Saturday, 31 December 2011

Who can take a sunrise? Epic Hot Chocolate Jamie Oliver style

Who can take a sunrise
Sprinkle it in dew
Cover it in chocolate
and a miracle or two?

Well, apparently Jamie Oliver can. He's my man of the moment, after the stunning success of the Get ahead gravy, his was the original inspiration for the Leftover turkey surprise pie, and now this. Epic Hot Chocolate.

All being well M and I are planning on heading out tomorrow night, and following our trip to Cologne earlier this month I wanted to recreate some of that magic with flasks of hot drinks; Gluwhein mit amaretto for me, and Cocoa for Mark. However, I wanted to make his hot chocolate more akin to what we were drinking in Cologne. Thick, creamy and luscious. My mum originally dissuaded me from having a bash at this hot chocolate by daring me to "think of the calories!" and truly it's not something I'd recommend drinking every day. But it's New Years Eve, it's going to be flipping freezing and we're going to be outside for a fair old while. So hang the calories (it'll be made with skimmed milk too)

The recipe is so simple, and would be a perfect gift for a chocolate lover, if done up in a kilner jar, with the instructions added on a luggage label, tied with ribbon or string. Mine is in an old nutella jar, so has been hastily prettied up with some spare gingham fabric and a bit of ribbon.

We'll be taking around half a pint of cocoa with us tomorrow, so the quantities below make plenty, that we'll be able to dip into again should the need arise. We'll only be using 5 tablespoons of mix at the most.

Epic Hot Chocolate a la Mr Oliver - my alternative (equally epic) suggestions below

2 tablespoons Horlicks
2 tablespoons cornflour
3 tablespoons icing sugar
4 tablespoons quality organic cocoa
100g quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely grated OK, Pantry admission here - I had no dark chocolate in the house, so grated 100g of a chocolate santa one of the Guides gave me for Christmas. Oops.
a pinch of ground cinnamon
a pinch of sea salt     

Penelope's Pantry amendments...
  • I've added  the leftover pieces of nutmeg as well as grating half a nutmeg into my mix as I love the way it tastes in anything with milk.
  • Why not try with grated dark chocolate that has chilli in? Or you could add whole, dried chillis to the mix - to infuse their flavour
  • Cardamom would make this amazingly scented and much more grown up
  • On a grown up theme, a shot of rum, Baileys or brandy would give this one hell of a kick!
  • Of course if serving to littlies, squirty cream and marshmallows are must haves
  • Green and Blacks' flavoured chocolates would all add a little something extra; Butterscotch, the Mayan Gold - all yummy in this.
  • These are just suggestions I've thought of since making it about an hour ago... why not do whatever you like and suits you the best... the world really is your oyster with this. And as I say, it has amazing gift potential!
Put all of these in a jar, put the lid on and shake to mix.

Warm up the amount of milk you need (250ml milk is a rough measurement for a mug) and before it boils, turn the heat down to low and whisk in 5 tablespoons of mixture per pint of milk until it's smooth and thick.

We'll be decanting into warmed thermos flasks and enjoying (fingers crossed) under the London fireworks. So with that I bid you a Happy New Year! I hope it brings you everything you wish and hope for.

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