Loved-up hot choc

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It’s spring, it’s Valentine’s Day, love is the air, the birds are tweeting  – but it’s still flippin’ freezing. Keep things cosy with this sweet and spicy hot choc treat.

Hot chocolate was a traditional drink of Aztec people in Mexico, who valued the cocoa beans as much as money. The Aztecs used to roast and grind the beans to form a thick paste, which they would then thin out with water, adding chilli and a bit of vanilla. When the Spanish arrived, they found the spicy drink too bitter, so added sugar and milk. If you feel like celebrating, stir in a shot of spiced rum right before serving.

600ml milk
142ml pot double cream
100g chocolate, chopped (for a rich experience, try a bar with 70% cocoa solids)
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 bag of large marshmallows
Small heart-shaped cutter (like this one from Kitchen Complements)

Pour the milk, double cream and chocolate into a pan.
Bring gently to the boil, whisking until smooth. Add the spices and adjust to taste. If it’s a little too spicy, a pinch of sugar will help bring it back. Use the cutter to create heart-shaped marshmallows.
Serve in individual cups topped with the marshmallows.

PS Feeling lazy? We love these delish Hot Chocolate Cups from Butlers, €4.25 for ten portions.

Marshmallows made by Lesley Tumulty. Styling by Marlene Wessels. Photography by @nathaliemc

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