Thursday, 12 December 2013

Winter temptations

Warning - if you are easily lead into temptation, you might want to stop reading about ... now! I'm sure I'm not the only one whose favourite drink at this time of year is hot chocolate, and after doing the Manic.Monday post on Sally Hansen's Haute Chocolate I was really in the mood for the real thing. There's nothing so cozy and comforting as coming home from a long walk in the cold, lighting some candles and then heat up from the inside with a nice cup of cocoa. Some people are really creative and make their own tasty hot chocolate from scratch in all kinds of yummy varieties and flavors, and I take my winter beanie off to them. But since I frankly can't be bothered with that and am more busy with deciding which nail polish to wear next, I turn to one of the great ready made powder versions that you can get from your local super market, or in specialist shops like Whittard or Hotel Chocolat. A while back I bought quite a few weird and wonderful hot chocolate flavors at a sale in Whittard which now are my occasional winter treat.
There are some flavors that work better in combination with chocolate than others and for me ginger, cinnamon and chilli are definitely at the top of the list. As you may have gathered from other posts I love spicy food and to experiment with different flavors, and that also extends to drinks. Adding ginger to hot chocolate adds a warm, piquant sweet zing to it, but it's by no means spicy hot as such or overpowering. It's perfect to decorate with a couple of thin slices of crystallized ginger to bring out the sweetness of the chocolate, it might sound strange, but well it's well worth trying. Cinnamon is another spice that adds a subtle, soft warm depth and since it's bitter and sweet at the same time, it works perfectly with chocolate without being too distinct. I love to combine cinnamon hot chocolate with something nutty and crunchy, e.g. crocante or toasted nuts to add a little extra to it and toasted nuts in the winter time are just lovely.

Last in the line up is the most interesting flavor - lime and chilli hot chocolate, but perhaps not one for those with less adventurous taste buds. Using hot chocolate and chilli together is not as novel a combination as you might think, in fact it dates back to the aztec civilisation where strong beer-like chilli hot chocolate was used as we use champagne today - to celebrate special occasions and it was also part of important ceremonies. The chilli definitely adds a kick, but it's not a burning hot sensation and it's more of a heat that develops, and the lime cools and refreshes at the same time - this is a quintessentially Mexican flavor which very addictive. Since the chilli brings out the bitterness of chocolate more than anything, it works really well to add some sweetness, e.g. marshmallows or M&Ms as decorations to tone down that bitterness.
 Guess what is in each mug?
Lime & Chilli hot chocolate, whipped cream and mini marshmallows
Cinnamon hot chocolate, whipped cream, sprinkle of cinnamon and toasted chopped hazelnuts

I'm not that big a hot chocolate lover that I will ever replace champagne with it, but I do enjoy the occasional decadent and naughty excess of chocolate with lashes of cream and scrumptious toppings. Feel free to blame me for any accidental intake of hot chocolate that might happen today - just enjoy every sip of it and I assume FULL responsibility!

52 comments:

  1. I'm normally not a chocolate fan either but I do enjoy a rich cup once in a while.
    Love ones with hint of chili and I make a version with peanut butter that is to die for but ginger sounds amazing!! Mmm...lol
    atelier zozo

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    1. I love peanut butter so I can imagine how yummy that would be :o). Xx

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  2. My favorite has to be Orange. I just think chocolate orange is a dreamy combination. Chilli and lime sounds interesting. Xx

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    1. I love Mocha orange - that's great for winter time :O). Xx

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  3. I adore my hot chocolate. Such a lovely treat to have when it is so cold!

    Rachael x
    All The Little Things x | Rachael McClenaghan

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    1. It is, or even when it's not so cold... :o). Xx

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  4. OMG Charlotte these sound amazing! I'd love to try the lime and chilli version x

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    1. The combination is unusual but simply amazing! Xx

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  5. Not a very big fan of chocolates but i do eat it once in a while:)
    lovely pics!!!

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  6. Oh my these look so tasty! x
    http://lornaswishingwell.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I hope I have managed to tempt someone to a lovely hot chocolate today :o). Xx

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  7. Ginger hot chocolate, Lime and chilli hot chocolate??!!!! Sounds SO good. My husband would love the lime and chilli one, I should sneak one in his stocking!

    Cornelia - Ineffable Beauty

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    1. Great idea - I hope he makes one for you too :o). Xx

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  8. I love hot chocolate, cinnamon aroma as well rom and oranges.

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    1. That sounds lovely, I'll have to try that some time :o). Xx

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  9. oh my god! you make me hungry! i love chinnamon and chili with chocolate too! mini marshmallow!! *__*
    xoxo vale

    there's a giveaway on my blog!come and join it :D
    www.lavaligiasuletto.wordpress.com

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  10. Yummmy!!! It seems all delicious!

    XOXO!

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    1. Thank you so much, it really is - almost too yummy so it's difficult to limit yourself to just the one every now and then :O). Xx

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  11. Oh my, this sounds beautiful! I love hot chocolate and mint together, like in Starbucks I always get a peppermint hot chocolate, it's amazing!
    lipstickandlightening.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh that's another good one. I might get that tomorrow when I'm out and about :o). Xx

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  12. oooh this looks lovely Charlotte! Please come and make me one haha.

    amuchprettierpuzzle.blogspot.com

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    1. :o) - I've been lusting after one all day now! Xx

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  13. Cinnamon sounds lovely! The Lime & Chilli is a different one!! I LOVE Whittards White Hot Chocolate its lovely!

    Amber's Beauty Talk

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    1. Yes they do have some great ones to choose from :O). Xx

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  14. yum! looks amazing. i love hot chocolate, if i could get a good one at work you would definitely have tempted me :)

    writingwhimsy.com

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    1. Aaaah, what a shame - Starbucks on the way home maybe :o)? Xx

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  15. oh my word they look delicious!! cinnamon hot chocolate sounds amazing xx

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    1. It's very yummy, and I'm already wondering what lovely combination I can come up with next :o). Xx

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  16. Oh I read that first sentence too late....ooooohhhhh, so yummy!
    xo
    styleontheside.com

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    1. :o) - oh go on, treat yourself - like I said I assume full responsibility :o). Xx

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  17. Replies
    1. :o) - I picked up a new flavor today - peppermint, so let's see what we can do with that :o). Xx

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  18. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, I'm surprised I even managed to get a photo with them untouched :o). Xx

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  19. Key board malfunction caused by my drool :p

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    1. LOL - best way to fix is to place giant cup of hot chocolate on keyboard :o). Xx

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  20. Wow...These chocolates are to die for...

    Have a goodnight
    Chadlen
    http://chezmoibychadlen.blogspot.gr/

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  21. I'm not a big chocolate fan...but I do like a little hot cocoa on occasion. The Lime and Chilli flavour has peeked my curiosity...I would love to give it a whirl.
    www.chrysalisgals.blogspot.com

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  22. I lurrrvee the Whittards hot chocolate flavours too, I'm currently enjoying the cinnamon and 'luxury' option!

    http://ambertypes.blogspot.co.uk xx

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  23. Chocolate is the stuff!! I've heard it tastes better with a pinch of salt!

    Ayesha
    Defining Me

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    1. I've heard that too and that it brings out the bitterness, but never tried it - perhaps I'll add some next time, if I can remember :o). Great tip! Xx

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  24. Love the ginger one! Must go to whittards! Hae you tried the strawberry white chocolate? It's amazing xxx

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    1. Not yet, but it sounds amazing - super recommendation :o). Xx

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  25. Soon as I get into work tomorrow (I'm a barista) I'm getting a honeycomb hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. Damn you! :P

    http://theremightbecoffee.wordpress.com/

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    1. Sounds yummy to me - great start to the week :o). Xx

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