Chocolate Buffet for Christmas Day or any day of the year

Chocolate Buffet for Christmas Day or any day of the year

For the hot chocolate bar toppings, Use our Wilshire Jars in different sizes.  Use a variety of sizes to really add some height and interest to the whole thing. Use a few tall ones for jumbo marshmallows, a few short ones for toppings like toffee bits, and mini ones for coarse sea salt. And how are your guests gonna get those toppings out? To make the jars look a little more festive yet still be with that rustic theme, wrap red bakers twine around the jars a few times. The labels were a breeze, print them on cardstock on your home printer.

And now for my most flavorist part — the toppings:

  • Hot Cocoa
  • Marshmallows (mini, Mallow Bits, peppermint, french vanilla, sugar cookie, caramel – any variety!)
  • Chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips, butterscotch, peanut butter)
  • Candy canes – whole for stirring, crushed for srpinkles
  • Caramel – sasprinklesaft Caramel Bits
  • PEEPS Marshmallows (they are an adorable hot cocoa topper!)
  • Toffee Bits
  • Cookies – Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes are a nice choice
  • Pretzel rods
  • Cinnamon
  • Finely chopped nuts
  • Corinthians Flavoured Cream Wafers (I love the Choc Mint ones)
  • Whipped Cream
  • Flavored syrup
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Sprinkles
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua or other favorite spirits
  • Pretty straws or spoons
  • Mugs
  • To go coffee cups (not with the adult hot chocolates please!)
  • Tea, Coffee or Cider are nice options to have

And every hot cocoa bar needs a good sign.

Hot Chocolate

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 20 ounces chopped the semi-sweet chocolate
  • 10 cups whole milk (or 2% – see notes)
  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 (12 ounces) can evaporate milk (not fat-free)
  • ½ cup sugar (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • toppings: marshmallows, toffee bits, coarse sea salt, mini chocolate chips, crushed peppermints, candy canes, soft peppermint sticks, whoppers, Lindt truffles, pirouette cookies, whipped cream, dark chocolate syrup, caramel sauce + whatever else you fancy!

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Start by adding the cocoa powder to a bowl, pour in the hot water and whisk until mixed.
  2. Add the cocoa mixture along with the chopped chocolate, milk, heavy cream, evaporated milk, and salt to a 6-quart slow cooker or larger. If you’re serving this with a hot chocolate bar and toppings, consider leaving out the sugar to avoid the hot chocolate being too sweet. If you’re serving the hot chocolate solo, add in the sugar.
  3. Cook the hot chocolate on the high setting for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. Low for 6 hours is what I prefer. Make sure to stir the hot chocolate every hour to keep the chocolate from settling to the bottom.
  4. Keep on the warm setting if you’re serving it hot chocolate bar style with toppings on the side. Leftover hot chocolate can be refrigerated for up to one week and warmed in the microwave before serving.

NOTES:

  1. You can also make this on the stove if you don’t have a slow cooker. Just whisk the water and cocoa powder together over medium heat until it begins to simmer, add in the remaining ingredients and whisk until the chocolate melts. Make sure the hot chocolate doesn’t boil. You want it to just barely reach the simmer point. It’ll take you in the ballpark of 15 minutes altogether.
  2. Oh please don’t make hot chocolate with anything less than 2% milk, it just won’t give you that deliciousness. Also a no-no, fat-free evap milk.
  3. You can halve this recipe to serve 7-10 guests.

 

Have a great day.