During the dark winter months hot chocolate is a must in our house. It is oldest’s choice of drink for when she gets home from school. There is just something deeply satisfying about a mug of hot chocolate. All of last week I was craving a “proper” cup of chocolate but found myself resisting the urge, reminding myself that I was trying to be healthy.
But after yet another cold and drizzly school run I had an epiphany. I should be embracing a cup of real hot chocolate because it has many health benefits. To name a few reasons;
- the chemical compounds in chocolate trigger the brain to release endorphins,
- chocolate can be good for the heart.
- chocolate contains many minerals
- it is a natural energy source.
Therefore we can now make a cup of pure indulgence safe in the knowledge that we are actually being quite virtuous. In fact Thomas Jefferson once wrote,
“The superiority of (chocolate) both for health and nourishment will soon give it the same preference over Tea and Coffee in America which it has in Spain”
With a nod to Spanish Hot Chocolate here is my perfect hot chocolate. Remember the chocolate is the star of the show so don’t cut corners here, get the nicest chocolate that you can afford. We are very lucky where we live as on the island we have some fantastic local produce. I have also included milk chocolate in my recipe.
Some might see this as sacrilege believing that hot chocolate should just be dark chocolate. Personally, I find this makes the hot chocolate too bitter and as a result requires a mountain of sugar to make it palatable. Not great for little ones. This recipe should suit everyone in the family.
Hot Chocolate or Hug in a Mug (serves 2)
- 450ml Full fat Milk (trust me here and tell yourself it is good for calcium)
- 70g of 70% coco chocolate. Chopped or finely grated.
- 30g Milk Chocolate
- 75ml Single Cream
- Pinch of sea salt
- Marshmallows (optional)
- Brandy for the adult version (optional)
Firstly warm up 150 ml of your milk in a small pan. Be patient here, don’t be tempted to turn the heat up too high. A medium heat should suffice. Once the milk is warm add your grated chocolate, continuing to stir.
Once the chocolate has melted whisk in your remaining milk and cream. Then add a pinch of salt and taste, adding more salt if you feel it is needed. If it is an adult version you could also add a little brandy to taste.
To finish I like to use my mini electric whisk to give it a lovely frothy top, I then sprinkle some marshmallows on top.
Enjoy but like the best things in life it is based consumed in moderation as too many may increase our waistline.