Hot Chocolate, With Real Chocolate

Thanks to Cyclone Varada in Madras, Bangalore has been cold and gloomy, heavy rains rattling the windowpanes. The child has been teething, having a runny nose and running a temperature. Momma and Daddy were badly in need of some cheering up last night, and that is why I decided to try my hands at this hot chocolate recipe that I had bookmarked a long time ago. The result was so, so, so beautiful, I wondered why I have never made hot chocolate this way ever before!

The trick to making this drink, gorgeous in texture and taste, is to use real chocolate and not cocoa powder, good-quality chocolate at that. This drink is the real thing, not the thin, watery stuff that is served in the name of hot chocolate in some eateries. The dried orange pieces and sliced almonds that I added to the hot chocolate takes its taste to a whole new level altogether.

A perfect Christmas-time drink, I am so very sure I am going to be making this many more times.

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I mostly followed the original recipe, making a few little variations of my own.

Here’s how I made the hot chocolate.

Ingredients (serves 3):

  1. 500 ml full-fat milk (I used Nandini)
  2. 2 tablespoons milk powder (I used Nestle)
  3. 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  4. 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, or to taste (I used Hershey’s)
  5. About 75 grams good quality milk chocolate (I used Amul – half of a 150-gram bar)
  6. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
  7. A few unsalted, roasted almonds, sliced
  8. 2 slices of dried, candied oranges, peel included – chopped finely (I picked this up from Ajfan, Bangalore)

Method:

  1. Using a knife, shave the chocolate into a bowl. Keep aside.
  2. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan, and set it over a high flame. Let the milk come to a boil, and then turn the flame down to low. Stirring intermittently, let the milk cook over low-medium flame till it reduces to about 3/4 of its original size.
  3. Now, stirring constantly, slowly add the chocolate shavings, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla essence and milk powder to the milk. Mix well.
  4. Let the milk simmer over low flame for about 5 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  5. Serve in large mugs or bowls, garnished with pieces of dried, candied orange and almond slices.

Notes:

  1. Increase or decrease the quantity of sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate, to suit your taste preferences.
  2. If you like a hint of bitter in your hot chocolate, you could use dark chocolate to make the drink instead of milk chocolate. Alternatively, you could use a mix of dark chocolate and milk chocolate.
  3. You can garnish the hot chocolate any way you want – using cashewnuts, cranberries, marshmallows, cinnamon powder, pecans, whatever you fancy. Lace it with alcohol if you want, too.
  4. Cook the hot chocolate on low-medium flame to give it a beautiful flavour and texture.

You like? I hope you will try this out, too! How do you make your hot chocolate?

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