Mrs Claus’ cocoa

It feels wonderful to be tucked up under a blanket when the wind is wailing and the rain is smashing against the window. But if you don’t have one of these in your hands, you’re missing a trick. Calorie counters, you might as well close your browser window…you are not welcome here.

Prepare your stomachs, this is for people who are serious about chocolate. A perfect treat for little elves to take a break from all the Christmas busy.

PeppermintHotChocolate

Things you need:

(Makes two large or three small cups)

300ml Double cream

350ml Full fat milk (2%)

70g Dark chocolate

50g Milk chocolate

Peppermint extract

Candy cane/mini marshmallows/sprinkles to decorate

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Step one:

Chop chocolate finely. I find a bread knife works really well for this, as the serrated edge somehow stops chunks flying all over the place. Put aside in heatproof bowl.

Feel free to adjust the chocolate quantities to your taste. I am not only a chocolate addict but a huge sweet tooth, so I very much orientated the recipe to junkie level.

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Step two and a bit:

Put 200ml of the cream, all of the milk, and the peppermint extract in a pan on the lowest heat. About 1/2 a teaspoon of peppermint extract will suffice, anyone particularly keen on mint can also whip some into the topping.

Speaking of topping, a little tip…my pot of cream was 300ml and also had a handy measuring gauge on the side. So I split 200ml into the pan, 100ml in a bowl and then used the pot to measure out the milk, simples. I got mine from Sainsbo’s, not sure if the other supermarkets do the same, but they should. Even if you don’t have this marker, just do it by sight, one third to two thirds. Use same principle for measuring the chocolate, this should be easy, no scales/measuring jugs allowed.

While the cream and milk are slowly heating, use a whisk (preferably electric – don’t burn and unnecessary calories now) to whip the remaining 100ml of cream until it thickens to a ‘dollop-on-top-of-a-hot-chocolate’ consistency.

Now, I didn’t get a photo of this but you need to heat the mixture until little bubbles cover the surface, and the steam sort of dances over it. You’ll know when you get there – I’m not mental. Make sure you stir regularly and try not to let it boil or burn. Be patient, it will pay off.

Step three:

Pour the hot crilk (cream+milk=crilk) onto the chopped chocolate. Stir quickly with hand whisk until all the chocolate is melted. Ladle into mugs.

The mixture should be hot enough, but if you have asbestos mouth, then you might want to pop in the microwave for 20 seconds, or preheat the mugs with boiling water first.

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Step four:

It already looks (and tastes) super yummy at this stage, and personally I’m not usually one for whipped cream on my hot chocolate. BUT IT’S CHRISTMAS.

Divide the cream you whipped earlier onto your cocoa, and cover with mini marshmallows and sprinkles (mine were another Sainsbury’s buy), stick in a candy cane stirrer and prepare to enjoy.

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(you’re welcome)

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