And so winter has finally arrived. This week has been cold, mostly with a minus temperature, and we have had snow, frost or rain each day. After the first fall of snow (I was in raptures about it here…) we came home for the sweetest cold weather warmer, a cup of hot chocolate.
Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t get excited about the highly sweetened, powdery chocolate drinks that grace the shelves of every supermarket in town. They just don’t hit the spot. I ran a campaign last year for a lovely chocolate making company and have so many bars left over that I’ve been looking for ways to use it and this recipe is perfect, quick, simple and oh so tasty. It is thick, creamy and indulgent and definitely worth a try so for what it’s worth here is my hot chocolate recipe, it is infinitely adaptable to taste, add more or less chocolate or an extra flavour or two, this is the base for your chocolatey drink.
6g (or a couple of chunks) dark chocolate
sugar to taste (I use 2 teaspoons)
enough milk to fill your cup
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a few strips of orange zest
– it is so easy to prepare, if you are adding any of the optional extras pop them in the milk and gently heat to simmering, at which point take off the heat and leave for 10-15 minutes to steep
– chop finely or grate the chocolate, add to the milk along with the sugar and heat gently
– keep the liquid moving so as not to scorch the chocolate, I use a balloon whisk, until all the chocolate has melted and you have a beautifully creamy drink
– IF you have a milk frother I can thoroughly recommend using it before serving, it is by no means essential but it is oh so lovely to have that froth of cafe’s and coffee shops.
You could try using a flavoured chocolate, for example Green & Blacks Maya Gold, Burnt Toffee or Butterscotch, taste before adding any extra sugar
Or why not add a little peppermint essence or maple syrup? Though maybe not together…
You could even serve it with a shot of espresso for a homemade caffè mocha.
May you never look at a jar of sugary powdered chocolate again, for an extra few minutes ‘work’ (oh thats not the right word at ALL) you can be sipping the chocolate of divinity. Or something close anyway.
Do you have a favourite? Tell me you chocolatey secrets, I’d love to hear your suggestions too…