Friday, September 23, 2005

I like it hot and thick

Well, titling this 'Hot Chocolate' would be extremely dull, wouldn't it?

Ahh, it's all going a little bit chilly, I've been ice skating today and I need warming up. Where do I turn to but the king of luxurious winter drinks - the Hot Chocolate. For me it cannot be bettered, even by spiced tea, although it does come close.

The best hot chocolate requires some decent dark chocolate and some good, full cream organic milk, and if you're that way inclined, some double cream. I use about 4 squares per generous mug, which roughly equals 25g, broken up and melted over a pan of simmering water. Adjust to your taste though. Once melted, drizzle in some cream to loosen the chocolate, if you're using it. The milk gets warmed up separately in a pan and whisked gradually into the molten chocolate and then everything gets poured back into the milk pan. The entire lot then sits amalgamating on direct heat for a minute more as you continue to whisk away. I then sit a teaspoon half-filled with honey in every cup and pour the sumptuousness over them but this is not obligatory. I think everyone needs to have their own spoons because frequent stirring is necessary throughout drinking, due to the mixture having some, er, separation anxiety. This doesn't happen so much when you use cream as it acts like a stabiliser between the chocolate particles and the milk.

I think if you really had a bad streak in you, you could make this with half single cream, half full-cream milk but you may not feel like eating for the rest of the day if you do this. I have warned you.