June 21, 2013
Haute Chocolate for Mid Winter
With Mid Winter creeping up this weekend, and a forecast of minus 5 degrees for Friday night, it's definitely time to indulge in a few of the comforts that make Winter bearable here in Canberra
Wrapping your hands around a steaming, hot, fragrant, rich cup of Hot Chocolate isn't always easy with lactose InTolerance, but I don't understand why I should ever miss out on all the goodies available to the more mainstream menus. Instead of pouting and sulking, I just make one that works for me and that the family loves too. No problem!
Did you know that Lindt 70% and above dark chocolate is dairy free? Yes it is indeed, so is cocoa powder and they are both packed with mega chocolatey flavour without the yucky part that will make me sick. Now I can handle lactose free milk as the base of my hot chocolate, but feel free to use soy milk, nut milk, or whatever you need to create a lovely creamy cup of Yum
The best cup of Hot Chocolate is rich, thick and creamy. Instead of adding in heaps of extra calories with lactose free cream to help thicken it, I included some cornflour for just a little bit of texture- don't worry, it won't be like custard or anything. I've also added spices for complexity and some exotic hints of flavour, and some salt just to really sharpen up the rest of the flavours and stop them blending just that bit too much into a homogeneous chocolate mass
My magic ratio of ingredients for each mug (1 1/2 cups of liquid) of Hot Chocolate:
1 tab Cocoa, 1 tsp Cornflour, extra big pinch Cardamom, big pinch Cinnamon, tiny pinch Salt
Little bits and pieces are all well and good, but making a whole jar at once is a lot less hassle and allows me to whip up a batch whenever the Winters Chill gets the better of me
So For 10 Big Mugs of Happiness:
10 tbsp Cocoa Powder
10 tsp Corn Flour
1/2 block of Lindt 70% Chocolate
2 1/2 tsp ground Cardamom
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
Now I haven't added any sweetener to this mix as I really don't have much of a sweet tooth. You can either just sweeten it to taste at the end, or add in several tablespoons of gluten free icing sugar to the mix as it will blend in really well. It's up to you, but I like the slight grown up bitterness from the dark chocolate.
Place all the powders into a bowl for mixing
Finely grate in the chocolate
I used a microplane for lovely little chocolately curls that will dissolve easily
Mix it all together really well so there are no clumps or streaks
Now to Make the Magic Happen!
For each nice big mug allow 1 1/2 cups of milk or substitute. Pop in a saucepan
Then add a tablespoon of the mix per mug of the Chocolate mixture
Whisk the powder in until combined well with the milk
Stir or whisk the mixture until it just comes to the boil, then take it off the heat
Pour into your favourite mug, top with gluten free marshmallows and a final grate of chocolate, then wrap your hands around it and let it warm you up from the inside out!
Package up the rest of the Hot Chocolate mixture and place it in an airtight container or in a pretty little jar and give it away as a Winter Solstice gift. With the shortest day behind us, we have only another 3 months or so of frosts ahead of us, so Chocolate Cheer is definitely called for indeed!
So Dear Readers, how do you like your Hot Chocolate, and how do you like to spend a frosty cold weekend?