Here's our new favorite hot cocoa recipe: a milky, comforting mix of cocoa and malted milk powder from Alton Brown. Notice we didn't say hot chocolate; hot cocoa is different from hot chocolate, and here's why.
Hot cocoa, on the other hand, is a child's drink. It's a comforting mix of powdered cocoa with lots of milk, a touch of sugar, and, in our own modification of Alton Brown's great recipe, a touch of malted milk powder. This isn't a very rich drink. It tastes more of milk than of chocolate. It's the right thing to sip on a cold, blustery fall afternoon, while curled up with a book. It's just the right thing to send you off to sleep at night. And if you love good fresh milk, this is a wonderful way to drink it.
If you're jonesing for a thick and chocolatey drink, this isn't it. Hot chocolate it isn't. This is hot cocoa and it's exactly what we're craving these days.
Brown also includes a great deal of powdered milk, which we replaced with malted milk powder for a malty flavor. We also usually make this up with milk, in addition to all that milk powder, so it's milky to the max! Just the way we like it.
• Get the recipe: Hot Cocoa from Alton Brown at Food Network
What's your own favorite hot cocoa recipe? Or do you prefer hot chocolate?
Related: Classic Combo: Cocoa and Toast
(Images: Faith Durand)