Monday, 23 January 2012

Hot Chocolate with a Kick

On some weekends, I am out and about, exploring a new restaurant or an old favourite, going shopping or catching up with friends. On others, though, I simply hibernate and stay indoors enveloped in the warmth of my duvet. I spend all day browsing the net (usually food blogs), watching a movie on youtube or catching up on some reading. On those hibernatory days, I need a really good excuse to get out of bed and move my joints. Usually, it is when hunger pangs strike that I spring into action and venture straight in the direction of my kitchen to put together a hurried meal so I can go back to my state of duvet induced inertia as soon as I possibly can.

I have recently discovered a great companion for those lazy evenings when you just want to vegetate. Hot chocolate with a kick. Hot chocolate by itself is good enough, but hot chocolate with a kick is even better. I came up with the idea because I had a bottle of particularly good chocolate liqueur lying around at home, a thoughtful gift from a dear friend.

I wanted a nice hot drink to keep me company on a quiet winter evening. I was putting together a glass of the old hot chocolate when I happened to spot the liqueur. Eureka! In went the liqueur and a dash of instant coffee, which really brings out the flavour of chocolate (I tend to use a little in all my chocolate cake recipes) and results in a more mature tasting hot chocolate than one would otherwise end up with.

I didn't actually jot down the ingredients for this one - it was one of those hibernatory days after all! But I will be sure to try the recipe again and will certainly make a note of how much of what went into my drink. In any case, this is one of those recipes in which a little tweaking will get you the best results, so exact measures are probably not necessary for you to put it together. If you are a coffee lover, perhaps you could be generous with the coffee. If you dislike it intensely, maybe leave it out entirely. You get the drift.

I tried this another time with a little double cream in the drink, just to make it a little richer but that was a bad idea I thought. The cream melts into the drink and you end up with little fat globules in the drink, the sight of which makes me a little queasy. The calories are only good if you can't see them in your food! 

So this recipe really calls for just a handful of ingredients, all of which would be likely inhabitants of a fairly well stocked kitchen - milk, cocoa powder, sugar and instant coffee. Of course, the star of the show is without doubt, a generous splash of chocolate liqueur, which I would recommend that you get hold of as soon as possible so that you can try this delicious winter warmer. If you have chocolate on hand, I am sure that some of it grated into your drink will only make for even more of a treat.

Happy hibernating.

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