Wellness Wednesday: best hot chocolate ever

That’s a pretty big claim, isn’t it? But I think once you’ve tried this hot chocolate, you’ll agree. DSC_2392 Let me start with a big disclaimer though, it is not something I came up with myself! It is the genius of Yasmeen at Wandering Spice, but I found it as an Instagram post by someone I follow, who had in turn regrammed it from Dumbo Feather. Ah, the distractions of the internet… I’m always thinking I should get off my phone in idle moments, but then I stumble on something life-changing like this hot chocolate! As soon as I saw this recipe I wanted to try it, but I didn’t have any nutmeg – I did, however, have some mixed spice powder (the kind used in gingerbread, speculaas and that kind of thing). Plus, I’m not so much of a sweet tooth when it comes to drinks so I left out any sweetener. Therefore, my own mildly-tweaked version goes as follows: In a mug, mix a generous teaspoon of raw organic cacao powder (more like a tablespoon – the more you add the richer the result) with a liberal shaking of the jars of cinnamon and mixed spice powder with a pinch of salt (salt is optional but it does bring out the flavour). DSC_2388 Pour a small amount of hot water over this to melt the mixture together. Take deep breaths and smell the spices and try not to eat this gooey goodness as-is. DSC_2390 Add warmed milk (I used soy simply because that’s what I had to hand) and something sweet if you like. DSC_2389 That’s it! Now drink and wonder how you ever managed to get through winter without this recipe in your life. DSC_2391 To be honest, I’ve never drunk that much hot chocolate at home as most hot chocolate mixtures involve a lot of sugar, which theoretically I try to avoid (in practice, there’s not that much avoidance going on!), and some of them have thickening agents to make the drink seem richer. Also, I don’t have a microwave so heating milk involves a saucepan and the consequent washing up afterwards. But that’s a price I’m prepared to pay now that I’ve found this recipe! What I find interesting about this method is that you mix the dry ingredients in water and then add the milk, whereas usually hot chocolate seems to be made by throwing everything in with the milk and warming it all together. As a side note, I’ve found milk doesn’t froth well if you add things to it while warming it on a stove top, but when it’s warmed just by itself, it’s easy to froth up – just something to remember if you like a bit of foam on your winter beverages. I’m sure there’s a chemical reason behind the frothing/not frothing – does anyone know? Perhaps this way of making hot chocolate takes its cues more from how coffee is made, ie with the milk added to a brewed mixture. Wherever Yasmeen got the idea though, I’m grateful for it – it’s a way to make hot chocolate good for you: raw organic cacao is full of minerals and other healthy stuff, and there are heaps of benefits to consuming spices too, apart from the fact that they add flavour and smell divine. But enough raving from me – go and try this for yourself!