What’s better on a chilly winter morning than a book, a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate? Now, imagine that mug of hot chocolate is something other than the powdered mix you’ve tried to class up a bit with a few mini marshmallows and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. If you’re having difficulty imagining what more you can do to sweeten up your Swiss Miss, look no further than Hannah Miles’s Hot Chocolate: Rich and Indulgent Winter Drinks (Ryland, Peters & Small; 2015). Miles was a 2007 finalist on BBC’s Masterchef and has written deliciously sweet cookbooks ever since, and Hot Chocolate is no exception. Her decadent creations, beautifully photographed by Steve Painter, make you want to dive into their soul-warming chocolate depths. Luckily for you, we’ve picked out two of the chocolatiest, most unique and enchanting recipes from Hot Chocolate to be your cold-weather medicine as fall turns into winter:
Sea Salt Hot Chocolate (pictured in the book cover)
This deliciously thick hot chocolate is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. You can make this hot chocolate with milk, white or dark/bittersweet chocolate and adjust the salt to your own taste. For a salted caramel hot chocolate, use caramel chocolate such as Caramac for a rich alternative, or why not add a spoonful of salted caramel sauce to the pan with the milk in addition to the chocolate? Serve with biscotti to dip into the hot chocolate.
1 cup milk
1 cup double/heavy cream
3½ oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids), chopped
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 egg yolk
Place the milk, cream and chopped chocolate in a saucepan with the sugar and salt, and heat over low heat until the chocolate has melted, whisking all the time.
Taste to see whether you need to add a little more salt for an extra salty kick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk to thicken the hot chocolate.
Pass it through a sieve/strainer, then pour into two cups and serve immediately.
Hazelnut Hot Chocolate
This drink is a must for all Nutella lovers—rich and creamy with a hit of hazelnut liqueur. Sprinkled with hazelnuts, this is an utterly, nutterly hot chocolate. Top with half a Ferrero Rocher chocolate for an extra-special treat. If you are making this for children, it is equally delicious without the alcohol.
3 ½ ounces milk chocolate, chopped
2 cups milk
1 heaped tablespoon chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
4-7 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur (such as Frangelico)
Generous ¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 Ferrero Rocher chocolate, halved (optional)
Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat gently over low heat until melted.
Place the milk in a saucepan and bring gently to a boil. Add the melted chocolate and Nutella to the pan and simmer over low heat, whisking all the time, until the chocolate is combined. Remove from the heat and add the hazelnut liqueur to taste. (Do not do this over the heat as the alcohol will evaporate.) Pour the hot chocolate into two cups.
Whip the cream to stiff peaks and add a spoonful to the top of each serving. Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Add a Ferrero Rocher half to each serving too, if you wish. Serve immediately.