Note: Since posting this I’ve been made aware that “Winter Berries” are poisonous – my expressed intent was to use mixed berries, and apologies for any confusion in the title.
Well, Valentines Day has come and gone and its officially still cold – so perhaps I can’t run away from winter that easily. Simply willing the earth’s axis to tilt our Northern hemisphere back towards the sun by posting spring-themed recipes has not worked. There’s nothing for it – I’ve got to move to Australia!
… Or better yet, embrace some more winter food. With that in mind, I’m sharing one of my go-to winter recipes that has kept me warm for at least a decade. Think Costa Coffee’s “Black Forest Gateaux” Hot Choc – but without all the unnecessary sugar, cherry syrup, and instead using delicious dark chocolate and fresh fruit. (note – yes I drizzled whipped cream on top of mine because I love it, but its just as gorgeous without it if you want something a little lower calorie!)
Another fantastic thing about this recipe is how easy and quick it is to make. The only limit to the amount of these I can whip up is the size of my pot – and I’ve got a very big stove-top pan! I also love the fact it uses dark chocolate. I know the science probably doesn’t back it up, especially when adding sugar, but I like to think its relatively guilt-free. At least compared to store bought ready-made powder. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants (even more than wine?!), and it also lowers your blood pressure.
As you can see from the below image, over the week in a supermarket I picked up a little bottle of ‘edible gold dust’. For any of you readers who have been with me from the start, you’ll know I LOVE glitter and all things shiny. My tiny flat is a veritable crow’s nest of shiny objects. Edible? All the better! To give this hot chocolate a little bit of the ole’ razzle dazzle, I’ve garnished the top with whipped cream, topped with freeze-dried raspberry pieces, a chunk of dark chocolate, and then sprayed it all gold.
If you’ve got any opinions about your favourite hot chocolate toppings, please let me know in the comments below!
Winter Berry Hot Chocolate
For the 'Winter' Berry Syrup
- 100 g Mixed Berries (Blueberries, Blackberries, Cherries etc.) Frozen or Fresh!
- 75 ml Water
- 50 g Sugar
For the Hot Chocolate
- 100 g Dark Chocolate
- 20 g Sugar
- 20 g Cocoa Powder
- 10 g Cinnamon Powder
- 5 ml Vanilla Extract
- 500 ml Milk of your choice (I used Almond milk due to personal preference)
In a small pan, heat up your mixed berries, water and sugar for about 5 minutes until soft and squishy.
Take off the heat, and remove any lumps by straining through a muslin cloth or a fine sieve.
Leaving your berry mix to one side, in the same pan begin to melt down the dark chocolate whilst slowly adding the milk, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon powder and vanilla extract. Whisk on a low heat until no lumps remain.
Add in 3/4 of your berry mix, mix thoroughly, then remove from the heat and pour into your favourite mug.
[OPTIONAL] - garnish with cream, freeze dried berries, marshmallows and drizzle with the remaining winter berry coulis.
… And a bonus ‘all gone’ photo!