Monday, 28 December 2015

How to Make the Best Hot Chocolate

Hasslacher’s ‘Solid Bar’ Colombian drinking chocolate
Hot chocolate is good for the soul. You read that right - I honestly believe a cup of steaming, delicious cocoa can put right all the wrongs in the world... well, if only for a short time. I should probably start with how I came to love it. One of my favourite books in the world is Chocolat by Joanne Harris*; I can't read it without a slab of really good quality dark chocolate to accompany it. You can almost taste the words through the page, and the hot chocolate in the story just sounds incredible. Earthy, slightly spicy, sweet, dark. Delicious. I read it, almost tasted it... and wanted it immediately.

So ever since, I have been on a permanent quest to find the best hot chocolate. I've tried it everywhere - London (of course), Amsterdam cafés, Belgian chocolateries and even Angelina's in Paris - all glorious, but I've never known how to do it properly at home.

solid cacao drinking chocolate
Now there's nothing wrong with the ol' Cadbury's, but I went and did a Marks & Spencers food run before Christmas (on another note, I honestly cannot believe Christmas is over! Sob sob) and picked up Hasslacher’s ‘Solid Bar’ Colombian drinking chocolate. I loved that it was completely organic, 100% natural cacao and completely authentic (i.e. made somewhere the cocoa is actually grown). So this is the real deal. It was £5, which yes is not as cheap as the powdered stuff, but it makes all the difference. Here's how.

perfect homemade hot chocolate
1. Melt two squares per cup in a saucepan on a low heat (I always drink an espresso mug size, as anything bigger defeats me, so I'd say add another square for mugs or even two for a huge mug)
2. Add milk and heat gently until the chocolate begins to melt into the milk. Stir and test at regular intervals to see when it's hot enough (don't let it boil, boiled milk is yucky)
melted chocolate
3. When it's hot enough, turn down the heat and sweeten, otherwise it'll be very bitter! I went down the natural yet calorific route and added maple syrup, which gave it a silky butteriness.
hot chocolate for two
4. Pour into a cup and enjoy! If you want to try this for yourself, go to M&S Food Hall and source it out around the other special edition stuff (I'm not sure if it's just for Christmas). Alternatively, you can get it on Amazon.
how to make the best hot chocolate at home
This is the perfect winter warm up for January and going back to work (more sobbing). Do you have any tips for the perfect hot chocolate at home? Tweet me @prettyposhomg - I'd love to hear 'em.


* If you haven't read it, please for the love of God go and read it, and follow up with The Lollipop Shoes, Peaches for Monsieur le Curé. Oh and Five Quarters of the Orange.

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