Yes! We hit a high of about 45 degrees today. Finally, it appears spring is nearly in sight. I can actually see... well, mud... now that some of the snow's melted in the driveway. I'll take it. This feels like the longest winter EVER. For around here, I think I can say that this was the type of winter that we used to have. (We've been spoiled with years of mild winters.) Thank goodness that it's starting to dwindle. I don't know if you'd heard about how much propane shot up this winter. But we can't afford another $800 fill like we'd had just a couple of months ago. "J" checked the propane tank and we are already down to 40%. The oil company likes us to let them know when we are at about 30% so that they can fit us into their routes. Come on warmer weather!
But last week was still frigid. I have been trying to cut back on artificial sweeteners but found myself craving that low-sugar Swiss Miss cocoa all the same. (I imagine I was also influenced by the white chocolate coffee drink "A" had that day and I'd caught wind of.) I then remembered I still had a chunk of cocoa butter in the crisper drawer and thought I'd go ahead and experiment. Since it was an experiment, I can't tell you if you need xanthan. Though I can tell you that I thought to add it with the idea that it would lend it a little creaminess... and it did, I think, as almond milk's pretty watery. I can tell you that a whisk is awesome to help incorporate the cocoa butter prior to pouring into your mug and you want to whisk it fast and furious. I thought it would leave an oil slick on the surface. But it was made up of such teeny-tiny little droplets, I scarcely noticed it. I also had topped mine with a blob of whipped coconut cream (the thick layer found in some cans of coconut milk) that I'd sweetened with a couple drops of stevia. Then I didn't notice it. By turning my "whipped topping" under with a spoon as I sipped, I kept the cocoa butter mixed throughout and added to the creaminess. Yum.
White Hot Chocolate
(made 2 average coffee mug sized servings)
1/2 oz. cocoa butter shavings (about 1/8c)
2c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
12 drops liquid vanilla stevia
2 tsp xylitol
dash (1/16th tsp?) xanthan
1/2 tsp homemade vanilla extract
Heat cocoa butter, almond milk, liquid stevia and xylitol in a saucepan over medium heat until xylitol's dissolved, cocoa butter's melted, and milk begins to look steamy (or dip your finger in to see if it's hot - carefully). Remove from heat and whisk in xanthan, then vanilla.