Warm Up This Winter Challenge: 13 Hot Chocolates in 13 Weeks

I love hot chocolates. There are a few things in life that always manage to put me in a better mood, and one of those things is hot chocolates. I know it's just gone into Spring for practically every single person that I follow on social media, but for those down under, it seems like the sun decided to go on holiday back in April - when it was still Autumn - and it's definitely not coming back anytime soon. 

Whilst I'm not the biggest fan of rainy mornings, afternoons and nights, Winter does have its perks. Cuddling in front of the heater, electric blankets, and hot drinks are all wonderful things that come along with the colder weather, and help make it a little more bearable.

If you have read my blog at all this year, you should know that one of my goals for 2017 was to try out more recipes - and I have been smashing that goal, if I do say so myself. However, all the recipes I have tried have been for food, and as I was browsing through Pinterest I noticed how many people create their own delicious and unique drinks, and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head: I need to try some different hot chocolate recipes!

Winter Challenge: 13 Hot Chocolates in 13 Weeks || The Small Adventurer

Cadbury Drinking Chocolate is my favourite thing to have in my hot chocolates, by far. Many recipes that I've discovered use unsweetened cocoa powder, and I'm sure plenty of you would prefer to use that too, but after the disaster that was my first new hot chocolate (which I'll explain below), I will just be using Cadbury Drinking Chocolate.

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Thanks to the wonderful invention of Pinterest, finding new hot chocolate recipes wasn't difficult at all - that being said, some of the recipes are quite difficult, so I have simplified them where I felt was necessary. 

I have all the respect in the world for people who are patient enough to put chocolate chips, milk, cocoa, and all sorts of other ingredients on the stove when they want a cup of hot chocolate, but I am not one of those people.

As Winter progresses, I will attempt recipes that are slightly more tedious difficult to see if the effort is worth it, but for now, I'll stick to some simpler variations of my usual hot chocolate. First up: peppermint flavoured hot chocolate!

Winter Challenge: 13 Hot Chocolates in 13 Weeks || The Small Adventurer

I first decided to try this flavour after discovering this recipe by Martha Stewart, which I followed to a tee. I got all the ingredients and went through the time-consuming process of heating it all on the stove, and when it finally cooled down enough for me to try it, I nearly threw up. 

It was so bitter. I will never understand why someone would want to use unsweetened cocoa, it was horrible. I even put it back on the stove and added some sugar, then added some more, and it was still overbearingly bitter. Down the drain it went!

The second time around, instead of melting down peppermint sticks and adding them to my hot chocolate, I simplified this recipe even more by just adding some peppermint extract into my usual hot chocolate - and it was delicious!

Winter Challenge: 13 Hot Chocolates in 13 Weeks || The Small Adventurer

I honestly couldn't believe it. Such a simple variation, but it made a huge difference. It reminded me of Christmas - so much so that I started planning this year's Christmas decorations, gift ideas, and blog posts. Now I'm looking forward to Christmas even more!

The specific 'recipe' for my usual hot chocolate is quite simple: just put two heaped tablespoons of drinking chocolate and one tablespoon of sugar into your mug, fill up about 3/4 with boiling water and mix. Once the sugar and drinking powder are dissolved, add your milk. When trying this recipe, I just added a few drops peppermint extract as I poured the water in.

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If you have any recipes or ideas for a unique hot chocolate, please leave a comment below! I would love to try them out. I'm excited to see what new flavours of this wonderful drink I can discover.

Until next time,

Indya xx

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