Sunday Cook Off: Italian Hot Chocolate with a Whipped Cream Heart

So. Very. Yummy.

This week I fancied something different but not too time consuming, so I shamelessly plundered this website: http://www.bellalimento.com/2012/01/11/how-to-make-italian-hot-chocolate  My photography skills are not half as good as the previous blogger, but that’s my fault for getting too caught up in the cooking and eating to worry about natural light and all of that bollocks.

As a Mother’s Day treat, I made a dinner of chicken shish kebabs and roasted vegetable couscous, with garlic pitta and houmous on the side. I’ve grown up eating pretty safe foods, roast dinners (which I hate) and lasagne – all brilliantly cooked by my mummy dearest, but not too exciting all the same. So I decided to push the envelope and surprise her, and she always has some sort of diet going on so it would only be fair to make a small, light dessert to go with such a large dinner…ahem. I am most definitely a feeder.

So just in case you can’t be bothered to click on the above link, here’s the recipe for the hot chocolate below:

4 ounces chocolate

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons corn starch/4 teaspoons of flour if you can’t find corn starch for love nor money, a la me.

1. Into a saucepan over LOW heat add chocolate and a smidge of milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted.

2. Slowly add remaining milk until it’s well combined. Add sugar. Mix to combine. Whisk in corn starch.

3. Continue cooking over LOW heat until it becomes thick, creamy and coats the back of the wooden spoon.

**I ended up making this twice, because the mixture became a lumpy mess after I added the flour, so I tried again sans the white powdery stuff. I’ve kept it in the recipe just in case you have better luck with it. In hindsight, I probably should’ve sifted it, or maybe corn starch reacts differently (my internet sources told me that flour was a good subsitute, and if the internet says it, it must be true).

To make the whipped cream hearts (also taken from the above website), then you do this:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract-as always, I used considerably more
1/4 cup sugar
1. Place cream, vanilla and sugar into your mixing bowl. Using whisk attachment mix until stiff peaks form.

2. Transfer whipped cream to a shallow baking dish. Smooth cream as much as possible. Place dish into freezer until firm.

3. Using a heart cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes.

4. Place hearts into hot chocolate, they’ll melt pretty quickly so don’t fanny about.

 

And to finish….gobble up every last drop.

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