Spiced Pumpkin Hot Cocoa with Maple Whipped Cream
We had our first snow here overnight Thursday. Friday morning, we awoke to trees (many with their fall leaves still hanging on) and grass coated with about an inch of white, fluffy powder.
And while Ithaca definitely isn’t considered a tropical clime, this storm set a record for the earliest snowfall of an inch or more. Maybe that’s Mother Nature’s way of telling us we’re in for a cold winter?
Waking up and feeling like I was suddenly in winter(!) meant only one thing: I had to make hot cocoa that afternoon. It was all I could think about all day. And my hot cocoa urge, coupled with my desire to consume anything made with pumpkin lately (more on that to come), resulted in this delicious cup of spicy, warm goodness: Spiced Pumpkin Hot Cocoa.
Think all the spices of pumpkin pie mixed into a rich cocoa drink, with pumpkin puree whisked into the hot milk. The pumpkin flavor isn’t overpowering, but it’s subtly there under the chocolate flavor — and mixed with the spices, it’s a wonderful cup. I whipped up some heavy cream, flavored with a little maple syrup, to top the mugs (and as you can see, the cocoa was pretty steaming hot when I spooned the cream on — hence the melted, soft cream topping. Well, it was still delicious!)
I know not everyone loves the combination of pumpkin and chocolate together, but it is one of my favorites and this hot cocoa will be my standby for the next few months (besides, the pumpkin adds fiber! and Vitamin A! What’s not to love??)
Spiced Pumpkin Hot Cocoa
an Eggs on Sunday original
Makes 2 servings (if you halve the recipe, just use a little pinch of the nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.)
For the hot cocoa:
3 cups milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the maple whipped cream:
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons maple syrup
any of the following for dusting on top: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, raw sugar
In a saucepan, whisk together the milk, pumpkin puree, cocoa, spices and syrup. Heat until steaming, and divide among two mugs.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or by hand using a wire whisk, whip the heavy cream with the maple syrup until it forms soft peaks.
Top the mugs of cocoa with spoonfuls of the whipped cream. Sprinkle on a little cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and/or raw sugar if you like.