Winter’s Secret Top Hot Chocolate!
Make the most decadent home-made hot chocolate this winter!
There are so many reasons why you would want to make a hot chocolate – you’ve had a long day, you’re just about to read a good book, you need to smile, it’s raining outside and of course, it’s just plain cold.
Winter and hot chocolate go together like summer and cocktails – neither would be the same without the other. But this winter I recommend indulging. I suggest going the full 10 yards. I highly urge you treat yourself like you’ve never treated yourself before, and make the ultimate home-made hot chocolate.
Now I’m not talking about the generic DIYwebsites cheat to hot chocolate which is to take a Lindt ball and throw it in a cup of hot milk. If you’ve ever tried that, you would know as I do, that the milk is never hot enough to work its way through that outer shell. It takes forever! Even when you think you’ve got most of it melted, by pummeling it with your spoon, you discover a half melted ball at the bottom of your cup when the milk is finished, which while delicious isn’t exactly the plan!
Now follow the directions closely. Get yourself a good-quality slab of either milk chocolate (if you like the sweetened version) or dark chocolate (to be more unctuous). Chop about half of the slab up, horizontally, diagonally, vertically and then just a quick master-chef chop in all directions, so you end up with chocolaty, melt-on-your-finger-tips crumbs.
Boil just over a cup of milk and stir the crumbed chocolate and milk together in a cup. Now this is where things get delicious. You could keep this hot chocolate classic, and timeless, which is our first recipe (number 5 on the list) Or you could take it a step further…
Add a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of ground Allspice and a pinch of cardamom. Those heavenly spicy smells will slowly roll off the top of the chocolate, breathe deep and enjoy (that’s recipe 2, number 4 on our list).
Recipe 3 requires a quick dash into the herb garden (or closest organic grocer) for a simple bunch of green mint leaves. After chopping them up, add them to your milk before boiling. Stir and let it brew. After the mint has wallowed in the milk for at least 5 minutes, sieve them out and replace them with the chocolate crumbs. It’s a fresh, minty take on this delicious warm brew.
There is something else that normally comes with winter: colds, flu and sniffles. Of course for every Ying there is a Yang and Mother Nature provides us the natural combatants in the form of citrus delights such as oranges, naartjies and tangerines during the colder months. For the second best home-made hot chocolate, pop a few orange peels into your milk while it comes to the boil, and allow those sharp, citrus flavors to take your hot chocolate to new heights.
But what is the ultimate hot chocolate you ask? What is number one? It is the most simple, the most amazing, and it has been in front of you for most of your life. Boil just over a cup of milk and add a tablespoon of Nutella. Stir. Indulge. Enjoy.