Chocolate has saved my skin more times than I care to count. Freezing rain, upturned kayaks, and lost bearings can all be made endurable with the liberal application of this magical dark brown substance.
Most experienced trampers have learned this through bitter experience. But few realise there’s a world of chocolate possibilities beyond the block. Take this hot chocolate for instance.
100g dark chocolate (at least 50 per cent cocoa)
250ml UHT cream, whipped
500ml full cream milk (from powder)
¼ tsp chili powder
You’ll need two, ideally three, metal pots: one to warm the milk, one to heat the water, and a smaller one to melt the chocolate. You might like to bring a small whisk if you’re really keen… but a fork will suffice.
Recruit someone to whisk the cream with a fork. It takes a bit of effort, but hopefully you’ll be able to entice them with chocolate.
While they’re at work, mix up the milk as per the instructions and warm it up, making sure not to boil it. Cover and set aside.
Bring a pot of water to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Break up the chocolate and put it in the small pot, then float that pot in the simmering water until the chocolate is melted. Add the warm milk a dash at a time, while stirring the mixture frequently. Once it gets to your desired strength, sprinkle a little of the chili powder in. Remember, less is more when it comes to the chilli powder. The idea is to give it a little bit of zing, not turn it into a test of manhood!
Pour into mugs, add the whipped cream and garnish with a sprinkle of shaved chocolate.