|This is just comfort in a mug|
Cinnamon infused hot chocolate
Everyday when I’m leaving for work I look in envy at the kids in the apartment block next door. No, they haven’t won some kind of a lottery nor are they going on a world tour but what they have is something that’s far more precious – summer vacations! I still vividly remember those days filled with train journeys to Bombay (that’s what it was called then), Juhu beach, eating chaat by the roadside, gorging on mangoes and playing outdoors until almost dinnertime. Sigh!
However, there’s one reason why these vacations were so important to me – it meant I could stay up all night reading. No interruptions, no hassles of waking up early the next day and no disturbances. Those late nights meant delving into adventures with the Famous Five, laughing along with the girls at Malory Towers, soon it was sticking my nose into books by Jeffrey Archer and Sidney Sheldon, later on it was Amitav Ghosh and Khaled Hosseini and that’s the way it has been.
I remember one night when I was up reading during these vacations, my dad had got home late from work. Looking to steal some quality time with him, I put the book aside and sat down next to him as he finished his simple dinner. We chatted about an upcoming trip to Ooty and a dozen other things. Suddenly in the middle of the conversation he said, “You must be hungry staying up so late. Let me get you something to drink.” I thought he meant some juice and I picked up my book and went into oblivion, so much so that I couldn’t detect the aroma of what he was rustling up for me. A couple of minutes later, there he was next to me with a mug of steaming hot chocolate in each hand. We sipped on it while watching the late night news and I still remember how it tasted – very chocolatey, not too sweet or milky. It was just right. Ever since then hot chocolate has been one of those comforting beverages for me, the kind that you can sip on when you curl up with a book and the kind that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.
Here’s my version of this drink, with a hint of cinnamon to add some spice. It look me all of four minutes to make this on a rushed evening when I was back from work.
1 mug full of skim milk
11/2 tsp of sugar (add more sugar if you like, I prefer it with minimal sweetness)
2 tbsp of dark cocoa powder
½ tsp of cinnamon powder
½ tbsp of golden syrup
In a saucepan heat half the amount of milk on a low flame, add the sugar, dark chocolate and golden syrup to this. Keep stirring to prevent lumps and when it begins to simmer, pour in the rest of the milk. Allow the mixture to gently bubble while stirring occasionally. Add the cinnamon powder just before turning off the flame. Cover and allow it to infuse for a minute or two.
Strain the hot chocolate into a mug and enjoy!
- If you have kids around, add a small scoop of ice cream to this drink and watch them wolf it down!
- For that classic, American twist garnish the hot chocolate with some marshmallows.
- If cinnamon doesn’t catch your fancy, use any other flavour – mint, cardamom or even just simply garnish with chopped nuts or a swirl of chocolate sauce.