Monday, February 21, 2011

A Comforting Beverage: Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa...Vegan Style?

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa...Vegan Style?

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Makes 3 1/2 cups; Serves 2 (or more if serving in smaller cups)
  • 2 cups whole milk- can substitute with almond milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream- can substitute with canned coconut milk
  • 5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter


  1. Warm milk and cream in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add chocolate, and whisk until melted and combined. Continue to warm mixture until thick, about 5 minutes. Whisk in peanut butter until smooth.
From Martha Stewart Living, February 2011 | Send a Free Preview Issue! Helpful Hint: Hot cocoa can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Rewarm in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.Read more at Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa - Martha Stewart Recipes

As a child, I remember my mother ripping open small, rectangular packages whenever we requested the ever famous hot chocolate.  I would watch as she carefully tapped the envelope against the glass as  little white "rabbit turds"(those were supposed to be the marshmallows) dropped into my cup.  That was my hot chocolate.  Consequently, I was never a huge fan of hot chocolate.  After sipping the drink, I often ran quickly to the refrigerator for a big, tall glass of water.  I think they put loads of salt (among other things) in those little, astronaut-type food packs. As a result, I was very excited to be making such a good looking hot chocolate for my family.

A Maya lord forbids a person to drink a jar of chocolate.
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I often enjoy delving deeper into the history behind the ingredients that make our food a meal.  In a strange sort-of-way, I feel obligated to know my ingredients.  At the present moment, we have a wonderful food movement that encourages us to know our farmers and I'm in full agreement. Additionally, I believe this logic can also be applied to our food ingredients.  It is the health benefits, history, and culinary uses of the ingredients that are of particular interest to me.  I'm sure you can relate to this.  After all, you are reading a food blog *giggles*. 

Historically speaking, hot chocolate is thought to have been developed by the Mayan peoples. Upon doing some research about hot chocolate, I found out that it is approximately 2,000 years old. Can you believe that?  Wow!  I thought I was getting up there.  In the Mayan times, the drink was available to to all social classes; however, the wealthier citizens drank this fine beverage from gorgeously decorated vessels. 

At the beginning of its creation, the drink was much different than it is today.  Often, it was drunk cold and was flavored with wine or chili peppers.  Personally, I prefer the up-to-date version (sweet and creamy).  In both coffee and in hot chocolate, I love creamy foam.  Maybe in some sort of strange way, it mimics my love for the ocean (sea foam?).  Who knows?  Anyhow, if you want your drink a little foamy, simply whisk until a frothy layer appears.  We hope that you have fun making this incredibly tasty drink at home for your family.  The tantalizing blend of chocolate and peanut butter is to live for! 

Photo Gallery

When warmed over the hot stove, these combined ingredients make a delectable drink!
The canned coconut milk has a high fat content that behaves in a similar way to heavy cream.
The choco-meter
I had a hard time convincing Jordan that a vegan hot chocolate would taste good. He was a skeptic.
Jordan is measuring the coconut milk.  As a "kitchen scientist", I made sure to give Jordan the meniscus lecture. 
Pouring the milk...he's doing great!
While taking care to be safe around the stove at all times, Jordan mixes the milk.
Gabriel waited patiently on the other side of the kitchen as Jordan worked his stove magic. 
In goes the chocolate.
More stirring...
We make our peanut butter from scratch (see peanut butter blog for more info.).  Occasionally, it can be a little chunky.  This is not a good combo when it comes to drinking.  So, we poured the hot chocolate with the peanut butter through a strainer.  Jordan is standing up and away from the hot bowl to avoid any splashing.
Glad we ran it through a strainer.  You can see all the leftover chunks.
Gabriel gives his seal of approval!
As for Jordan...
Yes, he approves.  Vegan hot chocolate tastes good!



Jenny Cave said...

Cool... and I got another 'favorite picture of Gabriel' out of this one...the one of him with chocolate all over his face says it all!!! You're doing such a good job of documenting the much better than most of the magazines, when people can see the steps, the recipe becomes so much more easy to envision as 'do-able'. Great job making a simple procedure both vegan AND fun!

Jenny Cave said...

to make it vegan, I'll substitute pure dark chocolate...yum!!!

The Green Mama said...

Thanks, Jenny. I like capturing the steps involved because it takes away most of the confusion and possible intimidation out of the recipe. When people see us doing this, then I hope they can know for a fact that they too can have their own kitchen escapades. For example, a good scrapbook doesn’t just have a person’s birth and old age documented within. On the contrary, everything is visually laid before the reader such as birth, childhood, and so forth. For example, I apply the same logic to the blog, except “death” would be considered the eating stage *laughing*. I'd love for people to post their experiences! Let us know how your hot chocolate tastes :)

The Green Mama said...

Well, maybe death is kind of a strong word for a cooking blog. Maybe more like the "final moments".