There’s something extremely comforting to be found in a cup of hot chocolate. Somewhere in the midst of its sugariness lie milky memories of childhood, winter, dogs by the fire, rattling windows, coal smoke, story books, toys, cuddles and sleepiness – at least, that’s what I get, anyway! You can infuse the milk with a few broken shards of cinnamon, a bashed cardamom pod, some torn bay leaves or a few strips of orange zest, but I tend to keep things as they were. This recipe can be made on the hob in the kitchen or on a camp fire, it doesn’t matter which – it will be delicious either way.
Makes: 3-4 cups
Time: 15 minutes
1 litre whole milk or oat milk
a small pinch of flaky sea salt
200g fair trade chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
2–3 tablespoons sugar or honey
Pour the milk into a medium-sized saucepan, add the salt and set it down over the embers to warm. Break the chocolate into small pieces and drop it into the milk. It will take a little time to melt, so keep stirring the milk as it comes up to a simmer. Taste the hot chocolate and add just enough sugar or honey to sweeten. Allow the hot chocolate to sit for 5 minutes off the heat
before giving it a final stir and serving.
A beautiful book dedicated to cooking outdoors, whatever the weather, Gill Meller’s book Outside is the perfect companion for food cooked over fire, in tune with nature and the seasons. Outside: Recipes for a Wilder Way of Eating by Gill Meller (Quadrille, £30) Photography: Andrew Montgomery