Glasses of hot chocolate with whipped cream, roasted marshmallows and Christmas sprinkles.
Photography, Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

I love me some hot chocolate, especially on a cold winter’s night, while lounging on the couch catching up on my shows. I used to be guilty of buying the packaged stuff, which honestly doesn’t even taste that good. I was just too damn lazy to make it from scratch, until I came up with a solution: Make a large batch of ganache, scoop it, freeze it and store it in zip-top baggies. Now when I want a cup of the good stuff, all I have to do is warm it in some milk (and cream!) 

When I’m feeling bougie (which is pretty much always), I like to jazz it up with fun toppings. My favorite version is a S’mores Hot Chocolate. I add a dollop of fluff, whipped cream and some toasted marshmallows – and, don’t forget the graham crackers, for dipping!

Decadent Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Servings: 11


FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE BALLS (Makes approximately 22)

  • 10 ounces 66%-72% chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ⅔ cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt


  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Chocolate Ganache Balls
  • ¼ cup bourbon cream, optional
  • Whipped cream
  • Additional toppings such as marshmallows, chocolate curls, sprinkles, etc., optional


  • MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE BALLS. Place the chocolate in a medium-sized, heat-resistant bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk the cream, sugar, cocoa powder and salt until well combined.
  • Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  • Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate, gently wiggle the bowl so that all the chocolate is submerged, and then let it sit for 2 minutes before whisking until a homogeneous, silky ganache forms.
  • Refrigerate the ganache until set, at least 2 hours.
  • Using a medium-sized (1-ounce) cookie scoop, scoop the ganache into mounds.
  • Place the scooped mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid.
  • Place the frozen mounds into a zip-top bag and store in the freezer until ready to use for up to 3 months.
  • MAKE THE HOT CHOCOLATE. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and cream over medium heat until it begins to steam.
  • Add the Chocolate Ganache Balls and stir to melt.
  • Continue to heat until desired temperature. Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream and your favorite toppings.
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino