There is nothing like coming home and having a great big mug of steaming hot chocolate after being out for walk on an autumn or winter’s day however, all too often, people settle for the pre-made stuff; the pale, sugary concoction that comes from a jar or a tin and you just add hot water or milk. If you like that then that’s fine but I promise you, once you have tasted this version, you won’t go back to the old way. It does take a little bit longer but it really is worth it.
So, as promised in my post 10 Things I Love About Autumn here is my recipe for the best hot chocolate – EVER EVER
- Enough milk (full fat or semi-skimmed is fine) to make the amount of chocolate you want i.e. if you want two mugs, measure the milk out in the mugs you intend to use
- Good quality chocolate, finely chopped or grated – approx. 25gs per person but you can add more if you want it to be more chocolaty. You can use white, milk or dark chocolate depending on how sweet you like it. My favourites are 54% milk or 70% dark.
- A vanilla pod – cut length-ways
- Half a cinnamon stick
- A hot red chilli pepper – cut in half and de-seeded. If you don’t have one you can use a pinch of chilli flakes at a push
- Cognac (optional)
- Marshmallows (optional)
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate to grate over the top of the cream.
Put the milk, vanilla pod, cinnamon and chilli into a sauce pan and bring it to a gentle simmer over a low heat. Do not allow it to boil. Add the chocolate and whisk until it is completely melted then leave the mixture to infuse for about 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod, the cinnamon and the chilli then return to the heat and bring it back to a gentle simmer. Pour into the mugs, add a dash of cognac if you want, a few marshmallows, top with whipped cream and then grate more chocolate over the cream. C’est bon!
Until the next time,