This peppermint hot chocolate without cocoa powder is so simple to make and perfectly luxurious to warm you through as you cosy up during the festive season. It's made with ganache which can also double up to make chocolate truffles. This post first appeared on Eat Love Eat 23rd December 2020. It has been updated with more information and clearer process steps.
So, welcome to the festive world of my peppermint hot chocolate! I really love a good hot chocolate anyway, but something just makes it even more special during the winter months when it’s grim outside and you can cosy up in the evening with a warming mug of it. The idea of making ganache was twofold – I can keep it in the fridge in balls ready for making a luxurious hot chocolate when I want and I can also dip in and have a gorgeous truffle to savour with the actual drink too! Win win!
This peppermint hot chocolate without cocoa is made with ganache. It's lovely and rich and makes for the perfect mug of hot chocolate. It's quick to make and store, ready to go whenever you want it, so why not give it a go this season! Oh and don't forget for a mint overload to try it with these Double Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies too!
I know you'll love this peppermint hot chocolate made with ganache this festive season, don't forget to leave us a comment with how much you love it and leave a rating too! You'll also love this Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate to cosy up with this season too!
What makes this the best?
These are the reasons why this is the best peppermint hot chocolate:
No cocoa powder - It's made with a real chocolate ganache so no cocoa powder in sight! Cocoa powder can get quite bitter in a hot chocolate if you don't get the right balance of sweetness and making your own ganache with a balanced bar of chocolate is a great way around this!
Make ahead - You can make the ganache and have a stash of peppermint ganache balls in the fridge ready for your peppermint hot chocolate or even just a snack truffle during the festive season!
Peppermint - I mean, peppermint and chocolate make the most incredible flavour combination and it's got that extra Christmas feel to it. YUM!
Luxury - This peppermint hot chocolate is totally luxurious with the real chocolate ganache that is used. Making it the perfect festive drink you'll have on hand all season.
You only need simple accessible ingredients for this recipe. This is what you'll need:
Dark Chocolate – I use dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) for the richest hot chocolate, but you may use milk or white chocolate in the ganache, if you desire a sweeter drink.
Double Cream/Heavy Cream – I use double cream which has a fat content of 48%, so if you use one with less than that (i.e. heavy cream) it will probably make a softer ganache. I haven't tried it, but I'm pretty sure you could use a soya or oat cream to make a vegan version, you might just need to use a little extra chocolate to get it to set.
Sea salt – Salt is chocolate's best friend, enough said.
Peppermint Extract – I tested this out with a couple of varieties of extract - the quality of the extract really does make a difference to the flavour of your hot chocolate. Nielsen Massey peppermint extract is my favourite. Get the best you can afford, or whatever is easiest for you.
Milk – I used dairy milk, but if you want to make it dairy free or enjoy the flavour of an alternative to milk, then use whichever you desire. Oat milk hot chocolate is especially good!
I know you love to customise so here are some recommendations:
Make it vegan - make the ganache vegan by using soy milk or a vegan cream substitute and vegan friendly dark chocolate. I've not tested the ganache this way, but have seen others successfully do so. Use the ratio of 1:1.5 milk:dark chocolate using the same method in the recipe below.
Use a different milk - You can use soy milk, oat milk, almond milk or even coconut milk if you wish.
Crushed candy canes - Instead of chocolate shavings you can sprinkle over crushed candy canes for an even more festive hot chocolate.
How do I make it?
This is so simple you could do it blindfolded, but there are some tips to keep in mind that will prevent any issues. So make sure you read through if you haven’t made ganache before. Let’s get started!
To make the ganache:
- Start by heating the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat until scalded - once scalded take the cream off the heat. Pour the scalded cream on top of the finely chopped chocolate and leave it to sit for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, gradually stir the mixture together.
- You'll start to see the chocolate melt into the cream - keep stirring gently until there are no lumps of chocolate left. Add the peppermint extract and stir to combine.
- You can either leave it in the bowl to set on the side or pour it into a small dish to set.
To make the hot chocolate:
- Take two balls (2 tablespoons) of your ganache and put them into a mug with a dash of hot milk (you can use a microwave or a mini saucepan to do this). You'll get a pool of melted chocolate milk at the bottom of your mug or pan.
- Once melted, pour over some additional hot milk and whisk together to combine, serve with whipped cream/spray cream, chocolate shavings and marshmallows.
Here are some tips for you to make the most of this peppermint hot chocolate recipe:
Scalding - scalded milk is heated to 82C/180F (you can use a digital thermometer to help with this). You'll know its close as the milk steams and small bubbles are starting to form but it is not boiling.
Setting the ganache - I’d recommend leaving it to set outside of the fridge as then the ganache will still be soft enough to scoop with a spoon and roll into balls of about 1 tablespoon in size. You can keep it in a tray in the fridge and scoop out what you need when you make your drink, it'll just be a lot firmer to scoop.
Microwave - this is probably the fastest way to make your peppermint hot chocolate, get the ganache and a little milk in your mug and heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until you have a pool of molten chocolate. Add the rest of the milk and heat to the desired drinking temperature.
This can be for a variety of factors:
Your cream was too hot - Scalding means bringing it up to the boil but not boiling. The high heat can cause the cocoa butter to split out of the chocolate.
Whisking too vigorously whilst making it - this can also separate the components of the chocolate and it looks a bit messy as the fat splits out, especially if the mixture hasn’t had time to all come to the same temperature.
The type of chocolate you use - use at least 50% cocoa solids dark chocolate for dark, 42% for milk chocolate and 25-30% for white chocolate.
There are a couple of ways of fixing this:
1. Place your ganache bowl over the gentle heat of a bain marie (a pan with some gentle heated water underneath - make sure the bowl does not touch the water) and stir the mixture until it warms and comes back together.
2. Pour a little warm milk or cream (1-2 tablespoons) into the ganache whilst it is warming over a bain marie and gently stir, this shall bring it together quite easily. I have most often used this or the above method if I have accidentally split my ganache.
3. Add more chocolate - just ensure your ganache mixture is warm and your chocolate is finely chopped, though this will adjust the ratios and make a much firmer ganache.
Absolutely! I would even say double the recipe and make extra ganache balls as truffles to have alongside your drink! You can keep them naked or dust them with some cocoa powder to serve and then you have plenty for hot chocolate and treats.
You have a few options:
Room temperature - It'll last the shortest time, probably 2-3 days, just store it in an airtight container.
In the fridge - Store in an airtight in the fridge for up to a month. Perfect time for storage over the festive period.
In the freezer - Ganache can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
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I hope you’ll give this peppermint hot chocolate a try! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment, rate the recipe and tag me #eatloveeats on Instagram! I love to see your creations!