Tuesday, 6 November 2012

nutella makes hot chocolate

nutella and dark chocolate melted together

in my little girl days mama would make hot cocoa with a local cocoa powder called rossmoor. rossmoor smelt like cocoa but its strength was a fraction of the imported kind and although cadbury’s cocoa, drinking chocolate or bournville cocoa were available in pakistan, they were quite expensive and were better used in chocolate cakes or fudge sauces. rossmoor hot cocoa therefore was the comforting and bland kind, the kind one associates with children. mama would use a little bit of corn flour to thicken the milk. years later when i had my first taste of italian and french hot chocolate, their thickness reminded me of mama’s mugs of hot cocoa. 

but one doesn’t always want luxurious hot chocolate that demands being eaten with a spoon. sometimes it is nice to actually ‘drink’ the hot chocolate without compromising the darker flavours. over my years of living in london both o and i have sampled a number of hot chocolates. some like paul young are too slim and others like apostrophe are so thick that cooling leaves a wrinkle of skin. aside from maison du chocolat most other hot chocolate i have tried has been too sweet. the upshot of this has been that there has been plenty of hot chocolate making at home. last winter saw chocolate fragranced with cardamom or cinnamon or with a pinch of sea salt to over-emphasise its sweetness and sometimes a flurry of orange zest for brightness. this year’s first hot chocolate was based on nutella. 

l had mentioned how nutella makes a milky hot chocolate. i had always been puzzled by this not least because i was convinced that nutella would leave a sheen of oil and an emulsified texture in its wake. i was so very wrong on both counts. since both o and i prefer a darker, not too sweet hot chocolate i combined nutella with dark chocolate and a few of drops of vanilla extract. i whisked whole milk into the paste. the resulting hot chocolate was bittersweet and slightly thick. if you want a gentler and milkier hot chocolate substitute the dark chocolate for milk or alternatively just use nutella with a heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder. the recipe below makes two mugs. 

{nutella hot chocolate} 

sixty grams dark chocolate, melted 
two heaping tablespoons nutella 
half a teaspoon vanilla extract 
a pinch of sea salt
four hundred ml whole milk

melt the dark chocolate and nutella over the lowest heat. if you are afraid of burning it use a bain marie (double boiler). i find it helpful to use a spatula to make a rough paste from the nutella and melted chocolate. when you have a thick chocolate paste add the vanilla and salt and incorporate. 

keeping the pan on low heat being to introduce the milk. keep using the spatula to blend the milk with the chocolate paste. when all the milk is in the pan turn the heat up to medium and let it heat through to a gentle simmer. do not boil the mixture. pour into mugs, settle down on the sofa and enjoy with a side of telly.

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