Yes, those are Cadbury eggs. So you don’t need to wear a deerstalker hat and live at 221b Baker Street to deduce that Easter has come and gone. You may wonder why I’d be drinking hot chocolate post-vernal equinox and here’s why: it’s still snowing. What else am I supposed to do? I’m serious, if you have any suggestion I’m all ears because I’ve exhausted all other forms of mental endurance trying to get through this winter. Chocolate is my last resort.
My goal with this recipe was to make it during this April blizzard, close my eyes, and travel back in time five months to the beginning of December. I would hearken back to the beginning of the festive season when snowflakes gently drifting outside the windows would make me giddy with delight. In the dawn of Winter, we all have amnesia after a hot and lengthy summer. It’s like childbirth (I’ve heard). We’ve forgotten, so distant in our rested minds, the absolute hell we are about to endure. So many colds. So much bleakness. So many escapist fantasies about being transported to somewhere more pleasant, like a workhouse in a Dicken’s novel or a Russian Gulag.
Alas, this steaming cup of hot chocolate did not cure all my winter woes but it certainly didn’t make matters worse. It fortified me for another day of this cruel season.
A word of advice: if you’re feeling super lazy, don’t make the (delicious) marshmallow fluff topping. Making any kind of sugar-based concoction at home is, let’s face it, time consuming and messy. If you’re having a super fancy party, a) invite me b) make the topping because it really is deliciously indulgent. If you’re having a solo soiree while you watch Gilmore Girls and read up on the latest fashion trends for spring (I currently live in a fisherman’s sweater and wool socks that predate my parents), just throw some marshmallows in this baby. Do, however, make the hot chocolate from scratch. It really requires minimal effort and tastes miles better than the*cough* swiss variety *cough*. Whatever you decide to do, don’t sweat it (I obviously mean figuratively, my hands are icicles). Happy Spring Dreaming, anyway.
Late Winter Hot Chocolate
Are you ready?
In a medium saucepan, mix together:
- 4 tbs. good cocoa powder (I used Droste)
- 4 tbs. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder (optional, but enhances cocoa flavor)
- 2 c. milk
- pinch salt
Bring to a gentle simmer, add…
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
If you feel particularly inclined, top with Marshmallow Fluff via Chowhound.
Add chopped, leftover Easter candy. Voilà.