Following the K-I-S-S principle

Hot chocolate

Sorry that I’ve been a bit absentee of late, but I’m trying to finish a list of tasks that I need to get done before I go back to uni for the final semester of my BA in a few weeks and one of them in particular is driving me absolutely batsh*t crazy! Argh! In fact, it almost seems that this particular tasks exists for the pure and simple reason of driving me just a little loopy. And when this task is not driving me to my wits end, I am trying to combat the bone-chilling cold that currently has all of Melbourne (let alone the rest of the state) in it’s long-fingered and icy clutches.

Believe it or not, it’s a LITTLE bit hard to go out for a cuppa tea when its so bitterly cold out that the only bit of your body which is exposed to the elements are your eyes, and those only because you kinda need to see where you’re going, and wearing an eye-warming piece of clothing such as a blindfold is deemed somewhat impractical after receiving quite a few dents to your shins…and I was going somewhere with this ranty mc-rant-rant, but I’ve lost track of where I was going…

Oh yes! Well, since it’s just a teensy bit difficult to try and make it to Koko Black or Max Brenner for a social hot chocolate, I had to buckle down and try and make my own somewhat decent cup of endorphin-enducing liquid for the very first time.

Yeah, yet another confession – I had never actually made myself a cup of hot chocolate before. Ever. I am vehemently against making it with cocoa powder (I swear those little particles coat my tongue and leave me feeling like a cat who’s just given itself a bit too thorough a cleaning afterwards!) and thus my little tin of powder is strictly reserved for use in chocolate cakes and cookies.

Hot chocolate

How to make it, though? I didn’t want anything overly sweet, creamy or fancy – none of this orangey, cinnamony nonsense that others seem to revel in! All I wanted was a plain, pure cup of creamy chocolatey goodness that I could melt a few home-made marshmallows in and enjoy while wrapped neck-to-toe in a big fluffy ‘doona‘ (otherwise known as a duvet to your Northern Hemisphere folks). For help in this situation, I turned to the delightful Alice Medrich’s “Bittersweet” for assistance, and assistance I found! Unlike the other recipes in this book, the method that Alice recommended for a good and simple cup of hot chocolate followed the K-I-S-S principle (and though I’m sure y’all know what it means, for those who don’t, it means Keep-It-Simple,-Stupid!). Nothing more than good quality chocolate, water and milk. The added bonus for me was that since I could use a dark chocolate and soy milk, I was able to keep the throat-clogging dairy content down which meant I was really able to enjoy my hot choc without gagging on my body’s reaction to too much moo-juice.

(No, I’m not vegetarian or vegan, I just have a mild dairy intolerance which likes to rear its ugly head particularly when I drink milky things. Eating doesn’t present much of a problem to my throat, no idea why…)

I really can’t wait for summer to come back, with it’s long languorous days, fresh berries and sunkissed fruits…but till then, at least I’m able to fix myself a mug of hot chocolate to warm my insides while I imagine lying on my deck with my toes dangling in the pool :)

Hot chocolate

Rich Hot Chocolate
( serves 4-5, from Alice Medrich’s “Bittersweet“)

Ingredients
180-200g dark or milk chocolate (1 went with 2 bars of Lindt 75% dark as I wanted rich but not sweet)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Place chocolate in a small saucepan, then pour over 3/4 cup of boiling water over the chocolate and stir vigorously till the chocolate has melted and is smooth.

2. Stir in the rest of the water and milk, then heat over medium heat while whisking continuously till hot but not bubbling.

3. Serve immediately with some home-made marshmallows, or set aside and reheat just before serving!

P.S. Is anyone having trouble loading my page? I’ve had a few emails (okay, so just 2) from people saying that everything appears fine in their feed reader, but when they try and load the actual website, it throws a major hissy fit…

[tags]recipes, methods, cooking, hot chocolate, alice medrich, winter, drinks[/tags]

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