Without whipped cream and full milk, decent hot chocolate is hard to achieve in the backcountry, but that doesn’t mean trampers have to resort to instant.
Horopito – also known as the pepper tree – packs a mean punch, and can be used to liven up your hot choccy and set your nose running.
Slowly boil one cup of water and two scrunched horopito leaves in your billy, add one heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder, and sugar to taste. The cocoa powder will make for a dark bitter brew, complemented by the spicy horopito. Add 2tsp of milk powder at the beginning if you need to soften the blow.
If you’re too embarrassed to order a hazelnut hot chocolate at your local, here’s your solution.
Bring one cup of water to a boil with ⅓ cup of milk powder and 2tsp cornflour, for thickness. Stir constantly with a spoon or fork to dissolve, then stir in 1tsp of hazelnut chocolate spread, until it has melted off the spoon and incorporated. Serve with two marshmallows on top, if you’re feeling glam.
Hot chocolates can be sickly sweet and you may crave a refreshing mint afterwards – so why not combine the two?
Heat one cup of water with ⅓ cup of milk powder. Once simmering, add one peppermint tea bag and steep for two minutes, while stirring. Remove the bag, add 40g (two rows) of finely chopped dark chocolate, and stir until dissolved, on low heat. Add sugar to taste.
Heat one cup of water with ⅓ cup of milk powder. Add one cinnamon quill, two-star anise and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Once on the boil, reduce to a simmer and add two rows of dark chocolate, and stir in one teaspoon of honey until dissolved.