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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chocolate that is hot

I love hot chocolate, there is nothing more cosy than snuggling up with a hot chocolate on a rainy day. But it has to be perfect. It can’t be too sweet, it can’t be too bitter, it can’t be too hot and it can’t be too cold and if possible it needs to have zero calories and minimal milk because too much milk gives me a headache and makes my little nursling into a grumple bum.

Fussy much?

My favourite rainy day memories all seem to have hot chocolate in them, like when mum went to the states and brought back some traditional Mexican hot chocolate which she rationed out in little squares for special occasions and we would all hover over the saucepan of milk heating inhaling the delicious aroma.

Now that I have children I wanted to see if I could review hot chocolate to make it both delicious and healthy. It will be nice to have a family treat that can evoke similar memories. Proper hot chocolate is a fun thing to make and sharing a cosy rainy day with your kids is one of the small treats in life.

Here is a recipe I concocted:

Soak 8 almonds overnight per cup of hot chocolate so that is 8 almonds for 1 cup 16 almonds for 2 etc etc. If you didn’t plan your hot chocolate 12 hours in advance it is fine to use the almonds as is, but soaked is nicer. In a blender add 1 teaspoon of fair trade cocoa per cup, 1 teaspoon of honey per cup and 1 pinch of cinnamon per cup. You will also need 3 cups of liquid, at the most basic you can use water as the almonds will make it milky but if you want a really creamy mix you could use rice milk, oat milk or even cows milk. The options are limitless…

So if you were making 3 cups your ingredients list would be:

24 almonds (soaked)
3 teaspoons fair trade cocoa
3 teaspoons of honey
3 pinches of cinnamon
3 cups of any milk or milk analogue…. or water.

Place all of your ingredients in a blender and blend, and blend, and BLEND.  Once it is as smooth as your blender tip it into a saucepan and heat until steaming and beginning to bubble around the edges then strain and serve with plenty of marshmallows. You don’t need to strain it – I prefer it gritty but little children may not.

An adult’s version can be made with a pinch of chilli flakes and some dark chocolate smashed into pieces before blending. Delicious.

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