Fall, the season of hot chocolate.
Whether it be in front of a warm fire during an evening with friends, or in the company of a good book on a gloomy afternoon, a cup of hot chocolate is always a good way to warm up a cold fall day.
Perfect to savor on its own, this drink can also be paired up with sweets and other flavors which add to its rich taste with different touches.
After talking to you about its origins, production and the properties of cocoa beans, in this article we will be suggesting some sumptuous ideas to serve with your hot chocolate as a tasty bite.
Hot chocolate: 5 recommended combinations
The 5 combinations that we would like to recommend for your hot chocolate are as follows: the first three are dedicated to lovers of sweets and biscuits; whereas the last two are for those who prefer the light sweetness of fruit.
Hot chocolate and cinnamon biscuits
If there is one spice capable of evoking typical fall atmosphere, it has to be cinnamon.
Cinnamon, whose name derives from its typical straw shape in which it is sold, has been used since ancient times, characterized by an enveloping aroma with both sweet an spicy notes.
Present in many sweet recipes, it is particularly appreciated in combination with chocolate in that it enriches the flavor.
In fact, it is often used to flavor it, thus giving the drink a warm and exotic flavor.
So why not accompany your intensely flavored Filicori Zecchini hot chocolate (link) with delicately flavored cinnamon biscuits?
The flavors will blend to create a pleasant harmony and a drink to be savored.
Hot chocolate and krumiri
With their delicate simplicity, krumiri are an excellent accompaniment to have with a sweet home-made hot chocolate.
A typical local biscuit from Casale Monferrato, they are made with eggs, flour, butter, sugar and vanilla. The original recipe is a secret and dates back to 1878, the year when the original recipe was first acknowledged, created by the baker and confectioner, Domenico Rossi.
It would appear that it was he who gave the krumiri their typical curved shape as a reminder of the moustache of king Vittorio Emanuele II, who died in that year. The origins of the name, though, are not so clear, but may possibly derive from the name of a liqueur which was fashionable at the time.
There are many different versions of these biscuits which are inspired by the original preparation and which you can make for yourself at home for all the family to enjoy.
Also langue de chat biscuits, a real classic from the bakery with their long slim shape, go extremely well with a hot chocolate thanks to their delicate flavor.
Churros to dip into home-made hot chocolate
If you have ever been to Spain , you have probably tasted the famous Churros, typical fried sweets from this country and also widespread throughout South America.
For a truly sumptuous, energy rich afternoon snack, we recommend trying them together with a hot chocolate, exactly as they do in Spain. In fact, there, Churros are usually enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack, dipped in hot chocolate, and it is quite common to find stalls selling them on street corners.
Preparing Churros is very similar to preparing choux pastry which is used for making cream puffs, and the typical long shape is obtained by putting the pastry into the churrera, a kind of pastry syringe with a star shaped nozzle. In the absence of one of these implements, it is also possible to use a sac à poche.
There are two versions of the story telling how Churros were first created.
According to the first, it was the Spanish shepherds of the mountains who invented them when it wasn’t possible to get bread and they needed something that was easy to make. Supporting this theory is the fact that there is a breed of sheep called “Navajo-Churro”, descendents of the “Churra” sheep, whose horns look very like the shape of these sweets.
The second version recounts that it was the Portuguese , inspired by something similar from China, who imported the recipe but changed the shape.
Candied orange peel to savor with hot chocolate
Orange and chocolate bring life to a harmonious and refined combination: the fresh taste of the former matching the intensity of the latter, bringing forth a perfect synergy of both sweet and sharp sensations which blend together.
A mix of seemingly very different flavors, which actually gives quite a pleasant result, particularly appreciated in the bakery or confectioner’s, where it is used for many different preparations.
If you prefer something else to sweets and biscuits, maybe the freshness of fruit, why don’t you add some pieces of candied orange peel to your hot chocolate?
You could use them to decorate the drink, or serve them separately to be tasted between sips of the hot chocolate.
Home-made hot chocolate with crumbled dried fruit
This last combination we are recommending is with dried fruit.
After having poured the hot chocolate into the cup, just add a few crumbled hazelnuts or almonds to add that touch of originality to your drink and delight your guests with a pleasant combination.
This variation with almonds and hazelnuts is a classic and timeless marriage, which will enrich your hot chocolate with a pleasant contrast of flavors and consistencies.
Has all this talking of sweets made your mouth water ? There’s only one thing to do then, to go along with it: get into the kitchen and start preparing a steaming cup of hot chocolate!