity, fragrance and fiber, crunch and juiciness… My very favorite kind of strawberries are fresh off the plant, still warm from the sun. When they’re out of season, though, any strawberry is a treat.
This strawberry cocoa is the genuine article! My husband isn’t usually a fan of hot chocolate, and he finished his mug really fast! So, without further ado, the recipe:
1/2 cup dry cocoa
12 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/8 tsp salt
7 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Roughly 2 cups diced fresh strawberries
Stir together wet ingredients (including strawberries) in a large pot on low to medium heat. Add cocoa and salt slowly, to prevent clumping. Stir until combined, and heat the mixture until it’s the desired temperature for drinking. Once you have all the ingredients in, you could even turn the burner up a bit, so that it would get hot faster. Just be sure to stir all the way down to the bottom of the pot, so nothing gets stuck or burnt down there.
Alternatively, you could do the cocoa in a crockpot (on high for 2 hours or low for 4) However, if you do, I would recommend keeping the strawberries out until right before serving.
The strawberry goodness soaks into the cocoa more as it cooks, so I’d recommend the stovetop method, for optimum strawberry-ness in the cocoa, as well as keeping some firmness intact in the strawberries themselves.
If I did it again, I’d have it with whipped cream, because everyone knows that strawberries and cream are amazing together!