Apparently adults without kids catch an average of 3 colds a year. I'm one of those folk who doesn't get 'properly' ill - I manage to miss the Noro and Flu that do the rounds every year - but for some reason every cold I get goes straight to my sinuses. Cue 24 hours of headaches, nosebleeds, and feeling sorry for myself.
In an attempt to cheer myself up after cancelling my weekend social plans, I've spent a lot of this afternoon sipping on rich, thick hot chocolate while watching Poirot. The Belgian connection seems particularly appropriate, as I was first introduced to "proper" hot chocolate by a friend at university who left half way through to start a cookery diploma in her native Belgium. We lost touch before I managed to write down her recipe so I've spent quite a long time trying to recreate it (turns out no one makes a hot chocolate like a Belgian), but I have very fond memories of watching films and sipping the thick, almost savoury chocolatey treat.
Serves 225g 70% chocolate
350ml full fat milk
1pinch cayenne pepper
Bring 250ml of milk (I used almond milk) to a simmer in a small pan. Add in 25g chocolate, chopped into pieces, and stir until melted.
In a small mug or bowl, mix the remaining 100ml of cold milk and the cornflour, along with the sugar, cayenne and cinnamon. Slowly add to the simmering chocolate mixture, stirring well until it thickens to a double cream consistency.
Serve in small, beautiful cups with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a grating of chocolate to decorate. Perfect with shortbread for dunking.