At this time of year, everyone needs something warm and comforting to get them through the day. At Nellsar we are always looking for new ideas, recipes and flavours to keep things interesting for our residents.
Hot drinks are always popular throughout the year. The usual suspects such as tea, coffee, Ovaltine, Horlicks and hot chocolate are always on request. Not only do drinks such as hot chocolate offer a ‘hug in a cup’, they are also a great way to help add extra calories into the diet, especially for elderly people who need support maintaining a healthy weight.
Using full fat milk and cream are a must if you are looking to add in extra calories and especially if you want to make a ‘luxury’ drink.
Some of our staff will be trying different recipes along with the usuals this season and here are a few of our favourites to try:
- 1½ tsp ground ginger, plus extra to serve
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg plus extra to serve
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 600ml whole milk
- Optional – 2 teaspoons of freeze dried coffee/decaffeinated for those who are sensitive to caffeine. Whipped cream and mini gingerbread men, to serve.
In a bowl, mix together the spices, sugar and vanilla extract. Heat 100ml of the milk in a pan with the spice and sugar mix, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the remaining milk in additions until incorporated, then heat through until steaming.
Put the coffee powder in each glass (if using) and top up with the spiced milk. Top with whipped cream, extra spices and a mini gingerbread man.
Dairy Free Spiced Chai Hot Chocolate
- 350ml oat milk (use barista-style for a creamy texture)
- 1 tsp organic cocoa powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve (optional)
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg, plus extra to serve (optional)
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1 organic vanilla bean pod, split (or use 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Vegan whipped cream and shaved semi-sweet vegan dark chocolate, to serve (optional)
Pour two-thirds of the oat milk into a saucepan. Add the cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Cook for 1-2 mins.
Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the vanilla and sugar. Froth the remaining oat milk using an electric milk frothier or the mini whisk attachment on a hand blender. Strain the hot chocolate into two mugs, discarding the cinnamon and cardamom pod, then gently pour in the frothed milk.
Top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg, if you like.
If you want to make a dairy version of this, then just swap out the oat milk for cow’s milk and the dairy free (df) whipped cream for dairy whipped cream.
Choc–Orange Hot Chocolate
- 150ml milk
- 50ml double cream
- zest of 0.5 orange
- 50g dark chocolate, chopped
- 25ml orange liqueur (non-alcoholic, if preferred or needed)
Heat the milk, cream and orange zest together in a saucepan until simmering then remove from the heat and pour through a sieve into a jug to remove the orange zest. Pour the infused milk mixture back into the pan and add the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted and is really smooth.
Put the pan back on the heat to warm through then add the orange liqueur. Pour into a mug and serve.
All recipes are taken and adapted from the BBC good food guide: