If you don’t like hot chocolate, it is probably because you’ve not tried a proper one. I grew up on a very nice but very milky hot chocolate, which was perfect at the time, as we were kids. However, our palettes are constantly changing and if you are like me you hanker for something more full-bodied, indulgent and decadent, forget instant hot chocolate! Stay here with me and try this for size.
There are a few steps to insure you’ll have a heaven in a mug:
- Go dark! Choose some good quality DARK chocolate. Not only will it give you a more intense flavour, but it has the added benefit of magnesium and iron. You can skip the cocoa powder, but I like to add a bit of it too, also dark and good quality.
- Go rich! While whole milk is the standard prescription for hot chocolate, the idea of finishing the chocolate off with 200ml single cream brings the hot chocolate to another level, gives you luxurious silkiness in the mouth.
- Go crazy! Customise your drinks with the flavours you love.
Variety of Flavourings: Vanilla, Almond, Chilli, Cinnamon, Mint, Marshmallows, Hazelnuts, Shredded coconut. For the grown-ups version alcoholic additions: Brandy, Whisky, Irish Cream Liqueur, Hazelnut Liqueur or any Coffee flavoured Liqueur.
And what ever you do, always add a pinch of salt! While it is hard to pick up, it does make a big difference in taste, making it more chocolatey and intense.
DECADENT HOT CHOCOLATE
Ingredients (for 2 mugs):
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon instant coffee
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cup milk (I use full-fat)
3/4 cup single cream or full-fat canned coconut milk
50-80 g dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons any preferred alcohol (optional)
In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, instant coffee and salt. Heat the milk and cream in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer, stirring every few minutes. Sprinkle the dry chocolate mixture over the hot milk, turning the heat down to low. Whisk continuously until smooth (do not let it boil), then whisk in the chopped chocolate, vanilla extract and alcohol. Serve and enjoy!