HOT CHOCOLATE – THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

At some point towards the end of December you’ll be in a traffic jam at Westfield thinking to yourself, “Why the hell didn’t I get organised and hand make all my Christmas presents back in November when I had some free time?” Well guess what people, it’s NOVEMBER! How did that happen? If you’re smart you’ll spend the next few weekends making edible presents that can be stored in jars and have plenty of time to practice your smug face by Christmas Eve when everyone else is panic buying Quality Street at Tesco.

This hot chocolate powder is the perfect gift for teachers, aunties and neighbours and it’s super easy so you can get kids to help make it and decorate the jars. If your sous chefs are younger than five it will get a little messy, so we made ours out in the garden.

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200g dark chocolate, finely grated
200g milk chocolate, finely grated
1 cup of cocoa powder
1/2  to 1 cup of icing sugar, to taste at the end
1/2 cup of Horlicks
1/2 cup of cornflour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
A handful of mini marshmallows.

This will make approx six jam jars of hot chocolate powder

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1. Grate the dark and milk chocolate finely.

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2. Mix all the ingredients, except the icing sugar into a bowl . You may need to seive the cocoa powder to make it smooth.

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3. Add the icing sugar, half a cup at first, then test it out to see if you’l prefer a sweeter mix, then add more icing sugar to taste.

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4. Scoop the mixture in to a jar and add some mini marshmallows on top.

 

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A side note about jars:
I made the mistake of making the powder, then looking for jars in the kitchen and it turned out we only had a couple. So I bought some. It turned out cheaper to buy jam (and scoop it out into a storage container for later) than buying empty jars. So it’s jam sandwiches for lunch around at our place for a while!

Make sure you don’t use jars that have previously stored something really stinky like olives or gherkins. The cornflour will absorb the flavour resulting in gherkin-flavoured hot chocolate… got any pregnant friends?

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To make the hot chocolate:
Warm up a mug of milk in the microwave or on the stove, then stir in two or three heaped teaspoons of the powder. Add some marshmallows and slurp.
As with most of my recipes, add some booze if you want: a nip of brandy or dark rum would do nicely.

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Photography: Emma Scott-Child