Salted caramel hot chocolate


Manal Salim

Photo by Manal Salim
After an extremely long and exhausting day at school, which isn’t anything out of the ordinary lately, I have found that I absolutely need to unwind myself somehow.  Today was made up of three tests, a quiz I know I didn’t do so hot on, and I had to trudge through the whole day with less than four hours of sleep on hand.
On days like these, I always crave the most random foods, knowing that there is absolutely no physical way I can get that particular snack. This time, I really wanted a Salted Caramel latte from Starbucks, and only a Salted Caramel latte. Nothing else would make up for all the struggles I faced. But despite the fact that Starbucks is nearly a fifteen minute drive from my house, no one in my family had the heart to drive me up there just for a quick satisfying drink.
So I hopped onto my laptop and immediately got on Pinterest to see if there was any way I could find a drink that would compensate for my loss. That night, I discovered that Pinterest truly was my savior. Under the Foods & Drinks tab of the website, a blogger posted a copycat recipe of the Starbucks latte, but instead concocted a delicious-looking Salted Caramel hot chocolate in merely five minutes. I immediately sprang up and frantically searched my pantry for the following items.
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
What you’ll need:
Photo by Manal Salim
4 tablespoons of hot chocolate powder
¾ cup of milk
3 tablespoons caramel syrup
Canned whipped cream
Pinch of medium coarse sea salt
To make the delicious treat:
Begin by heating ¾ cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat so the milk does not burn. Heat the milk just until it is warm enough for your liking in a hot chocolate, then turn off the stove. Add 4 tablespoons of the hot chocolate powder into the saucepan of milk, and stir until combined and there are no lumps of chocolate.
Next, pour 3 tablespoons of the caramel syrup into your mug and turn the mug around until the mug is coated well with caramel. Carefully pour the hot chocolate from the saucepan, into the mug. Take the can of whipped cream and put as much as you desire. Then, if you would like, drizzle some more caramel onto the whipped cream, and finish off the drink with a pinch of medium coarse sea salt. Enjoy!
My Experience:
Overall, the drink thoroughly exceeded my expectations in a comforting drink, especially for one that I personally made myself. The rich, thick whipped cream slowly melted with the steamy hot chocolate to create the perfectly temperate drink that didn’t burn my tongue or give me a brain freeze either. The caramel in the hot chocolate gives the drink a kick that is unexpected in any ordinary hot chocolate and felt a bit spicy and sweet all at once. The caramel and salt combination drizzled atop the concoction just topped off the drink and left my taste buds with an unexpected twist.
However, there are some issues with the recipe I would like to point out, that I myself would change the next time I make my homemade Salted Caramel hot chocolate. I feel as though I may have gone a bit too heavy with the salt, and I think I may have enjoyed the drink even more had I gone a little easier on the sea salt. Also, I would recommend using a funnel when pouring the hot chocolate from the saucepan to the mug, as I ended up making a bit of a mess, and had to scurry cleaning it up before I had the chance to enjoy my drink. Also, depending on your palette, I would recommend being careful with the amount of caramel and salt added to the hot chocolate, as taste preferences may differ depending on the individual.
However, in the end, the drink most definitely satisfied my hunger pangs and truly helped me make it through the remainder of my hectic day. Now, I know, the next time I am randomly in the mood for a Salted Caramel latte from Starbucks, the fifteen minute drive is no longer necessary. With just a couple items from my kitchen pantry and five minutes hands-on time, I can enjoy the drink without the hassle of traffic or a long wait. Whenever I am in need of an ingenious dessert, drink or snack, I know Pinterest is the place to check out, regardless of the absurdity of whatever item I am desiring at the moment.
By Manal Salim