A cup of hot chocolate can be perfect for a cold day like today! For this hot chocolate recipe, I use coconut milk and almond extract to make it taste like my favorite candy bar :) My sister and I made this together recently and it was really tasty!
However, we also noticed that the coconut milk makes the drink very thick and rich, sort of like Italian-style hot chocolate. Cioccolato caldo is almost like chocolate pudding, and recipes for it sometimes use cornstarch to create a very thick texture.
In this recipe, the coconut milk thickens the drink a lot but you can decrease the amount of coconut milk and increase the amount of milk or water if you don’t like your hot chocolate quite as pudding-like.
Before we started making the hot chocolate, we made coconut almond meringues to float on top of the finished drink. You can skip this if you just want to use whipped cream instead.
Beat an egg white with a little sugar until it makes stiff, glossy peaks
Then fold in finely shredded coconut and place spoonfuls on a lined baking sheet. I topped each meringue with a few almonds.
While they baked, we made the hot chocolate by heating the coconut milk, regular milk, and vanilla and almond extracts in a saucepan and then adding a few squares of chocolate.
After the chocolate has melted, just stir in a pinch of salt and a little sugar and simmer till you are ready to serve it!
We floated the meringues in our mugs and dipped them as we drank the hot chocolate.
The recipe below makes 4 (smaller) or 2 (very large) mugs. It’s also easily lactose-free and vegan (just the hot chocolate part, not the meringues). Enjoy, and stay warm!
Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate
1 egg white
2 Tablespoons sugar
about 20 almonds
¼ cup finely shredded coconut
1 can light coconut milk
¾ cup milk (or water)
2 oz semisweet chocolate
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the meringue by beating an egg white with a Tablespoon of sugar until glossy stiff peaks form, then folding in the coconut. Place spoonfuls of the meringue mixture on a lined baking sheet and top each with three almonds, then bake until hardened.
Heat the coconut milk, milk, and extracts with the chocolate pieces in a saucepan, stirring until the chocolate is melted.
Add the salt and one Tablespoon of the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer until ready to serve.
Serve the hot chocolate in mugs each topped with a floating meringue. Enjoy!