By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food
With winter having finally arrived, few things can beat a delicious, warming hot chocolate at this time of year. So, to tie in with the opening of a brand new pop-up at Spitalfields Market – Thorntons will be on hand to provide great their famous hot chocolate to visitors during the Christmas period. Perched beneath the market’s Thorntons Chocolate Tree, the pop-up will also be serving some favourites from the store’s Thorntons Classic Collection, and for one day only (December 1st) customers will be treated to a free hot chocolate as well as the chance to sample some of the store’s other sweet treats.
Alternatively, here’s a selection of tips to make Thorntons’ take on the perfect hot chocolate at home.
Cooking – For the ideal taste, heat up the milk in a pan until it simmers. Then add the chocolate flakes into your mug along with a little milk until the flakes are completely dissolved. Then add the rest of the milk into the mug along with some marshmallows and let them dissolve.
Milk – it is best to heat the milk to 50 degrees to ensure that it stays nice and hot for longer.
Serving – Serving with hand-whipped double cream adds even more richness and flavour to the hot chocolate. Add your cream into a bowl and whisk yourself. If you don’t have this you can use whipped cream from a can. Then add to the top of your hot chocolate with some chocolate sprinkles and marshmallows.
Avoid Powder – The best hot chocolates are made with real chocolate so fight the urge to use standard coco powder. For a richer taste use the Thorntons Milk Chocolate Tub, which contains fresh flakes of real chocolate and are easy to melt in a pan or in the microwave. Find them here.
Use whole milk or cream – For that rich creamy taste make sure you use whole milk or cream to get a thicker hot chocolate
Spice it up – If you like something with a bit more of a kick, add a small amount of red chilli. This will give your hot chocolate a spicier edge.
Add warm flavours – Add a pinch of cinnamon and salt to your hot chocolate to bring out the rich and warm flavours.
Keep it hot – Make sure that you warm up your mug before using it as this will keep your hot chocolate warmer for longer.
Sweet treat – Add some tasty marshmallows to the top of your hot chocolate and let them melt into the mix.
Twist it – If you want to try something a bit different add some caramel to your hot chocolate to give it an even more indulgent taste.
Zest – If you are fan of chocolate orange, add some orange zest to your hot chocolate to give it a zingy twist.
The new Thorntons Christmas pop-up can be found at Spitalfields Market, Horner Square, London, E1 6EW.