August 5 11


(Photo credit: Gav Martell)

Hot cocoa.

Its mention alone can warm your soul during winter, spring, summer, or fall. It conjures up such great childhood memories. But why does it have to be so darned expensive? The store-bought price will not be the only thing swaying you from buying it once you try the recipe below. The taste of this homemade mix stands head-and-shoulders above anything you might rip open from a pouch.

If you’ve ever seen the film Chocolat you’ll have some idea of the rich, creamy treat that borders on chocolate indulgence. Feel free to change the quantity down to a few teaspoons to make a drink you are more accustomed to.

(The cayenne is there to help release the flavour of the cocoa. You can thank the Mayans for that little trick.)

Now go put on your PJs and slippers, grab your remote, and enjoy a cup of this good, good stuff.


Gav Martell’s Famous and Amazing Hot Cocoa Mix


2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Hot water


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly.
  2. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.
  3. Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine.
  4. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk.
  1. My grandmother always had her own hot cocoa mix in the pantry, and I’m sure it was a similar recipe. To make it extra indulgent, she would add a couple tablespoons of cream (sometimes half-and-half, sometimes the full-fat stuff) to the mix and stir until it was dissolved, and then add the hot water. DIVINE.

    Comment by Darcey on August 5, 2011
  2. I’m so going to try this! I don’t drink coffee, so hot chocolate is my go to drink. Yay for new recipes! 🙂

    Comment by Jessica on August 6, 2011
  3. I wish winter comes fast to try this one!!! thanks

    Comment by Ravit on August 6, 2011
  4. Thank you for the recipe, cant wait to make it for my wife and children. cheers

    Comment by barak on August 7, 2011
  5. Waiting for the winter time!
    I have all of your recipes. I love the way you think of the food. Thank you very much!

    Comment by Katie on August 7, 2011
  6. I love hot cocoa….you made me wanna prepare one and go cuddle in the living room 🙂

    Comment by Lorarian89 on August 7, 2011
  7. Adding this to the list I have that says “Things Gabe needs to make for me.” It’s getting rather long.

    Comment by Kristabella on August 8, 2011
  8. You just have me a great idea for teacher gifts. Thanks!

    Comment by Tamara on November 9, 2012
  9. It makes a GREAT gift!

    Comment by ali on November 9, 2012
  10. […] part, because it’s the thought that counts, right? The girls made cards and filled jars with home-made hot cocoa mix. I’ve never done teacher gifts before, because the last day of school always creeps up on me […]

    Pingback by my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day of first-world problems on December 21, 2012

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