November is rolling around with more harsh winds, pouring rain, and for most students: A stuffy nose, a bank balance we’d rather not look at, and a growing panic toward that 2500 word essay looming over our heads.
It’s around this time every year that I retreat into my room with my books, essays, blankets and most importantly: A big cuppa to get rid of the outside chill.
A basic recipe for a fluffy and rich hot chocolate
- 400 ml milk
- 200 ml water
- 5 tbsp. cocoa powder (100g dark chocolate)
- 2-3 tbsp. sugar
- 4-5 drops vanilla extract
- A pinch of chilli powder
Heat milk and water on medium heat and add all the ingredients, using a whisk to blend everything together. Turn up the heat, bring it to a boil, and to get the right frothy texture, wait as long as possible before turning the heat off and pour it into two large cups.
Looking for a little extra?
Grilled fluff: Add a tbsp. or two of marshmallow fluff to your cup, and grill it in the oven for about 3 minutes for a crispy golden crust.
A Little Kick: Switch some of the water for a little bit of bourbon for an extra kick, or even some tequila and cayenne pepper: a perfect spicy taste.
Salted Caramel: Add in a pinch or two of sea salt and about 3 tbsp. caramel syrup.
Peppermint Mocha: Exchange 1-2 tbsp. cocoa powder with some instant espresso, a few drops of peppermint essence and you’ll have a delicious Mocha to get you through a long night.
A great alternative if you’re feeling ill
- Blackcurrant Cordial
- Boiled water
- A pinch of ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper
- Tequila/Whisky/Preferred alcohol
Boil water and mix in as much blackcurrant cordial as you enjoy. Top it off with a bit of cinnamon and some cayenne pepper to chase off that cough, and if you’re feeling daring, throw in some tequila or a bit of whisky.
Pumpkin spice latte
A classic autumn drink, easily done in your own kitchen
- 100 ml brewed strong coffee
- 300 ml milk
- 3-4 tbsp. Pumpkin puree (found in Waitrose and larger Tesco’s)
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
- Whipped cream
Bring all the ingredients together and heat on medium. Be careful not to bring it to a boil. Whisk thoroughly and adjust according to taste. If you’re not a coffee fan, use milk as a replacement for the brewed coffee – and if it’s too sweet, a shot of tequila does the trick.
I’ll admit to being a dirty cheat on this one. Waitrose has a delicious instant spiced chai latte which I live for, and I rarely feel a need to make any changes at all. However, it works really well with a bit of Baileys mixed into it for those who aren’t a fan or a traditional Irish Coffee.
Another trick that goes for any instant powder mix: start out with only a dash of milk and mix the powder into a thick blend before adding the rest of the liquid for a frothy and delicious finish.