This is the fourth of a five-part Valentine’s Day-themed revival of Cooking in the Cave. Come back for new recipes each weekend until February 14.

Nothing says winter quite like hot chocolate. And, since Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Groundhog Day, we have six more weeks to enjoy winter.

Hot chocolate takes on many different flavor profiles during the holiday season, usually by adding a few drops of peppermint oil, cinnamon shavings, or even maple sugar.

For Valentine’s Day, I tried something new: Nutella hot chocolate, since Nutella Day is in February (Feb. 5).

Instead of cocoa powder, I folded Nutella into a simmering saucepan for a quick hot chocolate.

Nutella was invented in 1946, but the first jar of Nutella as we know it today was sold in 1964.

Originally, Nutella was a solid block that was composed from mostly hazelnut paste with a small percentage of chocolate, since taxes on cocoa beans were high at the time of invention.

Today, Nutella is made from hazelnuts, sugar, palm oil, cocoa solids and skimmed milk.

Nutella hot chocolate is wonderful due to the nutty undertones. Plus, you still get the classic Nutella taste without eating it straight from the jar.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups milk

⅓ cup Nutella

Optional: whipped cream, red and pink sprinkles, heart-shaped marshmallows

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring milk to a simmer. Add the Nutella and stir until incorporated.

Ladle into mugs and top with marshmallows or whipped cream. Top with sprinkles and serve.

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