In large saucepan over medium heat, combine chocolate, water, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Heat until boiling, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat. Slowly add milk; bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to avoid scorching.
Top with whipped cream, if desired.
Tip: For basic hot cocoa, omit cinnamon and cayenne. Substitute milk chocolate chips for bittersweet chocolate.
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