January 31st: National Hot Chocolate Day
January 31st is one of the most delicious days of the year! Ladies and gentlemen, today is the official holiday dedicated to the world's yummiest hot drink: "National Hot Chocolate Day".
The most delicious winter beverage
January 31st is the annual holiday when people across the U.S. celebrate the yummiest winter beverage. The perfect formula for happiness is a hot beverage simply made with ground chocolate, milk, and sugar. In the U.S., people often refer to hot chocolate and hot cocoa like they are the same thing. Nevertheless, those two beverages are pretty different. Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, milk (or water, for a lighter version), and sugar. Hot chocolate, instead, is denser, creamier and is made with ground chocolate. It is also called drinking chocolate.
From the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, the most divine drink
Humanity has been blessed with this drink for a long time. The ancient Mayans crafted the first chocolate drink 2000 years ago. The Aztecs also embraced cocoa as a crucial part of their rich culture. When Europeans landed in the New World, exploring Central and South America, they brought chocolate back to their homelands.
Chocolate is good for your health (in moderate amounts)
If you're looking for an excuse to indulge in another cup of hot chocolate, consider the health benefits. Cocoa is packed with antioxidants. Flavonoids in chocolate, in addition, benefit arterial health and memory.
A thousand ways to enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate
You can enjoy hot chocolate in many ways. If you choose whipped cream, you are never wrong. Americans also love a traditional marshmallow topping. To try something different, you could sprinkle your hot chocolate with peppermint, coconut flakes, or cinnamon. You could add caramel, an Italian hazelnuts cream, coffee.
Adult hot chocolate
For a "grown-up" version of your hot chocolate, flavor your drink with a few drops of Italian Strega liqueur, or opt for some good rum.
How to make Italian hot chocolate at home
The recipe for a creamy hot chocolate is pretty quick and straightforward. The Italian recipe requires the use of a small quantity of starch. You will need dark chocolate (1 cup), cocoa powder (4 tbsp, unsweetened), sugar (2 tbsp), milk (2 cups), and starch (1 tbsp). For the success of this recipe, it is essential to use chocolate of excellent quality. We recommend you this Extra Dark Cremino by Venchi. Ground the dark chocolate and gently microwave it. Pour the milk into a pan, sieve, and stir in the corn starch; add cocoa powder and sugar. Heat it up, stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the melted chocolate and stir for a couple of minutes. Serve topped with whipped cream.
Observing National Hot Chocolate Day
Honoring this holiday is delightful: indulge in a nice cup of hot chocolate or - even better - share one with your friends. And do not forget #NationalHotChocolateDay for your social media.
- Donatella Mulvoni