Have you been running around, doing your last-minute Christmas shopping in the freezing cold and crazy crowds? Have you been wrapping presents all day long and have the paper cuts and two empty rolls of tape to prove it? Have you been figuring out your Christmas menu and are freaking out at all the ingredients you have to buy?
You need a break. You need some proper hot chocolate, a couple marshmallows, and a comfy blanket.
Christmastime really is a wonderful time, but many of us (including myself) are too busy to enjoy it. We spend our time thinking of gifts, rushing around to get said gifts, worrying about all the plans and parties, but not actually relaxing and enjoying the feeling of Christmas.
It's just one of those things that people do - worry and stress out. Christmas is a time for cozying up by the fireplace (or the yule log on tv) with a warm drink and just....relaxing. Don't check your phone, don't browse your facebook, don't stress over the presents you haven't gotten yet. What's the point of making sure everyone else has a good Christmas if you don't even have a good Christmas?
So make some time for yourself to unwind. Appreciate the gorgeous Christmas tree you have, the cute lights you've strung up, and the kickass hot chocolate you just made.
Real proper hot chocolate is one of those decadent treats that make you feel all cozy and snuggly inside. You can customize it any way you like - different types of chocolate, infusing flavours into the milk, or adding some booze! These are just a few guidelines that you can expand with your own ideas.
And, of course, no hot chocolate is complete without some awesome homemade marshmallows!
Earl Grey Hot Chocolate
200 mL milk
50 mL heavy cream
1 teaspoon loose leaf earl grey tea
45 g good quality dark or milk chocolate, chopped finely
Bring the milk and cream to just a boil, add the tea, then turn off the heat. Let it steep for a few minutes, strain the tea leaves out, and bring it back to a boil. Pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Slowly add the rest of the milk mixture and stir until you have a smooth hot chocolate.
Hazelnut Hot Chocolate
250 mL milk
75 g good quality gianduja (hazelnut milk chocolate), chopped finely
10 g good quality dark chocolate, chopped finely
Bring the milk to just a boil, then pour 1/3 of it over the chocolate. Stir until smooth, then slowly add the rest of the milk and stir until you have a smooth hot chocolate.
Spiced Hot Chocolate
250 mL milk
1 whole clove
2 whole allspice
pinch of nutmeg
1 stick of cinnamon
30 g good quality dark chocolate, chopped finely
30 g good quality milk chocolate, chopped finely
Bring the milk and spices to just a boil, then turn off the heat and leave it for 5 minutes. Bring it back to a just a boil, and strain 1/3 of the milk over the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Strain the rest of the milk over the chocolate and stir until you have a smooth hot chocolate.