There is a spectrum of hot chocolates. At one end, the instant and saccharine; at the other, chunks of the real deal – melted and laced. This warming number sits at the luxurious end, with hints of citrus and aromatic nutmeg lifting it onto an altogether cosy, autumnal plane.
Tangerine and nutmeg hot chocolate
Makes one small cup 20g plain chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) 1 piece dried tangerine or orange peel 100ml cold water 1–2 tsp icing sugar, according to taste and quality of chocolate
To serve: 1–2 tsp double cream Extra nutmeg
You will need: Nutmeg grater Small skewer or cocktail stick
1. Put the chocolate and tangerine peel in a non-stick pan. Add the water and gently bring to simmering point on a low heat, stirring to melt the chocolate. 2. Add sugar to taste, simmer and stir for 5–10 mins until the mixture just begins to thicken. 3. Remove the peel and pour into a small cup or tea bowl and float cream on the top, swirling or marbling using a cocktail stick or small skewer. Serve sprinkled with a grating of nutmeg.
Tip: For a comforting bedtime treat, add 100ml milk to the pan and, once the chocolate has thickened and heated through, pour into a mug to take to bed.
Variation: Try adding a 1cm piece of vanilla pod and a pinch of ground cinnamon or chilli in place of the tangerine and nutmeg.
Hot chocolate recipe from Artisan Drinks by Lindy Wildsmith (Jacqui Small, £25)