Life Should Be Cake

The Ultimate Hot Chocolate (paleo, vegan, dairy-free options)

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Made with just three ingredients, this ridiculously thick, creamy and rich hot chocolate is truly the ultimate hot chocolate. With a paleo, vegan and dairy-free option.

Last week, Joan of Chocolate, Chocolate and More went to sleep, complaining of stomach pain, and didn’t wake up. The autopsy revealed that Joan had had a heart attack. She left behind three children and a food blogging community who absolutely loved her.

I wasn’t close with Joan but I so appreciated her generosity. After she shared a few of my recipes on her Facebook page and I saw what a huge effect it had had on my traffic, I actually asked her if I could pay her to share more of my recipes (embarrassing, but true!) Her response?

“Sweetie, I love sharing from other bloggers, digging into archives and finding those fabulous forgotten about posts and my fans love them too. I don’t take payment for sharing. It’s just part of my giving back to the blogging community.”

Photo by Shanna of Pineapple & Coconut

Anytime she shared a recipe on Facebook that wasn’t on her own blog, she basically gifted that blogger with a ton of traffic. Traffic (and therefore income) that she would have received herself if she would have posted a recipe of hers instead. I always thought that was so awesome.

I wanted to make the most decadent and chocolaty thing I could think of in Joan’s honor. Four years ago, I found this thick and rich homemade hot cocoa recipe on Sing For Your Supper. If you go and read the comments on that post, you’ll see five very enthusiastic comments from me. I was obsessed with the stuff. Then I stopped making it because I have no self-control and consuming almost 2/3 cup of chocolate (as I’d often drink from my husband’s share) in one evening wasn’t the best habit.

The recipe basically consists of evaporated milk and chocolate (though I included a paleo, vegan, and dairy-free option in the recipe notes). That’s it. Joan liked quick and simple and I’m sure she didn’t mind decadent. I thought I’d try adding some whipped cream to make it extra special but after going through a full cup of cream, trying to pipe it on just the right way, I decided Joan wouldn’t have cared. So I stopped. And as I was going through her recipe archive the other day, I saw that Kahlua was her booze of choice. So I made the hot chocolate again and added Kahlua. I never got to meet Joan but I’m pretty sure she would have loved this hot chocolate.

Joan was only 49 years old and seemed to be in good health. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States and the symptoms of heart attacks are different in women than in men. Please take a moment to read and share this article about heart attack symptoms in women.

Bloggers earn money when you visit their site so if you want to help keep Joan’s blog alive and support her kids, please visit her site, pin her recipes, and follow her on Facebook.

Here are some of Joan’s recipes that I think would be great with whole wheat flour and there’s one that’s naturally gluten-free too:

The Ultimate Hot Chocolate (paleo, vegan, dairy-free options)

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