Monday, 2 April 2012


Sometimes I feel very much like I'm chewing on my portion of life. There's a point where things pile in so thick and fast that it becomes hard to swallow - and it happens to everyone.

And nope, I'm not reaching for my usual remedy of Tea.

Sometimes a girl just needs a good bit of chocolate, and this hot chocolate recipe does that. I don't use exact measurements - never really bother. One thing the English never have to measure is a 'dash' of milk.

Heat the milk (three, maybe four dashes) in a pan with a couple of cardamom pods and a fresh chilli. (You could use chilli powder, but using the small chilli gives a subtler, deeper heat.) In another saucepan of boiling water, place the glass bowl so that it's resting against the sides. Melt the chocolate until your spoon comes away with a dark, glossy coat.

By now your milk should be hot enough that it's almost bubbling, but not quite. It'll have thickened ever so slightly. You need to grate some nutmeg in. Next comes a pinch of black pepper, and now your milk's ready. Remove the pods and the chilli. Add the dark chocolate, stirring in with the wooden spoon. It'll blend beautifully, slowly turning to a lovely warm brown.

Here's a heads up: I love my hot chocolate rich, deep, and dark. I know that's not everyone's cup of tea (har har), so using half milk chocolate/half dark makes for a sweeter drink. For me, the hum of grated nutmeg and cardamom is just enough to linger sweetly on the tongue, the hint of chilli and pepper bursts on the palate on a wave of rich cocoa flavour, and a whirl of whipped cream on top mellows the whole. And, of course, grated cocoa slivers to be sprinkled on top.


Now then, go forth and be calorific. It's so much fun.