Sometimes, especially when the skies are like lead and the rain just won’t let up, or times when it feels like winter inside you, a shot of dark, delicious, hot chocolate sets the world in order. As the warmth pools in your stomach and begins to slowly radiate through to your fingertips, on its way warming your heart and un-furrowing that brow, this is love and warmth and a hug in a mug.
‘…a shot of dark, delicious, hot chocolate sets the world in order.’
And it tastes darned good too. Good enough that you really shouldn’t save it for a rainy day. Hot chocolate needs to be shared – on cozy evenings in, days spent planning a project, sharing nervous revelations, exhilarating secrets, tentative self-discovery, a reward at the end of a really hard piece of thinking, or a quiet moment to kickstart your mind. Really, when is NOT the right moment for a cup of hot chocolate!
While there is no one perfect way to make a good cup of hot chocolate, you’ve got to start with good things. Good chocolate, real milk and not water…really! And just a little care. One easy method we’ve tried with great success is to fill a mug with about 20g of good chocolate, 2-3 pieces. We like our cocoa dark so we use dark, semi sweet chocolate but we’ve also had versions that had some peanut chocolate or mint chocolate and even chili infused chocolate.
‘…you’ve got to start with good things. Good chocolate, real milk…’
The chocolate is then melted. In a Microwave. Which isn’t romantic but it’s easy and quick. So choose what you’re feeling and go with stove-top or microwave accordingly. No one needs to know.
Now this next bit is key. Add a pinch of salt and whisk it into the chocolate. The whisking will give your cup of hot chocolate a comforting frothy top and the salt will add depth to the flavor.
Pour some warm milk over the molten chocolate and then whisk a little more. The cup will lose some of its heat but another 30 seconds in the microwave will warm it up perfectly.
Top it off with a dash of cream if the mood demands it but even without, this cup is good to go. Frothy, deep cocoa flavor, lovely and satisfying.
All our previous hot cocoa attempts were either too wimpy or far too rich to be anything but sinful. This cup is almost wholesome!
It’s that time of the year when even in Bombay, wintry feelings start to envelope you and ideas of roaring fireplaces and cozy razais start floating around in your head. So, with images of winter and holiday planning everywhere, a few cups of hot chocolate are definitely called for.
Trivia: The Mayans and the Aztecs were the first to discover the wonders of chocolate. They drank their chocolate cold, unsweetened which was a coarse mix of water, cacao beans, chili peppers, corn flour. They would pass the mix from cup to cup or vessel to vessel to get the frothy mix. It was the Europeans that added the heat, milk and sugar.