Slow-cooker hot chocolate provides a warm treat on a cold winter day. This Mexican spiced recipe has a complex flavor that is unique and impressive.
Nothing tastes better than hot chocolate after a day spent in the snow, or for an evening around the fireplace. Using the convenience of your slow cooker, you can have a hot chocolate concentrate ready for any occasion.
One of the benefits of using a concentrate is that you can add whatever kind of milk you prefer at the time you serve it. For anyone who is dairy-free, offer cashew, almond, or coconut milk. Meanwhile, others can enjoy dairy milk if they wish.
What is piloncillo?
This slow-cooker hot chocolate recipe calls for Piloncillo. It is unprocessed raw cane sugar, typically used in Mexican cooking. Because it is unrefined, it has a natural brown color. Its rich flavor is similar to molasses, although it does not contain any.
If you are searching for it in the grocery store, it mostly comes in a cone shape or looks like a chocolate bar (see video). Other names are: panela, chancaca, rapadura.
To use the piloncillo cone, you just need to chop it into large chunks. If it is too hard to chop, you can microwave it for ten to 20 seconds first. For this hot chocolate recipe, the sugar will dissolve in the hot liquid.
Piloncillo can be difficult to find, but the taste is not replicated in anything else on the market, so DO try and find it. Amazon has it sometimes. If you can’t find piloncillo, there is a substitute available. For this recipe, instead of one pound of piloncillo, you can use 1.5-2 cups of brown sugar plus 2-3 tablespoons of molasses.
What kind of milk is best for slow-cooker hot chocolate?
Us ONLY water for cooking your hot chocolate in the slowcooker to avoid any milk boiling over. Add the milk AFTER the mixture has slow-cooked to a concentrate. Simply add 1/2 a cup of the concentrate to any type of milk or hot water to create a delicious hot chocolate recipe.
Try different kinds of milk to go with the concentrate. Ideas include:
- Whole milk – Produces a very creamy hot chocolate
- Low fat and nonfat milk – A tasty solution for those who are concerned about the fat content.
- Heavy cream or half and half – For very rich hot chocolate, use just a small amount of either of these options.
- Unflavored or vanilla nut milk or coconut milk– A great option for those who are dairy-free.
- You can even use water if you want to showcase the chocolate flavor.
What are good toppings for hot chocolate?
To make my version of Mexican spiced hot chocolate, you will want to add star anise, vanilla, and cloves.
However, this is the basic method for making any flavor of hot chocolate in the slow-cooker. Experiment with different flavor combinations to find your favorite.
You can even offer a hot chocolate bar with a large variety of toppings. Make a basic hot chocolate recipe and let everyone customize their own flavor. Any of these toppings taste great:
- Chocolate chips
- Peanut butter
- Cayenne pepper
- Flaked coconut
- Candied ginger
Can you save slow-cooker hot chocolate?
If you want to make a large batch of slow-cooker hot chocolate or want to make it in advance, you can keep the concentrate in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat it in the microwave by the cup as you are ready to drink it.
Spiced Slow-Cooker Hot Chocolate
- 2 vanilla beans
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- 4 anis stars
- 8 cloves
- 1 lbs piloncillo
- 2 cups unsweetened cacao
- 8 cups boiling water
- milk of choice to mix with hot chocolate concentrate that will form after slow-cooking
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and set to 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high "uncovered". Do not place the lid on top, we need water evaporation to create a thick hot chocolate "concentrate".
- To serve, add 1/4-1/2 cup of the concentrate and fill your cup with hot milk of your choice. Any milk works.