With autumn’s long, cosy nights creeping up on us, our thoughts are already turning to delicious comfort foods.
We’re thinking piping hot beef stews, crispy jacket potatoes stuffed with cheese and beans, toasted marshmallows and maybe a bowl (or two) of homemade apple and blackberry crumble to boot.
Of course, that’s not all – a cosy, autumnal night just isn’t complete without a steaming mug of hot chocolate, topped with a mountain of whipped cream and marshmallows. Rich, decadent and wonderfully comforting, it’s all we need when we snuggle up on the sofa, ready for the return of X Factor.
As lovers of chocolate (as we’re sure you are too, else why are you here?!) we have tried many, many recipes. But none ever seem to quite live up to standard, do they?
You see, the problem is the yucky cocoa powders sold in supermarkets which have all the flavour of a cucumber. Whenever we make them up, we’re left with clumps of cocoa powder floating at the top, while the drink itself doesn’t even remotely taste like chocolate.
So, to overcome our constant, bitter disappointment, we’ve taken to whipping up our own hot chocolate recipes – and we guarantee they will leave your belly feeling very happy indeed!
Here are three top hot chocolate recipes which will really get your mouth watering. Whether you like the rich, velvety darkness of liquid chocolate or the comfort of cocoa, we have it for you.
We’ve even got you a Milk Chocolate Float recipe, just incase you’re not ready to embrace the autumnal nights anytime soon.
Enjoy – and be sure to save us a mug!
How to Make the Perfect Hot Chocolate
Homemade Liquid Chocolate
This is the ultimate treat for chocoholics everywhere. We love it with coconut cream, but be creative and throw in your own ingredients – just let us know your favourites!
850ml full-fat milk
120ml double cream (or, for a tropical twist, go for coconut cream)
220g good quality dark chocolate (we love Lindt sea salt)
3tsps maple syrup or sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Shot of Baileys or large dollop of Nutella (optional)
1) Chop or grate the chocolate into very fine pieces, then set aside. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan, then bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat, being sure to stir every now and again to avoid it burning. No one likes burned milk!
2) Add the chopped chocolate, sweetener, vanilla and salt (and Baileys / Nutella if using) and mix until the chocolate has melted and gooey. Cook for a further four minutes, whisking all the time.
3) Pour into your favourite mugs, then top with whipped cream and marshmallows. Serve up with freshly-baked cookies and enjoy!
Jamie Oliver’s Epic Hot Chocolate
This brilliant recipe is easy to make up in advance, meaning it’s ready and waiting for you whenever you need a sweet treat! Although it is made with cocoa, this is the best powdered hot chocolate you will ever try – guaranteed.
1 pint milk
For the epic hot chocolate mix:
2 tbsp Horlicks
2 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp good quality cocoa (we recommend Green and
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely grated
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
1) Pour the milk into a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat.
2) Meanwhile, add the chocolate mix ingredients to a large storage jar and shake to combine – it really is that simple!
3) To serve 4, add about five heaped tbsps. of the chocolate mix to the boiled milk, whisk and let it bubble away for a few minutes before stirring.
4) For a sweeter taste, stir in some sugar – it can be quite bitter!
Milk Chocolate Float
This is a great recipe for September nights, where the weather is still a little warmer, but you’re craving home comforts. Share with your kids and we guarantee that they will think you are the greatest parent, hands-down!
100ml full-fat milk
4 heaped tbsp. good quality cocoa powder (we recommend Cadbury’s Bournville or Green and Blacks)
500ml vanilla ice cream
600ml of additional full-fat milk
Packet mini marshmallows
Freshly grated chocolate
1) To make the chocolate syrup, heat the milk and cocoa in a small saucepan, stirring until dissolved and combined. Pour into a jug, then cover and leave to chill for a few hours.
2) When the syrup is chilled, pour into four glasses, then divide the remaining 600ml of milk between each one. Throw in a couple of scoops of ice cream, then throw over marshmallows and chocolate. Serve with a spoon.
By Neil Sheth
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