At this time of year, there’s an awful lot of hot chocolate being consumed here at Number One. Of course everybody knows that the best hot chocolate comes with a big dollop of whipped cream and loads of marshmallows. Not as many people know that the absolute best hot chocolate comes with a big dollop of frozen whipped cream and loads of marshmallows. ‘Wait, can you freeze cream?’ I hear you shout. Oh yes. Whipped double cream freezes really well, and if you freeze it in handy dollops, it’s ready to be added to the perfect hot chocolate at any time, as well as topping hot mince pies, desserts… loads of things. Here’s how to do it.
For the frozen whipped cream
I use double cream rather than whipping cream at home. Double cream is richer, with a higher fat content, so it makes a more luscious whipped cream that is a bit more sturdy. All you need to do is find a baking tray that fits into a shelf in your freezer, then just line it with parchment paper. Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks, then whip a tiny bit more (so say… medium peaks, if that’s a thing). Then you can sprinkle with something lovely: grates chocolate, chocolate sugar, or pumpkin spice, then spoon the cream in dollops onto your baking paper, and pop in the freezer and freeze until firm. Once solid, you can put the cream dollops into a freezer bag and store until needed.
For the hot chocolate
Measure out the milk into a saucepan, depending on your mug size, then just add two teaspoons of hot chocolate powder per person (we always use Cadbury’s – it’s a family tradition, but if you’re using cocoa remember you’ll have to add extra sugar) and heat, whisking continuously, until hot. Don’t allow it to boil though. Pour the chocolate into the mugs and add a frozen whipped cream dollop and a handful of mini marshmallows. Sip your hot chocolate through the lovely melting layer of whipped cream. Heaven. A chocolate biscuit wouldn’t go amiss either (what? It’s Christmas!).