There is nothing more comforting on a crisp winters evening than snuggling up on the sofa with a big blanket, woolly socks and a steaming mug of hot chocolate. The only thing that could make this scenario even more perfect would be to share it with someone special. Romance isn’t always about big impressive gestures; sometimes smaller everyday pleasures can be just as charming. Here at Hero & Leander we sipped our way through a selection of molten bliss and have selected the hottest of hot chocolates for your pleasure.
Fortnum’s Ultimate Hot Chocolate
Fortnum and Mason is one of the most luxurious department stores in the world so testing their offering was a must. They sell many different types of molten chocolate drinks so deciding upon a favourite was a very difficult task. We rose to the challenge and picked what we think is the very best Fortnum’s have to offer. Fortnum’s ultimate Columbian hot chocolate is a dark and rich indulgent delight, made from rare non-deodorised cocoa butter which absorbs even more of the cocoa flavours during roasting for the most exquisite and intense taste (add a splash of cream and vanilla extract instead of milk for an even more indulgent taste). Not only are we bewitched with the sumptuous taste and rich aroma, we are also in love with the fabulous 1860’s inspired tin in which it is packaged.
Fortnum’s Ultimate Hot Chocolate, 300g- £19.95, www.fortnumandmason.com
Aztec Hot Chocolate by Paul A Young
Paul A Young is a highly esteemed chocolatier paving the way at the forefront of the British chocolate scene. With 4 chocolate boutiques around London, Paul has the reputation as a genius flavour alchemist and we are sure you will agree once you try his insanely delicious Aztec hot chocolatey winter drink. Unusually made with water rather than milk to maintain the purity of the chocolate, the Aztec drink is incredibly rich and is created with a blend of bars of chocolate and powder. An added array of spices including black cardamom, chilli and ginger are available for customers to add their own flavours, alternatively you can add Paul’s own blend of Aztec spices to your cup of steaming chocolaty joy. This hot chocolaty treat can be enjoyed in store for £3.95 a cup but for those of you who would prefer to snuggle and sip in the privacy of your own home you can also buy the award winning bags of hot chocolate with Aztec spice blend online.
Aztec Hot Chocolate by Paul A Young- £10.95, Available in all 4 stores and online at www.paulayoung.co.uk
Peyton & Byrne- Finest Hot Chocolate
Peyton & Byrne is a family owned company with bakeries and restaurants across London located in some of Britain’s biggest national institutions; Orangery at Kew, The Wallace restaurant and the British Library to name a few. Their reasonably priced finest chocolate drink can be sampled in many of their cafes or purchased online. This beautifully packaged winter drink is made from Ghanaian cacao beans which give off a subtle fruity and intoxicating aroma.
Peyton & Byrne Finest Hot Chocolate- £5.00, shop.peytonandbyrne.co.uk
Whittard of Chelsea Chilli Flavour Hot Chocolate
This chilli flavoured hot chocolate from Whittard’s is sure to warm you up in more ways than one this winter. Some would claim that the combination of chilli and chocolate is an acquired taste and this may be the case but the roots of this unusual fusion go back further than you may have thought. Both the Aztecs and the Mayans were partial to a little heat with their chocolate to help build courage and cure an array of ailments. We cannot promise that this drink will have the previously mentioned effects but what we can promise is that if you are a fan of this authentic combo then the Whittard’s chilli chocolate suprise will not disappoint. For an added kick add a sprinkle of cayenne and stir with a cinnamon stick for an original spin on an old-age classic.
Whittard of Chelsea Chilli Flavoured Chocolate Drink, £6.00, www.whittard.co.uk
Selfridges Italian Thick & Indulgent Hot Chocolate
Selfridges exudes quality and when it comes to their Italian molten chocolate treat they have hit the nail on the head. Rich, thick and creamy, this indulgent drink is a delicious substitute for a dessert on a cold winters evening. Dunk in a biscotti for an added touch of Italian indulgence, or if you are feeling particularly naughty why not add a splash of baileys or hazelnut liqueur? Top with thick whipped cream for an irresistibly divine treat.
Selfridges Italian Thick & Indulgent, £8.99, www.selfridges.com