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All about the Festive Favourite: Hot Chocolate

Fancy making your own version of the classic hot chocolate recipe this winter? Instead of buying instant hot chocolate powder and using hot water, why not make a rich, delicious batch you can share with all your family and friends?

Homemade Hot Chocolate recipes:
Using a creamy base can mean you can add all the syrups and spices you want to make your recipe your own.

An example of a base: Boil together milk and cream to create a creamy mixture in your saucepan and add melted chocolate and some cocoa powder to enhance the taste.

Things you can add to a basic hot chocolate recipe:

For a touch of bitterness and for a richer flavour:
Melted dark chocolate– Even for those who prefer milk chocolate, mixing in some melted dark chocolate won’t affect the overall flavour, but instead is sure to enhance the richness

Add a shot of espresso– Coffee may seem an odd choice but works to activate the intensity of the cocoa

For a seasonal variation:
Add spices– Immerse a cinnamon stick and some nutmeg in your base to simmer before adding chocolate. The addition of spice will add a depth to the taste and allows an adaptation of the recipe to suit your specific taste and create a less sweet alternative.

Add orange zest– A good addition for a white chocolate brew to add a touch of bitterness and another level of flavour.

Use of white chocolate– Fancy a white hot chocolate for a change? Simply swap out your milk or dark chocolate and replace it with some quality white chocolate.

Creative Christmas ideas to make your Hot Chocolate feel festive:
Gingerbread variations for a festive treat– Try adding a burst of ginger and nutmeg spice to your base, or blending gingerbread biscuits and crumbling them on top of your brew. Whip up some fresh cream and add some crumbled lotus biscuits or gingerbread and finish with a decorative swirling of caramel syrup for further sweetness.

Create chocolate whipped cream– Add melted chocolate to your cream and pipe it across the surface of your brew.

Create gingerbread whipped cream– Simply add crushed gingerbread to your freshly whipped cream and sprinkle with more crushed biscuits.

Common hot chocolate pairings:
Marshmallows– Perhaps the most obvious choice: you can choose to buy some or you can go one step further and make your own using egg whites, sugar, vanilla essence or pod, gelatin and icing sugar for dusting. To make the most of your marshmallows, let them sit in your brew for a little while first so they can melt into your drink.

Shortbread– A buttery biscuit to add to the intense creaminess of your hot chocolate. 

Salted nuts– Having a salty snack will even out the sweetness of your drink and introduce more flavour combinations. Often peanuts or almonds can be paired nicely with a hot chocolate and offer a different texture to crunch on.

If you have a sudden craving for a hot chocolate, a flavourful homemade brew will surely satisfy your cravings. As the festive season approaches, why not treat yourself and try something new, like making a hot chocolate yourself. The great thing about homemade hot chocolate is that it can be made specifically to your liking, choosing to create a thick texture or something smooth with a thinner consistency. If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can increase the amount of chocolate you add, for example.

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