In case you hadn’t noticed, the nights are getting colder and darker and the leaves are turning. This can only mean one thing – it’s time to start enjoying the occasional mug of steaming hot chocolate (silver linings and all that).
Some of you may remember my past rants about hot chocolate & how much of a rip off it can be, with up to fifty percent of the contents of a packet of drinking chocolate being nothing more than sugar, poor quality ingredients etc etc. Well thankfully there are other people in the world who feel the same way, and some of them have decided to do their bit to rid the world of overpriced sugary rubbish.
When I was strolling around the Speciality & Fine Food Fair a while back, I came across Jaz from Jaz ‘n’ Jul’s hot chocolate company (the one with the pink hair) and after a long discussion about the merits of ‘proper’ hot chocolate (and other yummy stuff) I left with a few samples of their wares.
What better place to begin than with their ‘Perfectly Simple’ hot chocolate – a 60% cacao-based drinking chocolate with a sprinkling of sugar and just a touch of nutmeg. Best break out the posh drinking vessels!
I’m a bit of a cheat when it comes to making hot chocolate. I just throw some milk into a jug & microwave it until almost boiling, make a paste with the drinking chocolate & some cold milk, then add hot milk, stir it through and then put the whole lot back into the jug. Give it another gentle heat through and attack it with a whisk for a minute for frothy, light drinking chocolate. Done.
And the drink? Rich but not bitter, slightly sweet but never sickly, and comfortingly thick and creamy (because one should never use anything other than full fat milk for drinking chocolate), it’s exactly what hot chocolate should taste like. I added nothing to the final drink – no extra tipple of booze and certainly no sugar – and enjoyed every drop.
At just under £3 for a wee box that makes two mugs, it’s not the cheapest drinking chocolate, but that’s definitely reflected in the taste, and of your money isn’t being spent on sugar!