A Guide to Pimping up your Hot Chocolate

With the winter months approaching, bringing in the cold weather and dreaded uni deadlines, I find myself in dire need of a hot chocolate most days (or everyday) to lift my spirits. As a self-described hot chocolate connoisseur, I’ve conjured up some sensational variations to this classic drink in my time. Now, I am what some may call a hot chocolate ‘snob’; I’m usually not one for your standard instant hot chocolate. However, I have found ways to spruce up good ol’ Cadbury powder (Hotel Chocolat would be proud).

Firstly, I share with you the Cadbury/Green & Blacks combination (a classic in my household):
  1. Add 3 teaspoons of Cadbury hot cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of Green & Blacks to your most festive mug, along with a teaspoon of sugar
  2. Add in a small amount of boiling water (just enough to make a paste) and mix until smooth.
  3. Now you want to heat up your milk – using only hot water is a sin in my eyes. Any milk works, however, if you’re vegan or just fancy an alternative, I find coconut milk really takes it to the next level.
  4. Mix together the heated milk and the chocolate paste and there you have it, sweet and simple.

This method is also delicious with 3 teaspoons of Options powder and 1 teaspoon of baking cocoa powder, depending on what you’ve got stocked in your cupboard (cocoa powder makes it really thick and yummy, 10/10 would recommend).

Next up, this is what you want to make if you’re feeling extra fancy and basically want a dessert as a drink – this one is literally chocolate soupy goodness…

French drinking chocolate:

You will need…

  • 360ml whole milk
  • 120ml double cream
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar
  • 230g dark chocolate (at least 70% – chopped finely)
  1. Using a saucepan over a medium heat, mix together the milk, cream and icing sugar until it starts to bubble around the edges.
  2. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the chocolate until it is fully melted.
  3. Add a generous dollop of whipped cream and prepare to slip into a chocolate-induced coma.

Both of these recipes should be topped with an unholy amount of whipped cream and marshmallows for the full effect. You want to layer a handful of marshmallows under the cream and on top, so the ones underneath turn gooey (and to ensure you experience a full sugar rush). For my fellow veggies out there, you can find ‘Freedom Vegetarian Marshmallows’ at Holland & Barrett, and ‘Veggie Mallows’ at ALDI, so you won’t miss out! If you’re a fan of flavoured hot chocolates, try heating the milk with a splash of syrup – my personal favourites are caramel, vanilla or hazelnut. And of course, as we get closer to Christmas, a cheeky dash of Bailey’s never goes amiss.

Happy hot chocolate season!

Header image credit: Doodlewash