Autumn / Winter Hot Chocolate Recipes

In the mood for something sumptuous? Breathe in the deep cocoa notes of two of our favourite hot chocolates in the comfort of your own home.

We love a good cup of tea at any time of year, but as the long nights draw in we’ve found ourselves longing for something more substantial. Take out your favourite mug – the big, thick one that’s the perfect balance of weight and warmth between your hands – curl up on the sofa and take pleasure in some spirit-lifting luxury with one of our sink-in-and-savour hot chocolate recipes.

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Recipe

Here we’ve turned the classic praline partnership of hazelnut and chocolate into an exceptionally tasty hot chocolate. You can also experiment with different milk and nut paste combinations – almond milk with smooth salted peanut butter is particularly good.

The hazelnut milk dilutes the dark chocolate here and has a natural sweetness, so use a high-percentage chocolate: a good Ecuadorian –90% dark or 70% Supermilk – works well here, or opt for a balanced house blend. You can buy hazelnut paste in most supermarkets and health food shops.

Serves 1 Method
200ml hazelnut milk
1 heaped teaspoon hazelnut paste
40g dark chocolate shavings (or use good-quality chocolate to make your own shavings; opt for 70–90%)
Gently heat the hazelnut milk and paste together in a pan, stirring continuously. Measure the chocolate into a serving cup. When the milk is hot, pour a small amount into the cup and mix with the chocolate to form a smooth paste. Add in the remaining milk, stir and drink while hot.


Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Recipe

This is one of the most popular drinks in our cafés, where we make it with grated flakes of our salted caramel chocolate. For this version, you’ll make a salted caramel chocolate sauce using dark chocolate – and since you’ll whip up enough sauce for eight drinks, it’s one to invite friends and family over for, or you can hold some back to pour over chopped bananas or ice cream.

A good robust flavour is required here, so don’t choose a chocolate that’s too fruity. Avoid Madagascan or Vietnamese bars for this reason; instead, reach for Ecuador 70% Supermilk; Ghana 75% Supermilk; Cienaga, Colombia 80% Supermilk or house blends.

Serves 1 For the salted caramel chocolate sauce (enough for eight drinks) For the drink
200ml double cream
½ teaspoon salt
150g sugar
40g butter
50g dark chocolate (70–80%), finely chopped
150ml skimmed milk
2 tablespoons salted caramel chocolate sauce

Method
First make the sauce. Begin by gently warming the cream with the salt in a small pan over a low heat and set aside.

Next, take a deep, heavy-based pan and set it over a medium to high heat. When warm, add about a quarter of the sugar. As it starts to melt at the edges, add a third of the remaining sugar. Add the rest of the sugar in two more batches as soon as the previous batch melts at the edges. Stir the caramel as little as possible during this time. If it starts to darken and bubble too rapidly, take it off the heat and gently stir; it should bubble and warm slowly and evenly. When all the sugar has melted and you have a golden caramel, take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter. The caramel will bubble, but continue to stir until mixed through. If the mixture gets too thick, place it back over the heat.

Place the caramel over the heat again and add in the warm cream; you will need to do this in stages as the caramel will bubble up. When all the cream is added, cook over a medium heat for two minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly, then stir through the chopped chocolate.

To make the drink, gently warm the milk in a small pan, whisking continuously to create a good foam. When warm, take the pan off the heat and stir through the salted caramel chocolate sauce. Pour into a cup and enjoy!


More ways with hot chocolate

Fancy something seasonal? Try our Christmas hot chocolates – Gingerbread or Mandarin & Salted Caramel – at your local café.

Need hot chocolate in your home but no time for all the fuss? Pick up our 100% dark, chilli, gingerbread, milky, salted caramel or classic – all made with real grated flakes – and keep it simple.

Got a taste for creating your own chocolate drinks, or know someone else who does? Find more, as well as sweet and savoury cocoa dishes and bakes, in our cookbook, A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate – the perfect Christmas gift for cooks and bakers with a penchant for cocoa.

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