This time of year, when the days are getting shorter and colder, nothing is more comforting than a soothing cup of hot chocolate. In fact, cocoa was initially consumed as a drink by the Aztecs who mixed it with spices and corn. Today this heart-warming nectar is enjoyed world-wide with some regional variations.
French Style ‘Chocolat Chaud’ (no milk)
This water based hot chocolate has a more intense cocoa flavour than a milk based one (cow or plant based). You can, however, replace the water with milk if you prefer a little more richness (like my mum used to do), but if you are a cocoa daredevil and like a strong cocoa taste this is the recipe for you. It is also perfect for the vegan diet.
Spanish Style Hot ‘Chocolate’
This is a really indulgent form of hot chocolate traditionally served with churros (little batter fritters sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon). The chocolate is slightly thickened to a dipping sauce consistency for dunking in your churros.
Viennese Style Hot Chocolate
This is the ultimate cocoa cappuccino. The hot chocolate is quite light in texture, but the velvety layer of whipped cream brings decadence to this yummy cocoa variant. A word of advice: if you are on a date, beware of the ‘milk moustache.’
If you think of the origins of cocoa, this recipe is the most authentic. However, some of the ingredients may not be readily available, so I have adapted the recipe to a more ‘stock cupboard friendly’ version that should bring you a very nice Champurrado, should you have a sudden urge for it.
* Masa harina is the flour used to make tortillas
** Cone of sugar made from boiled sugar cane
Express Hot Chocolate à la KNEALS
You might say I am a little biased, but this is my favourite recipe because it is a faff-free recipe with only two ingredients, giving you a delicious result and real hit of cocoa in a couple of minutes. .
The key, as always, is the quality of the chocolate.