This is the season of indulging in guilty pleasures like snuggling inside the quilt and listening to your favourite music or quietly reading a book. But all of this is incomplete without a big cuppa of the lovely winter drink — hot chocolate. And as much as you’d love a daily date with this hot deliciousness to relive the same taste day after day, how about mixing things up a bit and giving the drink a flavourful spin a la experts.
While chef Sabyasachi Gorai likes his hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows topped with chocolate sauce, chef Kunal Kapur gives it a healthy twist by using coconut milk with white chocolate to reduce the calorie count. Wanna mix liquor with it for added warmth? “Then add rum to your hot chocolate for a desi twist,” suggests chef Nishant Choubey.
Here are a few more ways to quirk up your cuppa, while reigniting your love for hot chocolate.
Bring the mixture of milk, sugar and cocoa powder and crushed chocolate to a boil. Boil to the point where the chocolate is melted and then pour into a mug. Then dice marshmallows and add them to the mug. Let the marshmallows soak in the flavour of the hot chocolate. To finish, add a cinnamon stick.
Banish your laziness by going for the Aztec hot chocolate, a spice-infused drink from Mexico. Boil milk and sugar and add cocoa powder along with cinnamon powder. Stir well and then add crushed dark chocolate and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Let the mixture settle and then add a pinch of turmeric. Add a finishing touches with cinnamon sticks.
Want your drink to pack a punch? Say hello to the magic of peanut butter. After boiling the mixture of milk, sugar and cocoa powder, add caramel sauce to it and mix it well till the sauce dissolves properly. Add a spoonful of peanut butter to it and stir it properly. Top it off with whipped cream and crushed nuts.
Coconut hot chocolate gives a tropical twist to regular hot chocolate. The trick is to replace regular milk with coconut milk and boil it with sugar and white chocolate. Add a bit of caramel sauce to it along with grated coconut. Then add vanilla extract to it and top with whipped cream.
The Mint Hit
Peppermint hot chocolate coffee is your go-to choice if you want to a dose of serenity after a tiring day. Add chocolate chips to the boiled mixture of milk, sugar and cocoa powder. Then add peppermint extract to the mixture and stir it well. Top it off with a peppermint stick dipped in the hot chocolate along with whipped cream.
The pick of the lot, the newest invention in the hot chocolate varieties. Start by squeezing lemon on top of your boiled milk and then add sugar and cocoa powder. Stir it well, then add grated orange zest to the mix and let it settle down. Finish with a layer of maple syrup on top of the drink.
Once you know how amazing lavender hot chocolate smells and tastes, you won’t be able to keep your hands off it. Add vanilla extract to boiled milk, sugar and cocoa powder. Then add crushed dark chocolate to it. After that, add lavender extract and a marshmallow. Top it off with lavender buds.