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Save That Leftover Hot Chocolate For Easy-To-Make Ice Cream

Hot chocolate with whipped cream
Hot chocolate with whipped cream - Eva-katalin/Getty Images

With winter season in full swing, there's never been a better time to indulge in some rich and delicious hot chocolate. Making the world's best hot chocolate for a crowd is a delicious way to treat yourself and any number of guests. However, you might wind up with leftovers, or maybe you're more of a hot cocoa person and find it hard to finish a decadent batch of drinking chocolate (yes, there's a difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate). Don't throw your beverage away and waste all that chocolate goodness -- make ice cream with it instead.

The deep richness of hot chocolate gives it the perfect taste and texture to be repurposed as ice cream. In addition to reducing waste, it feels a little more winter-forward than regular chocolate ice cream, especially if you enjoy it with marshmallows, candy canes, or your other favorite hot chocolate toppings. So long as you have an ice cream maker, it's quite easy to churn your beverage into soft-serve. Chocolate devotees must try their hands at making this delicious ice cream at home.

Read more: 8 Chocolate Bars That Are Totally Different Outside The US

How To Use Leftover Hot Chocolate For Easy-To-Make Ice Cream

Chocolate soft serve ice cream
Chocolate soft serve ice cream - Grenar/Shutterstock

The richer the hot chocolate you make, the greater your chances of having leftovers, and the better it works when churned into ice cream. No matter how delicious it is, this thick and decadent drink is also very filling, so it's a good bit of luck that is basically doubles as an ice cream base. A rich hot chocolate contains dairy, sugar, and fat, which are the basic components of a custard ice cream base. In fact, you only have to pour your beverage into the machine and churn it long enough to produce a creamy soft-serve.

First, pop your hot chocolate into into the fridge to chill it. Next, churn it in an ice cream maker until it's thick and solid enough for you, and voila -- your tasty hot chocolate ice cream is ready. However, there are a few things you must keep in mind. Don't start with warm or room-temperature hot chocolate, and it should be of the rich and decadent variety so it can be used with no additions. Thin hot cocoa simple won't do here. If your hot chocolate is more liquidy, you could mix it with heavy cream to add to its thickness, and condensed milk may also work. Still, it's easier to use the richest hot chocolate you have on hand, as more fat and good quality melted chocolate likely produces better results than a thin, cocoa powder-based drink.

Other Unique Ways To Use Leftover Hot Chocolate

Chocolate french toast with berries
Chocolate french toast with berries - vfchen/Shutterstock

If you don't fancy making ice cream or don't have an ice cream maker at home, you can still easily repurpose leftover hot chocolate. You could add leftover hot chocolate to pancake batter instead of pouring it out, or use it to make chocolate-centric dishes. Some ideas include making a hot cocoa dip by mixing cream cheese and/or whipped cream with the hot chocolate. This dip is ideal for cookies, fresh fruit, pretzels, and more for a uniquely sweet appetizer or game day snack.

Leftover hot chocolate also makes for a decadent French toast soak. Dip bread into the warmed drink and then cook for a seriously rich brunch dish. You could also mix it with your choice of solid chocolate and temper the mixture before drizzling over popcorn for a treat that is both sweet and salty. Or mix it into cookie batter along with mini marshmallows for a tasty winter-inspired treat. As you can see, leftover hot chocolate has plenty of uses. If you just put your chef's hat on, you will surely think of other solutions, too.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.