1cupsemisweet chocolatechopped or chips (40z/113g)
1/2teaspoonvanilla extract (2.5ml)
First, roughly chop the chocolate into small pieces or use chocolate chips.
Combine milk, and sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk together and warm while whisking frequently.
Add the cocoa powder in and whisk together over heat until hot but not boiling.
Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until all the pieces have melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Serve with whipped cream.
Don't let the hot chocolate boil or the chocolate will split and you'll have a grainy texture.
The thickness of the hot chocolate comes from the chocolate itself so if you'd like a thicker texture you can either add more chocolate or you can add a cornstarch slurry made of 2 tsp cornstarch and 4-5 tsp water. Add it to the saucepan and stir until thickened.
You can easily customize your hot chocolate with different flavors by swapping the vanilla extract for orange, peppermint, or even rum extracts. If you'd like to add a splash of liqueur why not try baileys, amaretto, or a nut liqueur such as Frangelico.
Although I recommend using either semi-sweet or dark chocolate you can use milk chocolate if you prefer (you may need to adjust the amount of sugar added because milk chocolate is much sweeter).
Topping ideas - other than whipped cream and chocolate shavings you could top your hot chocolate with marshmallow or crushed candy canes during the holidays.
Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days and can be reheated (do not boil). I don't recommend freezing.