Hot chocolate is one of my absolute favorite things about winter. Whether it’s shopping the outlets on Black Friday, stopping into Starbucks, or taking in a hockey game, hot chocolate is always my drink of choice. Naturally, I don’t tend to drink it during the warmer summer months, but throw a hot chocolate mixture into a blender with some ice and, voila! Like its frappuccino cousin, frozen hot chocolate is a slushy blend that tastes exactly like hot chocolate, but… it’s ice-cold. Genius!
I have been hearing raves from other food bloggers about the best frozen hot chocolate they’ve ever had, hailing from a little place in New York City called Serendipity. Any girl who was a teenager during the late 80’s or 90’s likely watched the movie Say Anything over and over, and over, again. Rewinding the scene where John Cusack holds a boombox above his head blaring Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” was absolutely par for the course. If you can’t ever hear that song without being taken back to your high school years, chances are that years later you soaked up another John Cusack film called Serendipity. A few scenes in that movie take place at the actual sweet shop in NYC, which is how I knew about the spot. I have yet to make my way there while in New York, but hearing all of the chatter about it led me to trying out a replica recipe for their signature frozen hot chocolate. I made a couple of little tweaks and think it’s an absolutely wonderful summertime version of my favorite winter drink!
The beauty of this recipe is its ability to be completely customized based on your preferences. You can use whatever type of chocolate you like; I used a blend of milk, semisweet and dark, but you could use all of one type, or even white chocolate, if you prefer. I threw in Ovaltine because (1) I had some in the pantry already, thanks to the Chocolate Buttercream-Frosted Brownies; and (2) I just adore that slight malt flavor that it gives to chocolate. You can use your favorite hot cocoa mix in place of the Ovaltine, if you’d like. The milk is totally forgiving, so throw in whatever you keep on your refrigerator door – skim, 1%, 2%, whole, even chocolate milk if you want an extra kick of chocolate flavor!
I love everything about this drink-slash-dessert. You can slurp it with a straw or enjoy it with a spoon. It’s part slushy, part granita. It also reminds me a little bit of a Frosty from Wendy’s, although with a little more ice. The chocolate flavor imitates a hot chocolate perfectly; it’s a phenomenal summer drink, especially for those of us who have already begun the countdown to cooler fall days. Who’s with me?!
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl set over a saucepan with about 1 inch of barely simmering water (keep the heat on low). Stir the chocolate occasionally, until it is completely melted and smooth. Add the sugar and Ovaltine and whisk to combine completely. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in ½ cup of the milk until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.
In a blender, place the remaining 1 cup of milk, the chocolate mixture and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and slushy. Pour into servings glasses and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.