My children have taken to yelling “CHOCOLATE” at random intervals without prior notice, usually when other people are around. It appears they take after their mother in their mild
full blown chocolate addiction.
This newfound exuberance about cocoa is one I don’t discourage. I feel it keeps me grounded. Sometimes I think I can get a little smug when my children publicly choose fruit over cake or eat every scrap of vegetables off their plate before touching anything else. So my children, as kids love to do to parents, have decided to keep me humble.
Sorry, I felt the sudden need to be in on the shouting. It’s actually fairly cathartic!
I have always loved chocolate. Like, really really loved it. I grew up in France, Belgium and Switzerland, so it was pretty inevitable, but I believe it was my dad’s love of the intensely dark stuff that really nurtured my
worship obsession enjoyment of it.
There is no way my kids are never going to have chocolate. Mostly because there is seriously NO WAY that I will ever give it up! I did for the 4 middle weeks of the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program, and it was pretty hard. Worth it, but tough. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? 😉
What has changed, for me and the whole family, is the type of chocolate we eat. I’ve always preferred darker chocolate, but usually that meant around the 70% mark. Now, I find 70% far too sweet, and 85-90% is the definite favourite in our house. And given the ma-hoo-sive difference in the amount of sugar they contain, I am very happy to keep it that way.
What surprised me most was how much my kids love the darkest stuff, too! Maybe it is simply because they haven’t had enough of the sweeter, more milky varieties to get a taste for it, but my daughter genuinely feels it’s the world’s-best-treat when she gets a square of 85% dark chocolate.
I’m pretty happy to indulge that option a couple of times a week – it’s practically no sugar, and hey, chocolate is good for us, right?
Especially when it’s melted, mixed with milk and spices and served in a cup… well, healthier than your average hot chocolate anyway!
If you find your kids are less-than-exuberant about really dark chocolate, I suggest slowly edging them on to it by buying a darker type each time. If they are happy with 70%, it should be fairly easy to slowly ease them onto 74% and then 80% and darker, but if they prefer milk it may take a few more steps! 😉
And in the meantime, make them a delicious hot chocolate or sugar free flourless chocolate cake with the really dark stuff to show them how yummy it can be!
This is a perfect autumn (fall) or winter hot drink. Ideal for Bonfire Night or Halloween, it has a little kick from the light spice, a gorgeous richness, but only a tiny amount of sugar!
- 1 cup (250ml) double (heavy) or single (pouring) cream
- 1 cup (250ml) full-fat milk
- 50 g very dark chocolate (at least 85%), chopped
- 1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice mix
- 1/4-1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
- pinch ground ginger
Heat the cream and milk to just below boiling point, then take off the heat and whisk in the chocolate, cacao powder and spices. Whisk until smooth (if you are struggling, return to the heat for 30 secs until it's smooth and melted). Serve hot, ideally in flasks or bowls while wrapped in a blanket in front of a fire!