When I was at the Eden Project with my classmates in December, I splashed out and bought a few things in the shop. One was a big block of drinking chocolate, 100% cacao with nothing else added. It’s a solid lump of 250g of Columbian chocolate. You know, the good stuff. You have to try these things when you’re an ethnobotanist, it’s compulsory ;)

(That photo is borrowed from the Eden Project shop; I took one, but it disappeared in the hard drive crash. I am working my way through the recovered files gradually….)

The block breaks up into chunks that make one cup of hot chocolate each. You melt it down in your milk, or chosen milk substitute, and add whatever you want. I am still trying to find the perfect recipe. You do need a whisk or a blender – the chocolate melts into small pieces, but they don’t blend into the milk nicely without some help.

I had some Oatly oat milk leftover from the strawberry ice cream experiment, and so I thought I would give Oatly hot chocolate a go. In the end I added some cinnamon, to give it a bit of spice. The recipe I used was:

1 cup* of Oatly
1 chunk of Eden chocolate
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar

*I measured it in the mug I was going to drink from. You need to use slightly less liquid than fills the mug, because you get a lot of froth if you use a blender.

Cinnamon hot chocolate

I didn’t want to overheat the milk, but by the time I’d done blending, my hot chocolate wasn’t quite as steaming hot as I like it. And it was pleasant, but I wouldn’t say it was the perfect recipe. I’m still working on that. I have tried it with goat milk, but when you heat goat milk its ‘goatiness’ becomes much more pronounced, and the chocolate doesn’t entirely hide it. I have a litre of hazelnut soy milk that’s lined up for the next experiment….

What’s your idea of the perfect cup of hot chocolate?