It’s amazing what good quality cocoa can do for your recipes. It will make them richer, tastier, and more chocolatey. It’s almost like the difference between good European chocolate and old holiday candy–you can easily taste the difference in quality.

What Cocoa Butter Can Do for Cocoa

Look for cocoa that is at least 14% to 16% cocoa butter. Most grocery store cocoa is 8% to 10%. The cocoa below is 22% to 24%! If your cocoa has enough cocoa butter in it, you can treat it like fine chocolate.

Gourmet cocoa will be amazing. A higher cocoa butter percentage is like adding real chocolate to your baking. It makes the recipe richer, darker, and more luxuriant.

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Recipe

This is an easy foolproof recipe. All you do is mix good quality cocoa and sugar and add milk.This is going to be richer and darker not just because of the cocoa but because of the fresh milk instead of nonfat dry milk. You can add a little vanilla to adjust the flavor if you like.

If you want a milder, smoother beverage, try Ramstadt Breda Medium Dark Cocoa.



  1. In a medium pan,combine the sugar and cocoa powder with a whisk until it is uniformly mixed.
  2. Add 1 cup milk and whisk until combined.
  3. Cook and stir over medium heat just until it comes to boiling. Gradually add the other 3 ½ cups milk while whisking.
  4. Heat through until hot but not boiling.
  5. Add a teaspoon of optional vanilla.

Yield: Four to six servings.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Top your desserts with chocolate whipped cream, not vanilla. You can make it with or without cream cheese. You can make it with cocoa or with melted chocolate. They’re all good.

On a Saturday, we made milk chocolate whipped cream. We also made it with Ramstadt Breda Medium Dark Cocoa because it has a softer “milk” tone to it.

Use the best heavy whipping cream you can find. We used Marigold 40% Heavy Whipping Cream that we bought from Sam’s Club. It whips faster and is more stable than lighter creams.

Chocolate Whipped Cream with Cream Cheese



Whip the cream cheese and sugar together until blended. Add the rest of the ingredients and whip until stiff peaks form.

Chocolate Whipped Cream with Meringue Powder


Whisk the sugar, cocoa, and meringue powder together. Set it aside. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the dry mixture a little at a time. Add the vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form.

Whipped Cream Frosting with Cocoa

It’s a fine line between whipped cream and whipped cream frosting. The difference is a stabilizer. We typically use meringue powder. (Meringue powder goes in royal icing to make those hard, floral patterns on wedding cakes.)

We use whipped cream frosting whenever we can. It’s lighter and not as rich as butter cream with much less fat and sugar. It’s delightful.

In the recipe above there are three tablespoons of meringue powder for two cups of cream. In most cases, that will hold a whipped topping for most of the day without melting. If we are frosting a cake, we would use 1/4 to 1/3 cup for two cups of cream.

Heavier, richer whipped cream will whip better and require less stabilizer.

You can make whipped cream frosting with any color and flavor. Unless you’re really pouring the meringue powder to it, don’t expect your frosting to look pretty beyond a day or so. Even if you stabilize it for longer, it tends to deflate and lose that pillowy luxury.

Hot Fudge Sauce Made with Cocoa

Quality cocoa is critical to this recipe. We used Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa with three times the cocoa butter of most store brands. See the review of this cocoa below.

We made this both with 2/3 cup and 3/4 cup cocoa. Both work. Of course, you get a little deeper flavor with 3/4 cup cocoa.

As with other hot fudge sauces, this thickens as it cools. You can rewarm it in the microwave. You can also thin your sauce with additional cream.



  1. Mix the cocoa and sugar together in a small bowl to eliminate any lumps. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  2. Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to a small saucepan. Add the melted butter and cream. Heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until the hot fudge sauce starts to bubble. Remove from the heat.
  3. Let the hot fudge sauce cool until it reaches the desired consistency. Thin with additional cream if necessary.

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