Well summer it may be, but it doesn’t really feel like it. It’s grey and a cold wind has been blowing for days. Now rain I would welcome, our garden and plot are parched and nothing is growing, but all we’ve been blessed with in this current bout of wintery weather is the odd splash here and there that gets blown away by the wind almost as soon as it has landed. Anyway, enough of that. The point I’m trying to get to is that despite it being summer, it feels very much like the weather for hot chocolate. This is probably just as well, as I was recently the recipient of two tins of organic drinking chocolate from the good folk at Steenbergs. I was particularly delighted by this as, not only do I like hot chocolate, but Steenbergs is a small family run company driven by ethics which started by selling organic and fairly traded herbs and spices. In addition to this, they have good eco credentials which always meets with my approval. Steenbergs have steadily been increasing their range to include teas, baking ingredients and other ethical products.
The tins arrived plain and unadorned as these are new products and Steenbergs are still waiting for the labels to be produced. I was quite happy with this as the tins are attractive as they are and I can think of many uses to which they can be put – keeping drinking chocolate or cocoa in for instance! I was hoping I would receive some cocoa as I actually prefer this to drinking chocolate which I generally find too sweet, but it was not to be on this occasion. What I did receive was a tin of plain drinking chocolate and a tin of Christmas drinking chocolate – sadly I am unable to give the ingredients due to the lack of labels. All I needed to do was heat some milk in a pan and whisk in a couple of heaped teaspoons of the drinking chocolate mix. The flavour of both were good, but as a drink, they were sweeter than I was hoping. I am looking forward to using them both in baking though and have some recipes which call specifically for drinking chocolate rather than cocoa. The Christmas drinking chocolate had some intriguing flavours that I found quite hard to identify but I thought perhaps nutmeg stood out. There is also a chilli drinking chocolate, which being a chilli fiend, I would like to have tried too.
They will be retailing from between £4.50 and £5.50