Friday, November 29, 2019


Colder weather simply calls for homemade, warming treats. Warm, buttery brioche, gingerbread cookies, and of course, hot chocolate. Amber caramel melted into hot milk and vanilla, and embellished with dark chocolate and smooth peanut butter - a delight for all ages.
It truly is the perfect treat after a day in the cold, or simply a sweet little indulgence, served with tiny marshmallows or dollops of cream, after a hearty brunch. I suggest using a 35% cocoa bar, because anything higher would overpower the flavour, and you want both caramel and peanut butter to shine through once savoured.

100 grams granulated sugar
500 ml whole milk
20 grams cornflour
10 grams cocoa powder
50 grams cooking chocolate (35%)
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
50 grams creamy peanut butter
100 ml double cream
20 grams ground peanuts, optional

Take about 100 ml of milk, whisk it well with sifted cornflour and the cocoa powder, and set it aside. Add the sugar into an even layer in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place it over medium heat, and let the sugar melt slowly. Once the sugar starts to brown around the edges, gently move the melted parts towards the centre, and keep cooking over medium heat until it starts to turn darker in colour and becomes fragrant.
Once it becomes a deep amber colour, very carefully, in a slow stream, pour the rest of the milk, and let it come to a boil. When the milk starts bubbling up, and the hardened caramel has melted, add in the mixture of cornflour and cocoa powder in a steady stream, and cook until it thickens up, about 2-3 minutes. It should resemble a somewhat thin chocolate custard.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain it well, then immediately add in the chopped up chocolate, vanilla, and the peanut butter, and stir gently until everything is well blended. If using, add in the ground peanuts, give it one final stir, and pour it into two large serving mugs. Whip up the double cream until soft peaks form, and place dollops on the top of the hot chocolate. Decorate as desired, and serve immediately.