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Which hot cocoa is best for chilly weather?

January 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
With this chilly weather, there's nothing like a cup of hot cocoa to warm you up.Eyewitness News teamed up with the experts at Consumer Reports to test eight different brands of hot chocolate to find which one was the tastiest.

Jillian Longo practices her skating moves at an ice rink. It's hard work, but afterward she rewards herself with steaming hot cups of cocoa.

Of course, you don't have to be a kid or even a dedicated ice skater to love hot cocoa.

Consumer Reports tested cocoas from names like Ghirardelli and Godiva to classics like Hershey's and Swiss Miss and even an organic one from Dagoba.

To test, Consumer Reports served up cocoa to its trained panelists.

"We looked at nutrition and calories. But really, if you're having it as a special treat, you'll want it to be full-bodied and have a high-quality chocolate flavor, and this may mean more calories," said Consumer Reports tester Amy Keating.

Stephen's Gourmet Dark Chocolate Cocoa was the lowest-rated -- not exactly what you'd call a treat.

"It was thin and grayish and it had an artificial chocolate flavor," said Keating.

But testers did find several that will curb a cocoa craving.

The best by far was Godiva Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa.

"It was full and flavorful, with an intense cocoa and chocolate flavor," said Keating. "It had roasted notes and even a slight vanilla note."

Also very good and a bit less expensive was Hershey's Favorite Hot Cocoa Recipe, which has mild chocolate and slight vanilla and malt flavors. Or Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation Hot Cocoa, for those who prefer a darker chocolate flavor.

Also worth a try: Ghiradelli cocoa and Dagoba organic hot cocoa. Both rated very high in the Consumer Reports taste tests.