With the warmth of spring still a ways off, here’s an adult hot chocolate recipe that will warm you to your toes. It doubles as dessert and an after dinner drink all in one. (See notes below for a non-alcoholic version).
The St Regis Deer Valley, Utah
Kent had to attend a business conference in Deer Valley, Utah (such tough duty), and this time the wives got to tag along. It was held at the beautiful St Regis Deer Valley resort. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to go. For this California beach girl, visiting snow country is fun.
Historic Old Mining Town, Park City, Utah
Situated above the charming, historic mining town of Park City, Utah, sits the St. Regis Deer Valley. The location is breathtaking. In winter it’s a snowy wonderland for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts.
The epitome of mountain elegance, staying at the St Regis was a real treat. The sheer beauty of the area with sapphire blue skies and sparkling white snow plus gorgeous accommodations really do spoil you.
Photo courtesy of the St Regis Deer Valley, UT
Leisurely Lunch & Kitchen Tour
Enjoying lunch in the hotel bar & restaurant (with a menu created by famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten), I started talking with the restaurant team. Whenever we travel, I find for opportunities to talk with other chefs and restaurant staff, always looking to learn something new. I usually end up in the kitchen and this time was no different.
Photo courtesy St Regis Deer Valley, UT
After a behind the scenes tour of the amazing hotel kitchen, an array of the resort’s specialty libations arrived at our table. Our favorites were the ginger margarita and the dessert style hot chocolate drink, the St Regis Winter Dream.
To hot chocolate, the St. Regis adds almond flavored Amaretto and Baileys liqueurs, then tops with whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg and chocolate shavings. Like it’s name, it really is a winter dream.
Dutch Cocoa for Hot Chocolate
Start with making hot chocolate. I use milk and Penzeys smooth, rich, dark Dutch cocoa. Dutch cocoa is processed to make it blend more easily with liquids. It’s an excellent choice for making hot chocolate and things like ice cream bases, and sauces.
Whip it Good
The recipe calls for topping the drink with whipped cream. I use a neat tool called an Isi Thermo Whipper. Yes, it’s a bit of an indulgence when it comes to tools, but you can do more with it than just whip cream. You can even ship super cold whole coconut milk in place of dairy cream.
You can also whip cream by hand, with a hand mixer or with an immersion blender with the whisk attachment. Or take the easy way and get a can of real whipped cream. Yes, the one that you can’t help but squirt into your mouth first (that was for my brother).
Winter Dream Additions or Skip the Spirits
While the St. Regis adds spirits to their version of this hot chocolate, these additions can be skipped for a healthier option (Daniel Plan followers) or for anyone who does not consume alcohol. Simply make hot chocolate with whole milk, cocoa, cinnamon, and a little vanilla along with a little sweetener for no-alcohol version.
For a no-sugar sweetener options try liquid flavored stevia drops from Sweet Leaf in vanilla cream, chocolate or a spice flavor.
For a Vegan or Non-Dairy Version
For a vegan or non-dairy hot chocolate, use almond milk. Make homemade almond milk for the best flavor, and use the rest for a morning smoothie.
Other helpful links
The Isi Thermo Whipper, on Amazon or cooking supply stores
Winter Dream Hot Chocolate: Park City, Utah
- Basic Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups of whole milk half liter
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
- 2-3 teaspoons of agave syrup or preferred sweetener sugar, rice bran syrup, coconut crystals or liquid stevia, to taste
- A pinch of ground cinnamon
- Grated nutmeg to garnish optional
- St Regis Winter Dream Additions
- 3 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
- 3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
- 1/2 cup cold the smallest you can buy is a half-pint, you won’t need it all, heavy cream to whip for the topping
- 1) In a small to medium saucepan, bring milk to just under a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Whisk in the cocoa powder, sweetener and cinnamon until smooth.
- 2) Add half of each liqueur into two tall mugs. Carefully pour in the hot chocolate. Top with a little whipped cream, or a lot! Garnish with grated nutmeg.