Take your hot chocolate to the next level | Chocolate | The Guardian — theguardian.com

My children and I had often looked at the Velvetisers in our local Hotel Chocolat store, and I had dismissed them in the way you do when you really want something, but can’t justify it: simply too expensive (five pence under £100) and what’s more, you can make perfectly good hot chocolate in a pan. Both true.It’s true that you can make perfectly good hot chocolate in a panAnd then we were given one and all my protestations instantly went away.A Velvetiser is a milk frother into which you put milk and hot chocolate (and, despite what Hotel Chocolat says, you can – and I have – used other hot chocolate flakes/powder) and it heats it and whirs it up and not a single person who I’ve strong-armed to buy one has regretted it.If you have the money and January is making you want to treat yourself, I thoroughly recommend it, after two years of almost daily use.Hotel Chocolat makes lots of hot chocolate to go in it, and seasonal specials some of which I’m not a fan of. It’s best to keep it simple: the 70% is a good one to start with, but I also seriously love the latte sachets and I don’t generally like such things at all.Not for use in the Velvetiser, but the small independent brand Duffy’s has just launched an excellent range of hot chocolate drops of single-origin chocolate from 61% to 70%, £12.45/250g, all absolutely stunning and they can as easily be used in baking, or for snacking. Or warmed in a pan with milk.Follow Annalisa on Twitter @AnnalisaB

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