Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Drinks

Hi, guys so another week has ended and I don't think I've ever been so happy that it's the weekend. I'm going to London for the weekend and it's been such a stressful week so I'm glad to get away from it all a little bit. I will definitely be trying all of these drinks this winter. If you're reading this and you have some spare time this weekend then it is the perfect time to experiment with some different Christmas drinks like the ones below. Enjoy:

Peppermint Eggnog

How can you not be enticed by the above image? Cute little pastel pink drinks look so chic; let's hope they taste as nice. Entertaining this Christmas? Or maybe you just want to make some for yourself? Here's how:

Ingredients:
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Half a cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons more of sugar
  • Quarter of a teaspoon of salt
  • Half a teaspoon of pure peppermint extract
  • One tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • Twelve peppermint candy canes broken into pieces
  • 3 ounces of white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Half a cup of heavy cream
  • Peppermint sticks for garnish
  • If you want to make them pink like the ones in the photo you will also need just a tiny drop of red or pink food colouring.
  • Extra cubes of white chocolate with strawberry can be added as a garnish too for the above desired outcome

Method
  1. Prepare an ice water bath; set aside. 
  2. Whisk together eggs, egg yolk, sugar, salt and the extracts in a large saucepan over medium low heat until combined. 
  3. Pour in milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking until fully incorporated.
  4. Raise heat to medium. 
  5. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture reached one hundred and sixty degrees on an instant red thermometer and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Pour milk mixture through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. (You should probably add any necessary food colouring now.)
  7. Set bowl in ice water bath and let mixture cool completely.
  8. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to over night. 
  9. Process candy canes in a food crusher until finely crushed. Sift in a strainer to discard dust and transfer to a shallow dish
  10. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Dip the rim of each cup into the melted chocolate, then crushed peppermint candy canes. Refrigerate until set (about 5 minutes.)
  11. Remove mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, salt and extracts from fridge and set aside.
  12. Put the cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; mix on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
  13. Fold into mixture until combined.
  14. Fill cups with eggnog. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint, garnish with peppermint sticks and serve. 

Now you and your guests can enjoy. To personalise them you could try different colours or a different type of chocolate. Maybe instead of peppermint you could use cinnamon. I'm sure it would work just as well. Recipe from http://www.mybougeotte.com/.

Gingerbread Lattes

(Image Source)
There are three things that make me feel Christmassy that are easier to define that just 'you know that excited feeling that you get.' Fairytale of New York, A Muppet Christmas Carol and Starbucks Christmas drinks. I know they haven't been paying their taxes and whatnot but they are just so darn good. The Christmas drinks idea was such an amazingly successful marketing idea; now the whole world waits for the day in November when Starbucks bring back their red cups once more. My favourite Christmas drink from Starbucks is the gingerbread latte. That's the only one I get really. I don't like the peppermint mocha and the toffee nut just doesn't quite match the gingerbread. The Christmas holidays are the only time of year I treat myself to cream on top of my drinks. Unfortunately, Starbucks aren't doing their buy one get one free on them any more because they only did it for the first week of the red cups being back this year (don't worry, I took full advantage drank two in one day when they were doing that) and Starbucks drinks are not cheap. Luckily, though, you can buy gingerbread flavoured syrup online then make yourself a gingerbread latte like this:

Ingredients:
  • 2 fluid ounces espresso coffee
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread flavoured syrup
  • Half a cup of milk, steamed
  • Eighth of a cup of whipped cream
  • One pinch of ground nutmeg
  • One pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla powder
Method
  1. In a coffee mug, combine espresso coffee with gingerbread flavoured syrup
  2. Pour in steamed milk.
  3. Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla 
And enjoy. This one is less of a party drink and more of a 'just-got-home-from-work/school-on-a-cold-tiring-day' drink. Tastes best when you've come into the warm from the cold. Recipe from http://allrecipes.com.

Hot Chocolate Infused with Earl Grey

(Image Source)
Ingredients:

For the hot chocolate
  • Milk of your choice
  • Earl Grey Tea Bags
  • 3 Squares of dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
For the whipped cream
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sugar
Method:
  1. Boil milk with 2 Earl Grey teabags until milk begins to simmer then turn off heat and let the milk cool steep for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove the two teabags, add 3 chocolate chocolate squares to the milk and return to heat until chocolate is fully dissolved.
  3. Pour hot chocolate into a mug.
  4. Pour cold heavy cream into a mixing bowl with a splash of vanilla extract and one tablespoon of sugar.
  5. Using a mixer, whip until cream is thick.
  6. Top hot chocolate with whipped cream
  7. For an extra kick, split open an Earl Grey tea bag and sprinkle a small amount of loose tea on top of the whipped cream
You can probably also try this with a peppermint tea bag, a fruity tea bag or a chai tea bag.Recipe from http://sosimplysophie.com/.

Hot Chocolate Infused with Lavender 

(Image Source)
Ingredients:

For the hot chocolate
  • Milk of your choice
  • Fresh lavender
  • 3 cubes of dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
Whipped Cream
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sugar
Method
  1. Boil milk with desired amount of fresh lavender (the lavender is very potent so a little goes a long way)
  2. Once the milk begins to simmer, turn off the heat and let milk seep for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain milk to remove the lavender then return the milk to the saucepan.
  4. Add 3 chocolate squares to the milk and heat until the chocolate is fully dissolved. 
  5. Pour hot chocolate into a mug
  6. Pour cold heavy cream into a mixing bowl with a splash of vanilla extract and one tablespoon of sugar
  7. Using a mixer, whip until cream is thick
  8. Top hot chocolate with whipped cream
  9. Sprinkle fresh lavender over whipped cream

Twix Stirring Sticks

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Basically, you buy a Twix, then you stir your hot chocolate with one of the fingers. The chocolate melts, the biscuit softens and the caramel goes gooey in a nice way. When you've eaten the first finger, start stirring with the second one then eat that and drink the hot chocolate. Genius. Perfection. Idea from http://rookiemag.com/


Marshmallow Fluff Hot Chocolate

(Image Source)
Get a tablespoon and dollop a big lump of marshmallow fluff on the top of the freshly made hot chocolate. At  first it will just float but make sure you put it on a really hot hot chocolate so that it melts and makes the hot chocolate all creamy. Idea from http://rookiemag.com/.


Nutella and Milk

(Image Source)
Ingredients
Funnily enough you need
  • Milk 
  • Nutella
to make Nutella and Milk
You can also add cinnamon to put on top if you want. 

Method
  1. Pour a few splashes of milk into a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add two or three big spoonfuls of Nutella.
  3. Whisk it all together until it is nice and smooth.
  4. Pour in about 3/4 of a mug full of more milk 
  5. Sprinkle in some cinnamon (optional)
  6. Whisk until everything is hot, but don't let the milk boil
Again, idea from http://rookiemag.com/
Enjoy :)

Please let me know what your favourite Christmas drink recipes are. I love trying knew things.

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