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Friday, 17 December 2010

Winter Warmer: Boozy Hot Chocolate (adults only!)

We’ve had the first heavy snow in my little corner of Devon this morning, but the bright sunshine has already melted most of it away.  There are more blizzards forecast for this evening, but who knows?  Snow or not, it’s a good excuse for this adults-only boozy hot chocolate drink that’s guaranteed to get your veins zinging and your fingers and toes tingling after a brisk walk on a cold day.

If you want an easy and more instant version, you could make this with the normal hot chocolate mix or cocoa powder you may already have in your cupboard, or even by heating up a ready-made chocolate milkshake.  But the real thing is easy enough, won’t take you long, and will drive you wild with anticipation from the aromas as you prepare it.

Boozy hot chocolate drink:  Serves two.

4oz/120 grams good quality dark chocolate, broken or chopped into pieces.
1 pint/550 ml/20 fluid oz whole (full fat) milk (or a mix of milk and double cream)
1 tsp/1 good pinch ground mixed spice
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks, or 1tsp/1 good pinch ground cinnamon
A little sugar, to your taste, if you like (optional)
2 good measures brandy, dark rum or whisky (or whiskey, if it’s not from Scotland)

1/3 pint/120 ml/4 fluid ounces double cream, whipped to soft peak consistency
A little dark chocolate, grated or shredded

Put the milk and the ground spice(s) into a pan, and add the broken/chopped chocolate.  Heat very gently until all the chocolate has melted, whisking frequently, until just at the boil.  Taste for sweetness, and add sugar if necessary.  Whisk in your booze just as you take the spicy chocolate milk mixture off the heat, otherwise the alcohol will boil off, and you don’t want that!

Share between two large cups or mugs.

If you are using cinnamon sticks, rather than ground cinnamon, either stir the mixture while it is heating with the stick or sticks, which gives a more subtle flavour, or put a stick into each mug before pouring the hot boozy chocolate in.

Top each mug with the whipped cream, and sprinkle the grated or shredded chocolate over it.

Enjoy – and feel the glow.

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