copper mugs from Mia Fleur, filled with my spiced hot chocolate recipe and accompanied by Italian ricciarelli biscuits

I’m not one for posting recipes here, as a rule I leave that to the foodies and food stylists among us, but today I’m making an exception because, well, I have these beautiful new copper mugs and they were crying out for their own mini-shoot! Yes, I’m still head-over heels for copper and can’t wait to put these beauties to good use imagining the variation of flowers I can style them up with-who says a mug can’t be a vase?

Anyway, with Christmas over and New Year looming, I had planned to write a gorgeously moreish cocktail based on Horchata and using Amaretto as the base, but as with some creative journeys, this one decided that it wasn’t right. As I was about to throw the towel in I remembered a recipe for a spiced hot chocolate that I threw together a few years ago and how in the midst of the seasonal chaos I’d forgotten to make any thus far. This recipe is fast becoming a tradition in our house at this time of year, along with the Italian ricciarelli biscuits which are possibly the most incredible biscuits you will ever taste. Check out Twelve by Tessa Kiros for the full recipe and please, please do.

Italian Ricciarelli Biscuits

This is a recipe for the sweet toothed chocolate lover, for moments when only an intense chocolate hit will do. It’s a rich, thick hot chocolate with a comforting base of warm winter spices and made with dark chocolate with 85% cocoa solids so it’s not sickly sweet but you won’t be wanting more than one cup at a time. Share with friends and savour it.

Ingredients for my spiced hot chocolate recipe

Serves 4 generously


1000ml whole milk

200g 85% dark chocolate (I use Green & Black’s)

100g light brown sugar

1 vanilla pod sliced down the middle

1 stick of cinnamon

3 cloves

A good grating of nutmeg (to taste)

A pinch of salt

A pinch of dried chilli flakes

 Mia Fleur copper mugs filled with my spiced hot chocolate recipe


✚ Add the milk, sugar and spices to a pan and simmer on a gentle heat for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to check that the flavour of the spices has come through (continue for a further five to ten if you’d like it stronger).

✚ Strain the milk through a sieve to remove the spices and return to the pan on a medium heat.

✚ Break the chocolate into chunks, add it to the warm milk and stir gently with a whisk until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture has thickened.

✚ Ladle into a mug, beaker or bucket, snuggle under a blanket and enjoy.

A very happy New Year to you! Thank you for following, reading, commenting, liking-whatever, 2014 was a pretty amazing first year for Curate & Display blog and I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner in 2015. Thanks for listening and see you on the other side! x

This post is in collaboration with Mia Fleur who kindly sent the two copper mugs as a gift.  

Photography & styling © Tiffany Grant-Riley

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