Hot Cocoa for the Holidays

Cocoa with Orange Simon from Tuppenceworth and my brother have been asking for a hot chocolate made with cocoa, so I finally got around to creating one for the shops. The basic idea for this recipe comes from the Swiss cantone Ticino, where my grandmother retired, and a very old Swiss recipe book that is long out of print. I’ve made variations to suit my love of full-on chocolate, and this is not for the faint-hearted! However, it does make a thick, spiced chocolate that is perfect for a Winter’s night in by the fire, or as a great addition to a holiday meal.

Murphys Cacao del Ticino

125 g cocoa (unsweetened)
800 milk
225 gm sugar
1/2 teasp. cinnamon
Zest of one orange
2 drops almond essence

Hot Cocoa Holiday1. Mix the cocoa, sugar, cinnamon and orange zest.
2. Add the milk in small parts, stirring to create a paste, then diluting the paste until the milk and cocoa mix are combined. Add the almond essence.
3. Pour into a saucepan and place the over medium heat, stirring all the time until it reaches 60-65C.
4. Strain to remove the orange zest.
5. Garnish with grated chocolate and/or whipped cream and enjoy!

Six servings.


1. If you find it too strong, you can always dilute it with more milk.
2. The amount of sugar will vary depending on the chocolate. Obviously you can add more if you want it sweeter.

3. Beware the almond essence. It is very volatile. Don’t use too much!

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9 thoughts on “Hot Cocoa for the Holidays

  1. Thinking of heading to Kerry this weekend so this recipe may be just the ticket for when the wind is howling against the window panes on the wild Dingle Peninsula.


  2. Hi Kieran,

    Have you a tip for a really good almond essence? I finally found one that wasn’t Goodall’s a week or two back, but it still seems a bit synthetic-tasting despite being, apparently, the choice of a celebrated local food person. How do they ess the almonds, anyway?

  3. We use almond essence from a company called Riviera. We get it from La Rousse Foods in Dublin. I don’t know if consumers can buy it. Maybe the best bet would be to check your local health food shop. They might have a decent natural one…

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