Chilly evenings were made for a perfectly indulgent and utterly delicious cup of hot chocolate.
From the crazily decadent loaded hot chocolate, which is piled high with a towering stack of sweet sugary treats, to dairy-free versions, which are equally delicious and suitable for vegans - there's a range of ways to make your hot chocolate your own.
And just when you thought that a cup of chocolatey goodness couldn't get any better, we have 11 hot chocolate recipes that will knock your socks off. So pick your favourite, get cosy and enjoy!
1. Make hot White chocolate
Give your standard cup of hot chocolate a velvety twist with white chocolate. Sweet and smooth, make by simply heating up some white chocolate buttons or bars with milk in a pan. Start with approximately 50g of chocolate per mug of milk and adjust according to taste. Top with whipped cream and shaved white chocolate for a decadent treat.
2. Treat yourself to a S'mores hot chocolate
More like a dessert than a beverage, this s'mores hot chocolate recipe is made with marshmallows, digestive biscuits and chocolate sauce and really does taste as good as it looks.
3. Add some hazelnut and red wine
This cocoa is made with sweet hazelnut milk, rich red wine and two types of chocolate. It's pure indulgence and strictly for adults-only.
4. Add some Peppermint
Peppermint and chocolate is another match made in heaven. If you've got any peppermint sweets lying around try throwing one into your cup of hot chocolate. You'll end up with a lovely, minty drink that smells wonderful too.
5. Include a spoonful of Nutella
Hot chocolate plus even more chocolate? Yes please. To make, simply heat up milk on the stove and add a dollop of Nutella. Stir in the hazelnutty goodness and pour over cocoa mixture as usual. Perfection!
6. Pop in a Cinnamon stick
Got leftover cinnamon sticks? Don't let them go to waste. Use them as stirrers in your cup of hot chocolate to add subtle cinnamon flavour. For an extra flavour boost, top your drink with some ground cinnamon.
7. Tip in some Peanut butter
Go nutty by adding a dollop of peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) into your hot chocolate. Stir it in, making sure to keep the spoon nearby to scrape up all the peanut butter at the bottom. For a really decadent snack, top with whipped cream and salted peanuts.
8. Irish hot chocolate
Creamy, indulgent and oh-so-tasty, Baileys is an adults-only treat that can be added to hot chocolate for a luxurious drink. Add approximately one shot of booze per mug, top with whipped cream and enjoy.
9. Sea salt whipped cream
The contrast of sweet and salty whipped cream works wonderfully with rich hot chocolate. Prepare hot chocolate as usual, then top with whipped cream that's been mixed with a pinch of sea salt and a tablespoon of sugar. Those who love the mixture of salty and sweet can add even more salt.
10. Dairy-free hot chocolate
Just because you follow a vegan diet it doesn't mean you have to miss out on drinking some hot chocolate. Using our homemade hot chocolate recipe, swap out the milk for almond milk and make sure you use vegan-friendly chocolate too.
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