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I am not a fan of having very-specific kitchen gadgets cluttering up my kitchen when I only use them occasionally. So I will be sharing some of my favorite time-saving kitchen gadgets that I use OFTEN, along with a tip or recipe that uses each gadget.
The gadget that I’m going to share with you is one that has gotten a lot of use in our house lately. The winter weather always brings about a significant increase in hot cocoa consumption in our family. One awesome gadget single-handedly keeps up with the huge task of mixing the crazy amount of hot cocoa that we drink (in record time, might I add!).
This little beauty. The Pampered Chef Mini Whipper. If you think I’m crazy for loving a little whisk enough to center a whole blog post around it, you might be right. BUT, if you read the Amazon review there are lots of other people who are just as crazy about this whisk as I am.
I got one of these whisks at my bridal shower over ten years ago and I have loved it so much that I bought a bunch of extras. I now have four of these bad boys hanging out in one of my kitchen drawers (which is saying A LOT because I really dislike kitchen gadget clutter!) I use them ALL of the time, whenever I’m mixing smaller amounts of something – – salad dressings, scrambled eggs, my beloved hot cocoa. Not only does it help me mix my hot cocoa so well that there is little to no “sludge” at the bottom of the mug, it also helps me whip up my homemade cocoa mix in a flash.
Have you ever considered making your own ready-to-use cocoa mix? When comparing taste between the little envelopes and homemade cocoa mix, there really is no contest. As a bonus, with only four ingredients, you avoid the flavor enhancers that the little envelopes have to offer. (Remember, I’m not a food industry conspiracy theorist…I just don’t like headaches.)
So let’s get to it. Here’s the recipe (scroll to the bottom of this post for a printable version):
First, I take the four ingredients pictured above and put them in a bowl.
Then I start mixing it with my lovely mini whipper. I mix until I can’t tell where the powdered sugar ends and the cocoa begins. With this tool, I love how fast the clumps of powdered sugar disappear.
In no time at all, I have a beautiful bowl of fluffy cocoa mix ready to store in an airtight container.
When ready to serve, I just heat up some milk in a microwave-safe mug. Then I add about three to four level tablespoons of mix for every 8 ounces of milk. (This is really purely up to personal preference…I like my cocoa super chocolatey, so use my measurements with caution). This is the moment when I totally love my little whipper. It takes care of all of the mix quickly, leaving little to no sludge at the bottom of the mug (and no splatters on my countertop!)
Note #1: I actually started using this recipe as a just-add-water cocoa mix. You can totally do the same by adding 2 1/2 cups of dry milk with the ingredients and then adding the cocoa mix to hot water instead of milk.
Note #2: I know…cocoa is expensive. The first time I made this and wiped out one of those expensive little jars of cocoa from my pantry, I knew i needed to shop around for a better option. I found a commercial grocer in town that carries large bags of cocoa. One bag costs over $30, but it is WAY cheaper per ounce than the little jars at the store and it has lasted for many, MANY batches of cocoa mix.