Recipe: Soothing Italian Hot Chocolate

via INALJ daily email Assistant Editor Kelli Bragg

Inspired by the amazing Coconut Curry Chocolate bar made byTheo’s (in Seattle) this is my ultimate comfort beverage in winter.

You can make your own favorite hot chocolate recipe and just add ¼ tsp curry powder per serving, or use my favorite cocoa recipe, Italian Hot Cocoa, from The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking:

Italian Hot Cocoa 2 ½ c.
(even without the curry, it’s wonderfully comforting)

  • Stir together in a medium, heavy saucepan:
  • ½ c. unsweetened cocoa (I use Penzey’s 24% butterfat natural cocoa)
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot
  • ½ tsp. curry powder (I use Penzey’s Balti-style curry powder: it’s a hot, but not blazing, curry blend)
  • Note: I suggest starting with ¼ tsp curry powder, then increase to taste.

  • Stir in thoroughly, then set over low heat:
  • ½ c. water
  • Once warmed, stir in:

  • ½ c. water
  • 1 c whole milk
  • Cook, stirring over medium-low heat until the mixture is thickened and coats a spoon, about 10 minutes.

    Whisk in 1/8 tsp. vanilla or ½ tsp. Grand Marnier or Kahlua, then continue whisking for at least 30 seconds to aerate & fluff, to create an effect similar to that of using a Mexican molinillo)

    Top each serving with:

  • Ground cinnamon
  • Whipped cream or marshmallows (I prefer homemade marshmallows or homemade marshmallow cream, if I have them)
  • Makes as many servings as you like; I get 2 servings from the recipe.

    Photo from Flickr George Eastman House. If you make this recipe and take a photo I’d be glad to add it- email me at

    Naomi House

    Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.