The perfect hot chocolate for winter
When things get drizzly and cold outside, it’s lovely to curl up in front of the fire with a nice warm drink. Tea and coffee are great but nothing beats a hot chocolate on a cold winter’s evening. So how can you get your hot chocolate just right? Here are a few ideas to get you inspired.
It’s hard to imagine improving on chocolate, but it is possible! These days you can find hot chocolate in a wide variety of flavours. If you’re a traditionalist, you might like ‘Belgian chocolate’ or ‘white chocolate’. For something a bit different, you might like ‘orange’, ‘hazelnut’, or ‘caramel’.
You could even try an unusual flavour like ‘chilli’. A lot of brands sell ‘single serving’ sachets. This makes it easy to experiment until you find your favourite. If you’re feeling indulgent, how about melting your favourite chocolate bar into the drink?
Water or milk?
Hot chocolate is often made with warm milk and chocolate powder. These days, you can also buy hot chocolate mixes which can be made using hot water. It’s really a case of personal taste and deciding which version you prefer.
Using milk tends to create a thicker, creamier hot chocolate. Water-based hot chocolate feels a little lighter. If you do decide to go for the latter option, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most from your water. One way of doing this is by using a water filter. A good filter will remove impurities from the water and many people find that this improves the taste.
Toppings and extras
When it comes to making the perfect hot chocolate, it’s all about the toppings. For a sophisticated cup, layer some frothy milk on top of the chocolate. You could even create a pattern on top with some chocolate powder and a stencil.
Alternatively, go ‘all out’ with a thick peak of whipped cream. Add chocolate sprinkles or hundreds and thousands to add some decorative flair. If you prefer to keep things simple, add a few marshmallows straight into the chocolate. To really take your hot chocolate to the next level, consider adding a chocolate stirrer.
Last but not least, serve your hot chocolate in the perfect mug. Many of us have a favourite coffee mug and the same should go for hot chocolate. A tall, dainty cup feels very decadent. Meanwhile, a chunky, round mug feels cosy. If you’re out and about, you might want to consider a ‘to go’ cup or a thermal travel mug. This will allow you to enjoy your hot chocolate whilst taking a walk, or even on your daily commute.
If you’re making your drink for a group of friends, why not serve it from a large bowl? Use a ladle to top up each person’s cup, and then let them add their own toppings. This would make the perfect addition to a cosy evening in!
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