10 November 2016
the perfect afternoon tea hot chocolate
So now that winter is approaching here in Europe it means that it's time for all the great food and hot beverages that come with this time of year... and for me those two hot beverages are chai lattes and hot chocolates! I always tell myself 'it is the season of burnt tongues', because yes, at least twice a week I will burn my tongue on a hot beverage... I mean I always think I've let it cool down enough, but realistically those 30 seconds that I think is actually 5 minutes, is never enough. But does that stop me? Heck no! I am an avid hot chocolate fan! But in saying that, I am also a very fussy hot chocolate fan... I don't like water mixed in with my milk (but I mean who actually does? Ew!) and I do NOT like my hot chocolates being too rich in chocolate (which yes, I know is a crime to a lot of people).
So that also means that I am picky as to where I'll get my hot chocolates, the regular coffee shop we go to in Sydney does it a little strong for my liking, so I always ask for a weaker version (I always find that Aussie hot chocolate powder a little bitter) and it also means that if I do ever enter a Starbucks (mostly for the internet when travelling), I'll order a chai latte and not a hot chocolate (bad experience with one once). I just know what I like...I enjoy the perfect balance of hot milk and the subtle taste of milk chocolate and if I'm feeling extra special then I'll ask for whipped cream or marshmallows too! It may not be healthy for you... but I say it's healthy for the soul once in a while...
So one afternoon here in France I decided to make the perfect hot chocolate, perfect for afternoon tea and perfect for dipping in some french butter biscuits. And yes, I'll repeat this again... it is not good for you, but you can't blame me... you got to enjoy life a little! So below is a little 'recipe' of how to make one of my favourite combinations for a perfect hot chocolate. If you try it out let me know, because I am sure you'll love it! (and yes... you can add extra chocolate if you feel like you need to!).
1 regular mug full of milk
2 teaspoons chocolate powder
2 teaspoons hot water
4 teaspoons cream
cooking chocolate and chocolate chips, to top
Well look, I'm going to be honest here... it is just a hot chocolate at the end of the day, so it isn't rocket science to make. But this is how I made this into the perfect hot chocolate and not just another morning microwave one...
I always measure out how much milk I want in my choice of mug and then I pour it into a saucepan over a medium heat. Once it starts heating up add the cream and whisk away. I find that the more you whisk it the more foamy goodness will come out of it, and I love that! So dedication is key! While the milk is heating, mix the hot water and the chocolate powder so that it forms a paste (this is so that it mixes well with the milk, otherwise the powder will just float to the top and it hardly tastes like chocolate).
Lastly, take the saucepan off the heat and with a skewer and the marshmallows cook them over the open flame (like at a campfire), and yes I am aware this isn't the safest thing to do... so of course, do this carefully.
Pour the milk into your mug, stir to incorporate the chocolate and finally top with the roasted marshmallows, chocolate chips and grated chocolate. You can always add a little more chocolate powder if you feel like you don't have enough.
And enjoy! I like it best with a couple of french butter biscuits dipped into it infront of a good Tv or good book while it's raining and cold outside...