Spring may be in the air, but it’s definitely still chilly enough to enjoy a hot chocolate – in fact, given the British climate they’re pretty much a year round treat. If you’re making hot chocolate at home, then perhaps you tend to keep it simple, or maybe push the boat out with a bit of whipped cream and some marshmallows. However, there are plenty of alternative hot chocolate toppings that can take your drink from pleasing to peerless.
That’s where Jen Knoop, founder of Knoops come in. The café chain, which has stores in London, Oxford, Rye and Brighton, sells pretty mind-blowing customisable hot chocolate (or iced versions for summer), which means Jen in the person in the know when it comes to how to create the perfect hot chocolate at home. Here are his top recommendations…
Best alternative hot chocolate toppings
Sea salt accentuates caramel flavours in chocolate and is a firm favourite for many – hence the popularity of salted caramel.
Take it easy with the salt when you first try this – you can always add more if needed!
Vanilla is a popular flavouring for hot chocolates. What many don’t realise is how it’s an ideal accompaniment to very dark chocolate which naturally has lower sugar content. The chocolate then benefits from the vanilla’s natural sweetness.
The popularity of the mocha cannot be disputed, most people like an energy kick from their hot chocolate. This isn’t exclusive to hot drinks either, in fact, iced mochas are continuously growing in popularity.
At the other end of the sweetness spectrum, nutmeg is well suited to balance a sweet white chocolate option. A small grating of fresh nutmeg and a simple stir does the trick.
Fresh orange is the perfect accompaniment to a dark chocolate drink. It’s a classic flavour combination for a good reason, as the citrus flavours really cut through the more bitter chocolate taste.
READ MORE: Whipped Mexican-style hot chocolate recipe