• Jennine Bryant

Spiced Hot Chocolate with Amaretto Cream



There's a famous cafe in Zurich called Conditorei Schobers. While the window displays are beautifully crafted, the cafe itself is set back from the street - you could easily walk right by and not realise it's there. They serve the most decadent hot chocolate I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Not only is it rich with the finest Swiss chocolate, it's also silky smooth, and so thick I swear you could almost stand a spoon up in it.


Here in Norwich, autumn has definitely arrived. The leaves are falling, there's a cold bite to the wind, and I'm now wearing at least 3 layers any time I leave the house. It's definitely time for hot chocolate, and this former Swiss resident has high standards.


So, I spent the day in the kitchen experimenting with hot chocolate recipes, thinking how lucky I am that this my job. Drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate can be work? Yes kids, it really can.


It took a few goes and much more wasted chocolate than I am willing to admit, but, I made my version of Schobers hot chocolate. It's so smooth, so thick and so rich - just how the perfect hot chocolate should be.


To make things a touch more seasonal, and a bit more exciting, I added a little spice. Call me basic if you want, but there is nothing basic about this spiced hot chocolate. Especially when it's topped with lightly boozy, whipped amaretto cream.




This is what happens when you enthusiastically fill your mug and then liberally dollop cream on top. There might have been a little sampling of the amaretto before the taking of this photo.



A few notes before we begin:

  • It really is important to whisk the cornflour in with a little of the cold milk first, before adding it to the rest of the milk in the pan. Otherwise it likely won't combine properly and you'd end up with unpleasant tasting little lumps in your hot chocolate.

  • Use the best quality cooking chocolate you can find. It is the quickest way to make your hot chocolate go from decently delicious to out of this world.

  • I've used almond milk for this recipe, purely because I happen to prefer it (as does my stomach). The recipe will work just as well with any milk or milk alternative out there.

  • The cocoa powder might seem like overkill, but trust me on this.

  • If spiced hot chocolate is a little out there for you and you prefer yours unadulterated, simply omit the spices. It'll taste just as fab.


Spiced Hot Chocolate with Amaretto Cream


Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes

Makes 2 generous portions


Ingredients

For the hot chocolate:

100g dark chocolate, chopped

4 cups almond milk (or cow milk)

1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 teaspoons cornflour

5 tablespoons brown sugar

1 star anise

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

A pinch or two of nutmeg

Amaretto cream:

150ml double cream

2 teaspoons Amaretto


Optional:

Hot chocolate toppings of your choice


Method

  1. Combine half a cup of the milk with the cornflour, mixing with a whisk or a fork until the cornflour is fully combined and no lumps remain.

  2. Pour the rest of the milk into a small saucepan and turn on to a medium heat. Add in the cornflour and milk before mixing thoroughly.

  3. Add the star anise, the nutmeg and the cinnamon to the milk in the saucepan and stir gently, allowing the milk to heat through, absorbing the flavour of all the delicious spices.

  4. Once the milk is hot but not boiling add in the cocoa powder, the sugar and the the chopped chocolate. Then turn off the heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate has completely melted and everything is combined.

  5. To make the Amaretto cream, pour the double cream into a stand mixer or bowl, and then whisk until thickened. Add the Amaretto and whisk a little more.

  6. Pour out the hot chocolate into two mugs, top with the Amaretto cream and any toppings you choose.


Now put your thickly socked feet up by the fire and enjoy your delicious mug of hot chocolate. Yum!