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Hot Chocolate Day

The festive season may be over but the winter is now at it's coldest and this, of course, calls for some luxuriously hot drinks. 
After having a month's break from Christmas indulgence, we think it's high time to welcome chocolate back into our lives (if it was ever at all on a hiatus.... if you're like us maybe you didn't have a break at all!)
To celebrate Hot Chocolate Day on 31st January we thought we'd share our best Italian hot chocolate recipe - it's just like the ones they serve in Milano! It's thick, luscious, deliciously smooth and bursting with chocolate at the seams. Give it a try and treat yourself to a cup! But be warned... once you've tried this recipe you'll never go back to instant hot chocolate!!

Ingredients

  • 235ml whole milk (divided into two cups 175ml and 60ml)
  • 235ml heavy whipping cream
  • 4tbsp (50g) granulated sugar
  • 11/2 tsp corn starch
  • 130g dark chocolate (callets, shavings or finely chopped) 

Method

This recipe caters for 2 average-sized mugs of hot chocolate.

Step 1. Add 175ml of the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and place on a medium heat. Add in the cream and sugar.

Step 2. Whisk and heat the mixture until it starts to bubble around the edges. 

Step 3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or jug, add the remaining 60ml of milk and the corn starch and whisk together until fully combined. As the milk mixture in the pan starts to bubble at the edges, add in this starch mix and whisk together. Continue to heat for a further 1 minute.
Tip: if you prefer your hot chocolate to not be too thick in texture, reduce the corn starch by half.

Step 4. Reduce the heat to low, then add the chocolate in and whisk until it has completely dissolved. Continue to whisk and stir (for around 4 minutes) until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. 

Step 5. Your hot chocolate is now ready to serve. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into two mugs. For an added touch of indulgence, top your drink with whipped cream and sprinkle with a few chocolate shavings. 

Warm up with a hot cup of cocoa

Fun Fact. The first hot chocolate drink was made around 500BC in ancient Mexico and America. Mayans would drink chocolate made from crushed cocoa seeds mixed in water and added chili peppers for extra flavour!

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