Vianne’s spiced hot chocolate

People are always asking me what Vianne puts in her hot chocolate. The answer varies according to people’s tastes – but this is the classic recipe: rich, sweet and with just a kick of chilli.



For two people, you’ll need:

500ml (18fl oz) full-fat milk
½ a cinnamon stick
1 chilli, halved and deseeded
100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, broken into small, even-sized pieces
Unrefined brown sugar, to taste
A dash of Cognac, Amaretto, Cointreau or Tia Maria, to taste
100ml (3½fl oz) whipped double cream

½tsp cocoa powder, or grated chocolate

Heat the milk in a saucepan with the cinnamon stick and chilli. Bring to a shivering simmer.
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the milk. Blend until it melts. Add sugar to taste and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Reheat to a simmer, strain and pour into mugs. Add a dash of your favourite liqueur for a more grown-up taste, and top with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa or grated chocolate.