This rich and creamy dark hot chocolate, made with milk, chocolate, sugar, vanilla, and a little cinnamon, is so delicious and easy to make that you'll never go back to pre-made mix.
If your camping hot chocolate experience has been limited to adding hot water to a packaged mix, it's time to switch to the real stuff. You can make it in the same time it would take you to heat water, and the flavor of this creamy dark chocolate hot chocolate will have you licking the bottom of your mug.
Why This Recipe is Great for Camping
- It's quick and easy to make and requires just one pot.
- You can make it over your campfire or on your camp stove.
- It's a rich, satisfying, warming drink that's suitable for all ages and can be customized to suit your tastes.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Milk--Use any type of milk that you like here. The higher the fat content, the creamier your hot chocolate will be. If using non-dairy milk, I recommend oat or coconut milk for the creamiest texture.
- Dark chocolate--Use good-quality chocolate with a cacao content of about 70%. I recommend using bar chocolate, instead of chocolate chips, as it will melt more easily and smoothly.
- Sugar--This adds just a little bit of sweetness to temper the bitterness of the chocolate. If you find that the dark hot cocoa is not sweet enough for your taste, stir in extra sugar, ½ teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired sweetness.
- Cinnamon--This gives the drink a flavor that is reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate. To further that experience, you could also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the drink mixture.
- Combine the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat until bubbles appear on the edges of the milk. Don't let the milk boil. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the chopped chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon, and whisk until smooth.
Top your warm drink with marshmallows or whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Cinnamon sticks make it fun for stirring, but are definitely not necessary.
It will depend on the type of chocolate you use. The higher the cacao percentage, the more bitter it will taste. I recommend sticking with chocolate that is around 70%, but if you use a darker chocolate, you can add extra sugar to temper the bitterness.
Tips and Troubleshooting
- To get ahead, chop your chocolate and combine it with the cinnamon in a resealable plastic bag before heading out on your camping trip.
- Chop your chocolate very finely so that it melts quickly and easily.
- If you love the combination of sweet and spicy, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to your hot chocolate.
- This recipe is suitable for gluten-free diets. To make it dairy-free, use non-dairy milk, preferably oat or coconut.
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Dark Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 4 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Whipped cream or marshmallows for serving (optional)
- In a medium saucepan set over low heat (you can do this on a regular stove, your camp stove, or over hot coals), combine the milk and sugar. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the milk is hot but not boiling. You should see bubbles appearing around the edge of the pot.
- Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk until smooth. Return to low heat to rewarm, if necessary.
- Divide between two mugs and serve, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired.
- Get ahead--Chop your chocolate and combine it with the cinnamon in a resealable plastic bag before heading out on your camping trip.
- Chop it fine--Chop your chocolate very finely so that it melts quickly and easily.
- Make it spicy--If you love the combination of sweet and spicy, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to your hot chocolate.
- Dietary--This recipe is suitable for gluten-free diets. To make it dairy-free, use non-dairy milk, preferably oat or coconut.