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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
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6 of the best... twists on a classic hot chocolate, for a warming drink on a cold night

Where did you come from, baby? How did you know I needed you?

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IS THERE ANYTHING more enjoyable than a cosy night by the fire with a large mug of piping hot chocolate?

Creamy, indulgent, and sweet, it is the perfect ‘cure all’ drink on a cold night.

When it comes to the secret of a great hot chocolate, most chefs are strongly favour of using a dark chocolate that is around 70%. Anything higher than that can lead to a bitter taste, and using a lower percentage milk chocolate can result in a very mildly flavoured and overly sweet drink.

As well as nailing the flavour, the texture should also be considered, with many recipes using a mixture of cream and milk – some even add cornflour, which can help give the drink a smooth, velvety feel.

Freshly made hot chocolate is hard to beat so why not start planning a hot chocolate showstopper for your next night in?

1. Spiced and Salted Hot Chocolate, from Bibliocook: The secret to this recipe is using at least 70% dark chocolate. The addition of ginger, cardamom and nutmeg adds an element of warmth which is always welcome at this time of year!

2. Creamy Cashew Hot Chocolate, from Lean Mean Momma: This recipe is dairy free, refined sugar free and contains cacao which is rich in healthy fats, zinc and magnesium. The home made nut milk could easily be substituted for your milk of choice.

3. Bourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate, from Cookie Named Desire: Nothing will warm you up quite like this rich, creamy, bourbon hot chocolate. You can easily switch the bourbon for another flavoured liqueur, or omit it completely for a delicious child friendly drink.

Source: Pro Church Media

4. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, from Nigella Lawson: A classic hot chocolate recipe with a swirl of salted caramel sauce for an extra level of richness. A hug in a mug on a cold day!

5. Cardamom Hot Chocolate, from Spill the Beans: This cardamom spiced hot chocolate is perfect for those cosy evenings by the fire. Like chai tea? You’ll love this recipe! Top with a dollop of whipped cream for an extra indulgent treat.

6. Classic Hot Chocolate, from Saucepan Kids: This tried and tested hot chocolate recipe uses cornflour to add a layer of creaminess. Whip up a batch of the dry ingredients and store in a jar, so you can enjoy this delicious hot drink whenever you fancy.

More: 6 of the best… warming winter stews for comfort on a cold day>

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