With hot chocolate season approaching, it is time to wrap up and get cosy, and what better than with a steaming mug of creamy hot chocolate on a chilly winter’s eve!
Hot chocolate

Gary Durrant, Head Chef at Hunter 486 restaurant, shares his top tips on the ultimate hot chocolate drink

Hunter 486 restaurant, located within five-star boutique hotel The Arch London, makes a mean hot chocolate. So Gary Durrant, Head Chef at Hunter 486, has shared his top tips with us on how you can instantly upgrade your hot chocolate game this winter.

Ditch the kettle – Replacing boiling water with hot whole milk is a better alternative. A splash of single cream at the end can give it an even creamier and smoother finish.

Use good quality chocolate – Use grated real chocolate (Gary recommends 70 per cent cocoa solids) instead of powder to give it a more intense flavour. You will need to add sugar to taste to balance out the bitterness of the chocolate.

Do not add it all at once – Mix the grated chocolate with a small amount of milk to create a paste. If you gradually add the rest of the milk to the paste while simultaneously stirring, you will find the hot chocolate is a lot smoother.

Spice things up – When it comes to spices, a winter favourite is cinnamon. However, you can always mix things up by adding cardamom and orange instead.

Add a Christmas tipple – The addition of spirits and liquors can turn it into an adult guilty pleasure. Baileys, Disaronno and Cointreau all work well in a hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate

Hunter 486 restaurant is located within The Arch London

The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD. For reservations call 020 7724 4700 or visit www.thearchlondon.com