Candy Cane Hot Chocolate is flavoured with peppermint candy canes and topped with cream, candy cane pieces & popping candy. They are crazily fun and make the perfect cosy festive treat.
Let’s get something straight from the outset: Candy Cane Hot Chocolate is crazily fun. If you’re feeling grumpy, look away. Actually no, keep reading – this mugful of joy might just be what you’re in need of to get you back on track.
Obviously, there’s nothing not to like about a steaming mug of hot chocolate on a frosty day… must drink hot chocolate…. must drink hot chocolate… that’s in the winter rulebook, right?
Good. Now we are in agreement, consider melting some peppermint candy cane into that wonderful mug of molten chocolate. Now, give it some toppings. Whipped cream (mmm). Chunks of smashed-up candy cane. Popping candy. Yeeees – this drink literally talks to you, crackling away in your ears as you savour that smooth, minty liquid chocolate.
I promised my children that I would make some Candy Cane Hot Chocolate for them after seeing it on the specials board of a nearby café on the way out. Duh, always check the specials board before you order. That’s another thing that should be in the rulebook.
I tried making this drink with peppermint extract, then peppermint chocolates melted in, but, in all honestly, I do like the subtle effect achieved by melting in the candy cane itself. It seems to balance the powerful hit of peppermint from the chunks resting on top of that big pile of cream. And also, it would be rude for the peppermint to shout louder than the popping candy. That’s just bad etiquette.
For those of you interested (verging on slightly obsessed) by candy canes at this time of year, head over to Candy Cane Facts for erm… some interesting facts. For instance, did you know that the first candy cane was made 350 years ago? Yeah, I was surprised too.
Recipe perfected, I can’t wait to surprise my kids with this at teatime on Friday (designated treat zone). Also, a huge thank-you to the kind staff at the Windsor branch of the Chocolate Theatre Café – they made my girls’ day by giving them a complimentary candy cane to make up for my oversight.
This recipe was inspired by the specials board at the Chocolate Theatre Cafe, Windsor. Update (September 2016) - this cafe has recently closed due to the owner wishing to retire. I miss my chocolate fix when shopping in Windsor now.
- 450 ml/ 2 cups whole milk
- 40 g/ ¼ cup dark chocolate – chopped
- 60 g/ 1/2 cup milk chocolate – chopped
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 peppermint candy cane – approx. 6-7 inches long
- Whipped cream - lots
- 2 tsp Popping Candy (I use Experichef which keeps for ages)
- Break the candy cane into pieces and put into a freezer bag, then bash with a rolling pin until it is broken into small chunks
- Take 1/3 of the candy pieces out and set aside. Keep on hitting the remaining candy until fairly fine (or grind using a pestle & mortar)
- Put the ground candy cane, chocolate, cornflour and milk into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring frequently, until the candy cane and chocolate have melted. Turn up the heat slightly and continue to stir until piping hot and the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Pour into mugs then top with the whipped cream, reserved candy cane pieces and the popping candy