WARMING UP YOUR WINTER GATHERINGS WITH WATERBRIDGE
By Waterbridge - January 9 - 2017
Yes, it’s the season of snow flakes, snow angels, snow men, snowball fights, dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh—there’s so much to do to celebrate the winter season with friends and family. It’s a shame it has to be so cold!
But perhaps the best part of playing outside in the cold is warming up afterwards, and with some creative use of chocolate, warming up has never been so sweet.
Home-Made Chocolate Drinks
Most premium chocolate, including Waterbridge, is designed to have a melting point of approximately the temperature of the human body. That’s how chocolate gets that creamy, melt-in-your-mouth property.
Because of this low melting point, a square of your favourite chocolate can add a sweet creamy flavour to any warm drink.
But what if you want to get fancy with it?
Melt it Down for Waterbridge Stovetop Cocoa
If you’ve got a few minutes, you can make some exceptionally thick and rich stovetop cocoa. Just heat some milk and add chocolate to taste. If this is your first time, try adding 2 squares of chocolate per 1 cup of milk. Keep it simmering on a low heat and stir consistently until the chocolate has completely melted in.
At this point, you can throw in some marshmallows and call it a day, or you can start to get creative.
One of the great things about Waterbridge Belgian chocolate is that the rich flavour goes with any number of seasonings. For a cool kick, add a pinch of mint. Want to add another dimension of aromatic sweetness? Try a dash of vanilla extract. A savoury undertone? Go with a pinch or two of nutmeg.What about spice? Try some cinnamon. Not spicy enough? Grab some powdered ginger. Still not spicy enough? Opt for crushed chilli peppers instead.
The limit is your imagination.
Try The “Now That’s What I Call Mocaccino”
If you want something that will wake you as well as warm you, or if you’re a fan of rich coffee flavour, you can prepare a Waterbridge Belgian Mocaccino instead.
The method issimilar to the Waterbridge Stovetop Cocoa, only using slightly different ingredients: For the Waterbridge Belgian Mocaccino, you’ll want to use a ½ cup of heated milk, 1 cup of coffee, and then add chocolate to taste, again starting with 2 squares.
Once the coffee is freshly brewed, heat up the milk. You want it hot, but you don’t want to boil it, as the milk will burn and lose its flavour. Add the chocolate to the coffee and stir until melted.
If you want to get fancy with it, now is the time to add spices and flavourings. While chocolate goes with nearly everything, it has a very distinct boldness you might want to keep in mind when experimenting with flavours. Sweet and nutty flavours are always a safe bet, as well as mint and cinnamon.
Once the chocolate and any spices you want added, are mixed with the coffee, you’re ready to pour. You can mix the milk and coffee in a decanter if it’s more convenient, but a proper mocaccino has the coffee poured first, with the milk poured gently over it, granting it a layered effect.
To garnish, serve with a topping of frothed milk, whipped cream, or marshmallows.
Waterbridge Belgian Chocolate Fondue
While fondue sets might have disappeared from pop culture in the 1970s, fondue is still a great way to warm up with a group of friends or family, and it’s quite easy to prepare, even without a proper fondue set.
Take a handful of toothpicks, slice your dipping materials into bite-sized pieces, and melt the chocolate into a bowl with some cream. 1 cup of cream per 8 squares of chocolate should give you a thick, rich dip that stays creamy without becoming watery. If you’d like, you can add some flavour here as well, such as vanilla extract, salt, or even brandy.
When melting chocolate, a great trick is to fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Then float a metal mixing bowl in the water so that the bottom of the bowl is partly submerged. Add the chocolate to the mixing bowl. The water will prevent the bowl from getting hot enough to burn the chocolate while it melts.
Once the chocolate has melted you’re ready to serve! Place the bowl in the middle of the table, give everyone a few long forks, skewers, or eventoothpicks, and lay out the dippers.
What you use for dipping is up to you. Fruit is a common choice; grapes, sliced bananas, apples, small orange or mandarin wedges, and strawberries are all safe bets. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, or you’re sharing with children, the texture of marshmallows pairs well with the rich flavour of chocolate.
Breads and biscuits (English biscuits, pretzels, and cubed sponge cake) pair nicely as well, as do cheese cubes, waffles, granola bars, and gummy bears. Go ahead and experiment!
These are just a number of ways to use Waterbridge Belgian chocolate to warm up on a cold winter’s day. There are lots of exciting flavours, seasonings, and fondue dippers just waiting to be discovered, so make sure to play around with it and have some fun!