Rich. Velvety. Delicious. Is there a better drink (wine aside) to turn to on a drizzly night? We don’t think so. But there is a reason why that hot chocolate tastes so good, and it’s not just because it is sweet. Studies have shown that chocolate has a direct effect on the brain, releasing the neurotransmitter phenylethylamine. Referred to as the “chocolate amphetamine,” it causes you to feel excited and alert, and your pulse rate to increase – a similar feeling to falling in love.!
While this spicy recipe has been created with sophisticated taste buds in mind, we’re sure little ones will be keen to a have a taste too. So why not fend off the January blues by indulging yourself!
INGREDIENTS (SERVES TWO)
- 4 cups (1000 ml) milk
- 200 gm couverture chocolate, coarsely grated
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika (preferably smoked)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- Ground cinnamon, to serve
- Chantilly cream, to serve
Over a low to medium heat, warm up the milk. Add the pepper, paprika and cinnamon stick and allow the spices to unfold as the heat increases. Stir the liquid and ensure it does not boil.
Remove the cinnamon stick and add the chocolate, allowing it to melt while you continue stirring.
Once the chocolate has fully melted, turn the stove off and set the pot aside. Prepare two glasses for serving – we recommend using a generously sized heatproof jar.
Remove the cream from the fridge and give it a generous whisk before place on the bench alongside a teaspoon and the two remaining cinnamon sticks. Pour the hot chocolate into your chosen drinking vessel, and adorn with cream, ground cinnamon and a cinnamon stick in each glass. Bottoms up!