I’ve mentioned before about Hella’s current obsession with being cosy. Now in her mind –
COSY = PJs (whatever the time of day) + soft blankets + (and this is the ESSENTIAL part) hot chocolate
Add in a good book (maybe her current favourite which, coincidentally, is A Room Full of Chocolate by Jane Elson) – does life get any better than that? Well it certainly doesn’t get any cosier. Oh except maybe if it wasn’t 28° outside …
But of course, there’s hot chocolate and there’s hot chocolate and over the last few weeks, Hella and I have spent rather a lot of time (and chocolate) working on creating The Ultimate Hot Chocolate.
Making hot chocolate at home has become symbolic of gorgeous ‘Mum and daughter time’. On our journey towards The Ultimate, we’ve wholeheartedly rejected any attempt at making hot chocolate from anything in powdered form – it’s a poor excuse for the real thing – and instead have discovered a love for making it with warm, creamy milk, in which we’ve been melting lots of finely chopped real, proper chocolate. It really is like a hug in a mug – but a small mug … this is seriously chocolatey.
We’ve played around with the detail –
- full fat milk or semi-skimmed?
- add some extra double cream or not?
- dark chocolate vs milk chocolate? Or a mixture?
- extra sugar or as it comes?
Of course, your Ultimate Hot Chocolate may be a bit different to ours – but do experiment … it’s the only way to perfect it.
And what’s particularly heart warming about this recipe, is that the inspiration for this post came from one of my lovely readers, Marie-Noëlle – check out her blog at labo-de-gourmandises.blogspot.fr. It’s written in french, but if, like me, you’re not fluent, there’s a handy translate button to make life a touch easier. Her recipe was the inspiration for this hot chocolate, but we’ve adapted it a little to make it just how we like it – rich, creamy, not too bitter, not too sweet and for that extra bit of indulgence, topped with some whipped cream, a few marshmallows and a sprinkle or two of chocolate chips. It’s not an everyday drink – this is a treat – a really special treat. A treat for those moments when feeling cosy is the only answer.
Marie-Noëlle likes to drink her Ultimate Hot Chocolate with one of my Ben’s Cookies. So how will you be drinking yours?
- 250ml (10floz) milk - full fat or semi skimmed
- a 300ml (approx 10floz) tub of double cream
- 50g (2oz) 70% cocoa solids, dark chocolate
- 50g (2oz) milk chocolate
- a handful of small marshmallows
- a handful of chocolate chips
- Finely chop the milk and dark chocolate and set aside.
- Now pour half of the double cream into a clean bowl and gently hand whisk until it is softly whipped. It will whip up very quickly so be careful you don't turn it to butter - a hand whisk is definitely best.
- Pour the milk and the remaining double cream into a small saucepan and heat gently until it is simmering. Turn off the heat.
- Tip the finely chopped chocolate into the pan and whisk until it is fully combined and a little frothy - you can use the whisk that you used for the cream to save on washing up.
- Check that the hot chocolate is your ultimate temperature (heat it for a little longer if it is too cool) and pour into 2 mugs.
- Top with the whipped cream, a sprinkling of marshmallows and some chocolate chips. And there you have it - The Ultimate Hot Chocolate.