Hot chocolate fans, where you at?!
We're talking creamy, comforting indulgence topped with just the right amount of silky froth. Sadly, hot chocolate made at home seldom lives up to such expectations.
Lumpy, grainy cups of the instant stuff just don't cut the mustard. However, it doesn't have to be like this. Seriously, level up your at-home equipment and you can create a steaming hot mug of creamy, sweet, chocolate-y goodness from the comfort of your own kitchen.
All you need, chocolate lovers, is a hot chocolate maker. Often referred to as a velvetiser, after the appliance was popularised by Hotel Chocolat, who partnered with kitchen appliance brand Dualit to create their sleek, top-of-the-range hot chocolate maker. (It's definitely the sort of piece of kitchen tech you won't mind having out on the kitchen counter.)
But there are also decent - and cheaper! - ones on offer in Robert Dyas, Amazon and even Aldi.
How do you use The Velvetiser from Hotel Chocolat?
It's super simple. Just fill the hot chocolate maker up to the marked line with any milk (including plant-based milks or water), top it up with your chosen Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate, pop the lid on, and press the button on the front to go.
There's a central whisk inside that helps produce a perfectly creamy drink with a small layer of froth on top in a super speedy two and a half minutes.
The hot chocolate maker heats the milk up to 67-69⁰C: the exact temperature that cocoa solids and cocoa butter melt. (Anyone else's mouth watering?) Handily, there's no need to wait for your hot chocolate to cool down before getting stuck in.
It's super simple to clean, too - since it's non-stick, it only needs a quick rinse. And the whisk is dishwasher safe.
The OG Hotel Chocolat version doesn't come cheap. It's normally £99.95 but, this pre-Christmas, Black Friday period you can expect a discount.
Save 15% on the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser when you use the code HOHOHO at the checkout
What about other hot chocolate maker deals?
But you can also cop a decent dupe of the cult product. The Salter Chocolatier isn't quite as slick, but does the job and can also be used to make frappes, thanks to the cold frothing panel. It's also non-stick for easy cleaning.
And, best bit? You can save £40 in the Black Friday sale currently on at Robert Dyas.
Naturally, there are hot chocolate maker deals to be had on Amazon.
Including this multi purpose hot drink maker (cappuccinos? check; latte? check; hot choco? check), on which you can save a handsome 40% in the Black Friday sales.
With over 1,000 five-star ratings, it's got the thumbs up from the internet. And, thanks to it's 250ml capacity, you can make multiple drinks at once.
If you're on a budget, Aldi's milk frother by Ambiano is a great stand in. Its capacity is smaller: you can only froth up top 100ml of milk or heat up to 190ml, so it's a one-cup-at-a-time sort of job.
But - bonus - you can also use to create the foamy, frothy milk for the perfect milky coffees of your dreams.
And while this one doesn't come with a special seasonal discount, at £19.99 it's an evergreen bargain.
Happy drinking, chocolate lovers.
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