Our town Christmas lights are being switched on next week. It’s an excuse to have a small gathering with some friends, don Christmas jumpers and instigate festive cheer. Let’s get this Chrimbo malarkey started!
This hot chocolate bar was simple to plan one year. And it’s so easy to recreate at home to perhaps celebrate your first Christmas movie of 2016?
To mark December 1st?
As a shoppers’ treat after a long day of Christmas shopping?
As a pre/post-panto get together with your brood?
To mark a successful nativity play? Or maybe a Christmas Eve treat?
And if you aren’t lucky enough to have an open fire to sit by to enjoy your hot drink, there’s always your YouTube friend who will never let you down (yes, open fire videos are a thing!).
To be honest, in true uncalendared style, there’s always a reason to create a hot chocolate bar at home. Maybe the excuse for chocolate is sufficient! And if you add a bottle of Baileys or your winter tipple of choice (whiskey or flavoured vodka anyone?), then this is just as much for the adults as it is for the kids.
Now I know that there are people who don’t care for hot chocolate at all. That’s OK (although seriously, what’s wrong with you?), but they may just not have found their perfect combo yet. It’s not all mini marshmallows and whipped cream. A variety of toppings and flavourings may help them experiment. Mix in or top with one or two of the following:
- Grated cinnamon?
- A spoonful of Nutella?
- Coconut shavings?
- Crumbled toffee?
- Crushed Oreos?
- Chili chocolate chunks?
- Chocolate, toffee or raspberry sauce?
- A spoonful of indulgent flavoured, heavy cream?
Or keep it simple and just remember to set your slow cooker on low, keeping your milky drink ready to enjoy whenever you are.
I’ve recently experimented with some slow cooker hot chocolate recipes which include pots of cream, condensed milk and other coronary-loving ingredients. I found it far too sweet and rich for my liking and will stick to a good quality cocoa powder or melted chocolate bar.
Why not mix into hot milk these chocolate blocks for a creamy alternative to cocoa powder?
They’re simple to make using ice cube trays.
- Short-handled spoons work best
- Flexible ice moulds work best
- Pour melted chocolate into each cube, allow to cool slightly before gently inserting a wooden spoon into the centre of each block of chocolate loveliness
- Chill until set (approximately 15 minutes)
- Remove from fridge and bring to room temperature before tapping your cube tray to release each stirrer. (This is where you’ll be grateful for a flexible mould).
Add some good quality shortbread to your hot chocolate buffet (shop-bought is just as delicious) and you have a fabulous festive treat.
Use mini chalkboards or chalkboard decorations to label your toppings, or use a sharpie to write on your white plates (it’ll wash off, no fear!).
Disposable insulated cups are widely and cheaply available in all supermarkets these days, which makes your life even easier. Personalise them to suit your ‘celebration’ and to ensure everyone knows which mug is theirs (especially important if you’ve been overly generous with the Baileys) . Or grab a mason jar or your favourite winter mug and indulge in hot chocolate heaven.
It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Let’s get this festive show on the road shall we? Go!