Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is all the rage with every specialty shop touting the ir recipe is great. Well, I have to tell you, I seriously don’t think you will find a better one than this. It’s not difficult at all to make. The dutch cocoa brings a gourmet flavor to the drink. And the hazelnut syrup adds a nuttiness that is one of those ‘hhmm, what is that delicious ingredient’ questions.
Now for the salt. It’s very common to use coarse sea salt, but my neighbor Jeremy generously gave me some mesquite smoked sea salt to try with the caramel hot chocolate as an experiment. Cups lined up, we tried some with the sea salt and some with the mesquite smoked salt. We were very pleasantly surprised at how much we loved the smoked salt. It brought out an entirely different flavor and YUMMY – you’ve got to try it! There are so many salts to try that will have a blast with this drink and impress your family and guests immensely.
Gourmet Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1 1/3 cup half and half
3/4 cup caramel topping
2 Tablespoons caramel syrup
2 teaspoons toasted hazelnut syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups whole milk
Additions: Canned spray whipped cream, caramel sauce in a squeeze bottle coarse sea salt, mesquite smoked sea salt and other Kinds would be fun to try.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, salt, cocoa powder and half & half. Over medium heat, stirring constantly bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute.After 1 minute of a simmer, add in the caramel topping, syrups and extract and bring back to a simmer and still stirring constantly, simmer for 1 more minute.After the second minute of simmer, which allows the flavors to marry, add in the milk and bring to heat, but do not bring to a boil.
Fill a mug about 2/3 of the way full with the gourmet hot chocolate. Then spray generously with spray whipped cream. Next drizzle with caramel sauce. Top with just put in a few pinches of coarse sea salt to your taste and stir it in for best result. Be a bit adventurous and try smoked sea salt.
It is an amazing journey for your taste buds!