I have an issue with hot chocolate. I also have an issue with edible, lovingly homemade Christmas presents. I need to talk to you about these things.
So here’s my beef with hot chocolate; it’s not chocolately enough. Everytime I drink a cup, I get this overwhelming urge to complain to someone. I feel cheated. It’s called Hot Chocolate, not ‘Hot, A-Bit-Like-Chocolate But Not As Good’. And whilst I’m on this little rant, do you want to know my issue with edible, lovingly homemade Christmas presents (ELHCP’s for short)? Their shelf life. I eat enough at Christmas, in fact, I’m totally committed to eating lots at Christmas. I plan for it. What I really want for Christmas are ELHCP’s that I can pull out of the cupboard around January time, when I just can’t face putting on my 20 layers to visit the shops. Ungrateful? Maybe. Sorry. It’s okay. I have a solution.
It’s so obvious it hurts. Solid chocolate, on a stick, to melt into hot milk. It makes near damned perfect hot chocolate, keeps for ages (it laughs in the face of January) and looks just beautiful. And, as if that weren’t enough, it gives a use to all those silly silicone moulds I keep being given that I just can’t bake good cakes in. (Is that just me?)
Here it is… the easiest, most yummy ELHCP you ever did see:
- Dark chocolate (I used 75g per silicone mould but really, it all depends how large your mould is)
- Mini marshmallows. I used these.
Find a gorgeous mug you plan to give as a gift. Then find a gorgeous teaspoon you plan to give as a gift. Next take the silicone mini cake mould and check it fits into the mug. There could be nothing more disappointing than having a lovely chocolate stick and it not fitting into your hot milk.
1) Break the chocolate up into pieces and fill your silicone mould with it until it’s almost full, but not with chocolate poking out over the sides.
2) Place chocolate filled silicone thing into the microwave on the outside of the spinning plate and cook on high for about 40 seconds, but do keep watching it as all microwaves are different in power and you don’t want to end up with burnt chocolate.
3) Open the microwave and have a little poke about with a wooden toothpick. If the chocolate has melted down and left room for more chocolate then add some more and give it another 30 second blast.
4) Repeat step 3 until the mould is full with about 3mm at the top of the mould free of chocolate.
5) Carefully remove the little silicone mould from the microwave – remember it could easily wobble and spill your molten chocolate. Leave on a plate, chocolate still in mould, to cool slightly.
6) When the chocolate is starting to re-set, pop your teaspoon into the middle of it and leave to fully cool and set at a 90 degree angle. If it’s solid enough at this point then you won’t have to hold the teaspoon up.
7) Pop some little marshmallows onto the top of the almost set chocolate and leave to completely set until rock solid, at room temperature. Then remove from the silicone mould and wrap in cellophane type packaging.
8) Write a little label with the suggestion that a tired person swirl the chocolate stick in scalding milk until dissolved, and then drink until feeling very content and sleepy.
(NB: It has been pointed out to me that really one should temper chocolate to ensure it doesn’t get any bloom (white bits) on it when it dries. Well, I didn’t temper and mine didn’t develop white bits on it but if you are a perfectionist and are very worried about this type of thing then do temper your chocolate – use google and youtube to watch and learn how.)