Sunday, 2 September 2012

a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit

it's no great surprise to those who know me that i love tea a lot.. i usually start the day with a pot of tea but i also love my daily latte..although having said that i only really enjoy coffee in the social setting of a cafe especially with company or at least with a crossword to stimulate my ageing neurones..then there are times, especially in winter after a long day working in the garden, when i crave a hot chocolate..and there've been times when i've been out and i'm maxed out on caffeine that i've fancied a hot chocolate..but every hot chocolate i've had has been a big disappointment..

now travelling is good..i won't argue with that..but it has its downside when the best hot chocolate i've ever had was as a 21 year old in the south of france and in northern italy..i've tried many different ways of making it myself with cocoa and/or chocolate, i've sampled hot chocolate from specialist chocolate shops that purport to have the best and i've also purchased containers of expensive italian hot chocolate powder..the main problem for me with bought hot chocolate is that it's always too sweet and because the base is pre made even at the specialist chocolate shops there is no option for adjusting it..another problem is that the hot chocolate i've made and most that i've bought is that it's too 'thin'..the hot chocolate i had in the south of france and in italy had some body to other words it was hot chocolate with substance..

well there's a happy end to my hot chocolate story because i have found that i can make a decent hot chocolate at home by adding cornflour which thickens it beautifully and makes it much more substantial and celebrate my discovery i made some biscuits today to have with my hot chocolate this afternoon..

'tea with hazel' hot chocolate

ingredients (for each person)

1 cup organic full cream unhomogenised milk
1/2-1 tablespoon (tbs) vanilla castor sugar (adjust according to taste)
1 tbs cornflour
1 heaped tbs dutch cocoa


~put milk in a saucepan with the sugar and heat until nearly boiling
~mix cornflour and cocoa with enough cold water or milk to make a smooth paste
~add a little hot milk to the paste and mix
~while stirring add the paste to the hot milk and cook until just boiling

to serve

~i like to serve mine in a large breakfast cup as they do in france
~other additions:

  • a biscuit (as i did this time)
  • marshmallows
  • stir in a couple of pieces of milk or dark chocolate
  • a dollop of cream

ingredients (biscuit)

225 gms butter
3/4 cup pure icing sugar
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup corn flour

ingredients (icing)

125 gms cream cheese 
1 cup pure icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
a few drops of cochineal


~cream butter and icing sugar
~add sifted flours and mix until just incorporated
~remove from bowl and shape into a 1.5 inch diameter sausage
~wrap in kitchen wrap and refrigerate until firm
~cut into 1/2 inch rounds and place well apart on a greased or lined trays
~cook at 180 deg c for 15 minutes
~let cool a little on tray and then remove to a cooling rack
~mix the icing ingredients until smooth
~ice biscuits when they are cool

~i don't think i'd make these biscuits again because:

  • the cornflour in them had a furry mouth feel i didn't like
  • the icing was ok but i think i'd prefer buttercream icing or a simple lemon icing 

so tell you like hot chocolate and if you do how do you like it made?


  1. I wouldn't have thought to put cornflour into hot chocolate! I must try this before it gets too warm to enjoy hot chocolate.

    1. hi kate..let me know if you make it..wildcraft diva (comment below) suggested potato starch instead of cornflour..i'm going to try that too to see if i like it better..

  2. Yum Jane, I feel like a hot chocolate now! I agree, sometimes you need more than tea but you can easily max out on coffee. In the cold weather hot chocolate it a great solution to this problem. The biscuits look yummy, pretty icing!

    1. thanks jane..the biscuits were a disappointment as i said in the post so i won't be making them again..but that's part of cooking isn't it..

  3. Yummy! It will soon be "cioccolata calda" season here. You can also use potato starch instead of cornflour to give thickness. In Italy there is a pretty good instant version on the market "Ciobar" by Cameo. My kids often make it for themselves and friends. I, like you, prefer to make from scratch and add very little sugar and add a pinch of cinnamon.

    1. ah..wildcraft know exactly what i'm talking about..i will definitely try your potato starch suggestion to see if i like it better..and yes i'm with you on making it least that way we know exactly what we are consuming and it's cheaper too..