There are no words to define my love for this indulgent aphrodisiac that takes over senses, only to give you an out-of-this-world feel. And if you’re a chocolate-lover yourself, then you can totally relate to what I am talking about, without going overboard, of course!
While chocolate in any form has the capacity to make me experience foodgasms, on dreary winter days, a mug-full of warm dark hot chocolate gets me tending towards it.
Apparently, the drink has been providing comfort to people since as long as 500 BC. And hence, for obvious reasons, has undergone multiple variations. While some add a bit of vanilla, some use cinnamon or salt or even red chilli. This hot beverage is just what you’d want and need on a cold winter morning or before you tuck yourself back in the comfort of the cosy sheets.
My recipe is simple to follow and will give you a rich and super thick hot chocolate, that you could dunk some churros in, or enjoy it by itself.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
1 cup full cream milk
1 cup cream
4 tsp milk powder
6 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 bar of dark chocolate(I used 70% cocoa)
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
4 tsp Nutella(optional)
1 cinnamon stick(optional)
A pinch of salt(to accentuate the flavour of the chocolate)
Sugar(if you’re not adding Nutella)
1. In a saucepan, combine milk, milk powder and cream and warm it up on low heat. Put in the cinnamon stick for it to release some flavour.
2. Add bits of dark chocolate(the more the cocoa content, the darker it’ll get) and cocoa powder in a bowl, and add in one tablespoon of the hot milk in the saucepan to it. Mix with a whisk and ensure that there are no lumps.
3. Now slowly pour the contents of the bowl into the saucepan and keep stirring.
4. Add the vanilla and you’ll gradually see that the mixture will start to thicken. That’s because of the milk powder and cocoa powder. However, if it is not thick enough as per your choice, then in a separate bowl, mix 1/2 tsp cornstarch and 2 tsp water and then add this to the saucepan. This will thicken it immediately.
5. After simmering for around 10 minutes, you can remove the cinnamon stick.
6. Add Nutella to the saucepan now. This is what I used as the sweetener. However, if unavailable, simply replace it with 3-4 tsp of regular white sugar.
7. Add a tiny pinch of salt to the mixture and you’re rich, creamy and delicious hot chocolate is ready to serve. Top it up with some marshmallows or with s’mores, or enjoy it as it is.
Pro-Tip: I chose to get a hint of cinnamon in the hot chocolate but you can easily replace it with star anise and it’ll taste equally good. If you have an adventurous palate, then I’d recommend adding a bit of ginger and/or red chilli powder(a very tiny pinch). You can spike it up, too, with either Baileys or rum.