Today the North East saw the return of the 'Toon Flood' and my picture doesn't really do the extent of the damage justice. Pulling on my faithful Hunter wellies and braving the puddles outside, I left for work in Gateshead extra early, as I needed to get some bits and pieces done before my meetings but the whole journey turned out to be a bit of a disaster. I was trapped in Sunderland! With roads collapsing in the Durham direction and slip roads closed towards the Angel of the North, I gave up after three hours.
Luckily I had everything I needed to work from home with me so I turned on my emails, wrapped myself up in a blanket with one of my Mom's infamous Mega Hot Chocolates and watched the rain fall on the River Wear from the windows. It turns out a lot of people were in the same boat (hah see what I did there) and also struggled. So I thought I'd make this post a bit of a survival guide post!
You will need leggings (or comfy joggers if you're a boy) and some very slouchy knitwear, an oversize jumper is always a good choice. You will also need the following:
- 4 ounces (115 grams) of pure cocoa chocolate
- 2 cups of (495 mL) milk
- Squirty Cream
- Flavouring (vanilla essence, peppermint etc or liqueur if you prefer)
- Your chocolate can be milk, dark, white or plain whichever you prefer. Chop the chocolate finely up with a knife. The amount of chocolate really depends on how rich you want your hot chocolate to be. If I'm making this for someone new I always do 25g per cup of liquid.
- Turn your cooker hob to a low heat and pour milk into the pan. Then add your chopped chocolate!
- Keep stirring until fully melted (not like the picture above) and add in your flavouring. It's good enough without but I love to add peppermint at Christmas time.
- Keep stirring until fully melted with a whisk and don't let it stick to the pan or over boil... you'll ruin the flavour.
- Once you're satisfied enough whisking action has taken place, pour straight into mugs and add cream and marshmallows.
My Mom's not so secret tip with this is to add a pinch of salt during the melting stage. This makes the drink taste more like a chocolate bar than a traditional hot chocolate. The next stage is settle on the sofa with a blanket and enjoy your Mega Hot Chocolate.
Alternatively if you don't have the luxury of being able to do this and absolutely must go into the office... you will need that knitwear and a trusty pair of wellies! I know it sounds daft but take a bottle of water and a few snacks in the car with you as you don't know where you might end up stuck at. And always remember to turn your side lights on - this drives me mad when people forget. Safe journeys everyone!