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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Alcoholic hot chocolate

A good pick-me-up for when you're feeling down; exhausted; depressed; cold; in need of chocolate; in need of sugar; in need of a hot, milky, boozy drink; all of the above.
I had an all-of-the-above need that wasn't going to be assuaged by cocoa powder in hot milk, as good as that can be. Chocolate was called for. (actually I had a raging need for a slab of chocolate cake, but that wasn't gonna happen at 10pm...) I remembered a "recipe" for alcoholic hot chocolate in Nigella's Feast and gave it a go.
Loosely, you put in about 50g dark chocolate in a little saucepan with a cup (250ml)of milk and a cinnamon stick. Let it all heat up and melt and turn the colour of Willy Wonka's chocolate river and get all cinnamony. Then add a teaspoon of honey and a dash of vanilla extract (or paste in my case. I love my new vanilla paste) and simmer for a little longer. Don't let it boil over or you'll have a heck of a mess to clean up and that's not what you want at 10pm when you're hanging out for your hot chocolate. Then add a dash of alcohol; just a teaspoon or so because it's quite pervasive and you don't want to kill all those other spicy, honeyery, vanillaery flavours. Nigella suggests rum; that'd be great. But we don't have any rum. I used whisky. And the next night when I decided it was so good I had to repeat the experience, I used brandy. Both are great. But go easy on them.
This beats the pants off my usual dissolved cocoa powder and milk in the microwave thing. It'll be great in winter.

(Incidentally the cup in the photo is possibly the one thing my brother and I may come to blows over when we set up our own houses. It was our great-grandmother's tea cup and is totally unique in that it holds a lot, but is also quite fine and not chunky. My brother has a long history of turning sweet biscuits into a revolting-looking tea-soaked porridge in this cup. It's always the first cup to be used after the dishwasher finishes, and I've been known to rinse it free of gloopy biscuit mush instead of getting a clean one from the cupboard! Many attempts have been made to replicate it and all have failed. For us it's one of a kind.)


  • This will be the first alcoholic thing I drink when Lent is over!
    Lovely mug. V. important to have the right mug for our beverages :-)

    By Blogger lazy cow, at 3/15/2006 10:26:00 pm  

  • Love the mug story. My sister and I know we'll fight over something too: my Mom's flour bin. Isn't it funny, the little things?

    By Blogger Alanna Kellogg, at 3/16/2006 01:05:00 am  

  • Sounds like my kind of hot chocolate!

    By Blogger Ange, at 3/17/2006 12:30:00 pm  

  • Hmm... I'm driving over to your place next time I need a hit like that!

    By Blogger Belinda, at 3/18/2006 09:33:00 am  

  • Grand Marnier also tastes great in hot chocolate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/18/2006 09:54:00 am  

  • Mmmmm i cant wait to try this tasty looking beverage when the weather turns cooler. aaah winter where are you???


    I love the background tale of your cup... that one item which is so practical and asthetically wonderful... and usually grandparents are involved. i hope you get the cup ;)

    By Blogger deborah, at 3/18/2006 01:07:00 pm  

  • Oh wow that sounds heavenly ... I might get over my anti-Nigella stance at this rate, with your influence, and *delicious* magazine (which you also turned me on to!)

    "Honeyery" huh. I thought I was the only one who made up words like that! And please tell us about the vanilla paste - what brand, where from and can I get it in Perth?

    Oh yes, the right crockery is SO important! It looks kinda like a fine Denby ware mug.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/19/2006 06:12:00 pm  

  • Oh that looks great!! The perfect blend of two of my favourite things. Alcohol & chocolate. Thanks! :D

    By Blogger diva, at 3/19/2006 08:36:00 pm  

  • I assume you're talking about the Queen's new range of vanilla products. I was right disappointed with their vanilla dusting sugar and was going to write a diatribe about it on my blog but got distracted. And when I found my Bourbon Vanilla has run out (and the price seems to have gone up by ten times since I bought it last!) I checked out a fancy one (I need it to make a pavlova this week) but the first ingredient was SUGAR and it was really really expensive. So I took the plunge and bought the vanilla paste. At least I think it's the same one you like. Too late anyhow.

    By Blogger plum, at 3/19/2006 10:06:00 pm  

  • That mug sounds awesome! I too have a favorite fine mug (with a cute little picture of a lobster on the side) that holds a lot, and I get somewhat annoyed when my roommates use it and leave it dirty.

    Great blog! It's my first time here - I'm exploring Melbourne food blogs as I will be doing an internship in the winter there :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/20/2006 01:04:00 pm  

  • Sounds delicious! Hot chocolate is the BEST when it's already 10 p.m. and a chocolate craving strikes. I recently discovered a Mexican hot chocolate with the odd-sounding combination of tequila and Kahlua, and it was quite wonderful. Here's the link, if you're interested: http://candiedquince.ca/archives/55
    It would, of course, taste extra good in your special mug!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/30/2006 05:50:00 am  

  • OMG that sounds too divine! Hot chocolate is one of my all-time favourite comfort foods and I have alos recently started making it with cinnamon which I find vastly improves it. Next step will be a drop of alcohol, mmmm! Now if only I can figure out a way of getting some MSG in there I can have all my favourite dietary sins at once!! :o)

    By Blogger Jeanne, at 4/10/2006 11:20:00 pm  

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