When you're craving a treat, but not in the mood to bring out all your pots and pans, boxed mixes are the way to go. These convenient packages usually take just minutes to prepare, and you can always jazz them up with the ingredients of your choice. Take, for instance, those ever-familiar boxes of hot chocolate. Most packages only require you to pour some warm milk or water over hot cocoa powder and stir.
These instant beverages are super easy to make and are a great way to satisfy a craving for something sweet, but they often pale in comparison to rich, creamy homemade hot chocolate. If you want to enhance your instant hot chocolate to make it ultra-rich, we've got some ideas for you. To start, why not try adding in a pad of butter? In the same way that butter can enhance the flavor of coffee, this robust dairy ingredient adds depth to otherwise watery and one-note cocoa mixes.
If this sounds odd to you, remember that milk and whipped cream are common ingredients for the best hot chocolate, and butter is just another form of dairy. It's easy to add butter to your cup, and the taste will make you wonder if you made your chocolatey drink from scratch, even though you know it's just a mix. Here's how to use some butter to achieve a thick and rich mug of hot chocolate in record time.
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How To Add Butter To Hot Chocolate
Because butter has a high fat content, it can help to round out thin instant hot chocolate, and adds a rich silkiness. Most any type of butter will work, but many chefs swear by the delicious flavors of grass-fed butter, which is also the type most often used to make butter coffee. Salted butter is also a good idea to try, as a hint of salt will bring balance to the intense sweetness of chocolate, but be sparing and add a little at a time. Saltiness levels can vary between brands, and you don't want a sodium bomb in your cup.
Butter is also a great substitute for other ingredients you might use to thicken watery cocoa. Cornstarch is a popular choice, but it doesn't add any flavor, while butter offers both the benefits of a nice, creamy texture and decadent taste. The amount of butter you'll need will vary depending on your mix, but most mugs of hot cocoa will benefit from at least a half of a tablespoon of butter stirred in. You can add more to taste, from there. Simply add butter on top of your instant hot chocolate mix in a mug, combine with hot milk, and voila. Your cup can be even tastier with some other additions, too.
Other Ways To Elevate Your Instant Hot Chocolate
If this genius butter addition leaves you wanting more ways to spice up your hot chocolate, consider adding some liquid homemade caramel to this drink. Not only does this luxurious sauce add a new dimension of flavor to the mix, it also helps to thicken it up, too. In fact, a main ingredient in homemade caramel is butter, so you'll have some delicious double-butter flavors in your mug. If you want to surprise yourself with another fun flavor, add some salt into the mix for salted caramel hot chocolate.
For even more thickness and flavor, adding a dollop of Nutella to your cup brings even more chocolate power as well as undertones of hazelnut. Adding in a shot of espresso is another good way to kick up hot cocoa, almost like a chocolate-heavy mocha. The coffee will add a classy element to this nostalgic drink, giving it a truly elevated feel that's more grown-up. To start things off right, however, we recommend you try a little butter in your mug before anything else. You can add onto your drink from there to create the hot cocoa of your dreams.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.