When the days become shorter, and the temperature remarkably colder, I start longing for hot chocolate. When I was young, and before we had a microwave, my mother used to make us hot chocolate when we came home from school. Not every day, but in wintertime it would be a special treat, and she made this in a pan, on the stove.
When I got older, and was able to make my own hot drinks, I used to microwave a mug of milk and add a few spoons of hot chocolate mix. But nowadays, I’m back to the old fashioned manner: me, the stove, a pan, a whisk, milk and a piece of good quality chocolate (or cocoa powder and a bit of sugar). It takes a few minutes longer than microwaving the pre-made mix, but the result is so much more rewarding. And I also tell myself that all that whisking burns almost all the calories before I even had my hot chocolate (not quite sure if that’s correct, but I love fooling myself).
I ordered a hot chocolate in Italy once (in Milan, to be precise) and I was a bit shocked by what the waiter gave me. It was more of a chocolate sauce than a drink, they serve it with a spoon that will stand straight up in the chocolate! My parents, who were with me, weren’t shocked, they were too busy laughing at me and my surprised face. It was really good, but much heavier than my usual drink and I’m pretty sure whisking will burn no way near the amount of calories it contained! For those of you who’ve never had an Italian hot chocolate, this is what cioccolata calda looks like.
Even though the weather over here (in both France and the Netherlands) has been pretty strange, it’s ridiculously warm over here for the time of year, the dark evenings still make me want to drink hot chocolate. To give it a little bit of a tropical flavour, I tried making one with coconut milk. I used a drinkable coconut milk, not the thick creamy one you use for cooking. If you can’t find it you could add some thick coconut milk to your regular milk to get that coconut flavour.
The added spices give the hot coconut chocolate milk a little extra kick, perfect to get warm after a long winter walk. Or imagining one, while you’re looking at the trees blossoming, end of November (!!).
- Coconut milk*, 200 ml (3/4 cup + 4 tsp)
- Dark chocolate (I use one with 70% cocoa), 30 gr (1 ounce)
- Cardamom powder, pinch
- Black pepper, freshly ground, pinch
- Pour the milk in a pan with a thick bottom and add the chocolate
- Warm the milk on medium heat, allowing the chocolate to melt, whisk to ge a homogeneous mixture
- Add the cardamom and pepper and serve hot