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Mmmmm Delicious Hot Chocolate

Who doesn't love to snuggle up with a hot chocolate on the cold winter evenings? (or do you prefer Hot Cocoa?)....

When the temperatures are almost always in single figures outside at this time of the year, my family love a hot chocolate! A discussion that often arises during the preparation of this treat is ‘What is the difference between Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa?’ so I decided to do a little bit of research to provide the answers…….and I didn’t realise how much I would learn about this much loved winter drink.

Of course there are the usual ‘Healthy Versus Unhealthy’ arguments but I found out some interesting facts around Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa……

  • It’s believed that the first chocolate beverage was created around 2000 years ago in Mexico where they drank it cold, flavoured it with wine and chilli peppers and it was not at all sweet.
  • In the 17th century sweet tasting chocolate was invented leading to hot chocolate becoming a luxury item among the nobility, at the time Cocoa was still very expensive and was given as a dowry when members of the Spanish Royal Family married other European aristocrats.
  • Cocoa powder and hot water or milk is used to make hot cocoa. Cocoa powder is cacao (bean-like seeds from which cocoa, cocoa butter, and chocolate are made) which is then ground up and stripped of its fat. Hot chocolate is made from cacao that contains its fat, and then sugar is added in the manufacturing process.

After that little history lesson I have decided I am a Hot Chocolate drinker rather that Hot Cocoa……and I think it is time to heat some milk, stir in my pure chocolate spoon add a little swirl of cream for pure indulgence, a sprinkle of marshmallows for a finishing touch and snuggle up with a soft throw, some candles and enjoy 🙂

I am not sure what the Mexicans of 2000 years ago would think of this modern adaption!?

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Audrey Spencer, owner

My passion for cooking stems from my childhood growing up on my family's farm. Mealtimes would often involve being joined by friends, family and neighbours, all eager to enjoy the wonderful farmhouse fayre. As a professional chef I’ve worked in award winning restaurants, boutique country house hotels, and even the Royal Palace! Today, I hope my recipes can help you to enjoy good food, and good company, in style.