I have been wanting to try Almond Milk for a while now. At the start of this hot cocoa series I finally bought a carton. I chose vanilla because I figured it would add extra flavor to the hot cocoa. It is very sweet. Much sweeter than cow’s milk. I enjoyed it in my cereal, but not so much on its own. Since it is made by soaking ground almonds in water I thought it would be fitting for almond hot cocoa. Almond milk, cocoa powder, a little sugar and a drop of almond extract.
Almond extract. My favorite extract. It has an almond-ish flavor combined with a cherry flavor. Walk into any ice creamery that makes their own waffle cones. Make sure to walk in while they are cooking the waffle cones. That glorious smell in the air is almond extract. You’ll recognize it right away as waffle cone, but most people don’t know what it actually is. I add almond extract to cake mixes to liven them up and often when recipes call for vanilla extract I use half and half.
This almond hot cocoa can be made with any sort of milk you prefer, but use almond milk and skip the whipped cream topping and you have a tasty vegan beverage. I’m sure there are vegan alternatives for whipped cream, too. Ganache has heavy cream in it so to keep it vegan you’ll have to use cocoa powder or ground cocoa nibs. Either way, vegan or not, this is tasty tasty tasty.
Like my favorite childhood book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, my mind wanders on tangents when given one simple thing. I wanted this post to be for the vegan and dairy-free populations, but once I started experimenting with almond flavors I remembered one of my favorite candies: Almond Roca. Almond-Toffee, wrapped in chocolate, dusted in finely crushed almonds. Yummm.
I started to make a toffee syrup to add to my almond hot cocoa. Toffee is made just like caramel, but with the addition of butter. Once I started gathering the ingredients for toffee I decided that recreating my favorite candy would be a fun experiment. I ground up raw almonds in my food processor , layered some on the bottom of a square baking dish, drizzled with melted milk chocolate then let that set. Once the toffee was beautifully golden brown I mixed in some roughly chopped almonds and poured that on top of the chocolate. Once that was mostly set I topped with more melted milk chocolate and crushed almonds. I had my own homemade almond toffee candy.
Refrigerate overnight and chop into pieces. As you can see, I made my toffee very thick and it was difficult to chop. It ended up mostly shattering into pieces instead of uniform bricks. Refrigerating causes it to become very hard. Let sit for at least an hour before chopping with a sharp knife.
Vegan almond hot cocoa, almond toffee hot cocoa, and homemade almond toffee candy. Three recipes in one post. Does this make up for the day I missed?
Almond Hot Cocoa
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Cup Almond Milk
1/8 Teaspoon Almond Extract
-Whisk together all ingredients
-Heat and continue to whisk until cocoa powder is dissolved
-Serve in your favorite mug topped with whipped cream and a raw almond
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Butter
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
-Mix all ingredients in saucepan about twice the size of the mixture
-This will bubble and double in size while cooking
-Stir occasionally and cook until golden brown
-Store in airtight container
-This will thicken as it cools, but will thin out again when reheated
Almond Toffee Hot Cocoa
1 1/4 Cups Milk
2 Tablespoons Chocolate Ganache
2 Tablespoons Toffee Syrup
1/8 Teaspoon Almond Extract
-Mix together all ingredients
-Heat and stir until chocolate and toffee are melted
-Serve in your favorite mug
-Top with whipped cream and enjoy with almond toffee candy
Homemade Almond Toffee Candy
2 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
1 Cup (2 Sticks) Butter
1/2 Cup Raw Almonds
1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
8 Ounces Milk Chocolate
-Mix together sugar, water, and butter in saucepan about twice the size of mixed ingredients (mixture will double in size while cooking)
-Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown
-While toffee is cooking roughly chop 1/2 Cup almonds in food processor and set aside
-Grind 1/4 Cup almonds in food processor until very fine
-Melt chocolate in top of double boiler or in microwave in 30 second increments
-Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper
-Scatter half of the finely ground almonds on parchment paper
-Drizzle half the melted chocolate on top of almonds and smooth with a rubber spatula
-Chill in freezer for 20 minutes. Chocolate should be set, but still soft. (This will ensure the hot toffee will stick to it)
-Once the toffee mixture is golden brown mix in the 1/2 Cup roughly chopped almonds and pour over set chocolate
-Place back into freezer to allow toffee to set (but still soft just like the first layer of chocolate)
-Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate on top, smooth and sprinkle with remaining finely chopped almonds.
-Refrigerate until set (one hour or overnight)
-Invert baking dish onto flat surface to remove toffee block
-Remove parchment paper
-Chop with a sharp knife
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