Homemade Hot chocolate from Coming Up Roses
Every time I read a book by Rachael Lucas I crave hot chocolate. In fact, I crave hot chocolate and a hot bath in which to drink it. Then, ideally, I'd come downstairs and continue reading her book, with yet another hot chocolate, in front of a roaring log fire. That's what Rachael's books do to me.
I adored her second full-length novel, Coming Up Roses. Absolutely adored it. Whether it was because it was based in a village, or because it was centred around a gardener called Daisy, or because there was a character who was a lifestyle blogger. Or maybe because there are lots and lots of foodie references. Rachael's characters are always sitting down eating when they chat between themselves - which is, essentially, what we do in real life. To be honest, I think it's the combination. As I wrote on Novelicious (where I make hummus with tortilla chips from the novel) Rachael's books are just so natural. Based on real characters we can relate to. But what makes her stories jump from the page and give me that extra something is the way in which she uses the food.
Daisy has catch-up conversations with her sister over thick, expensive chips, and goes for a traditional lemon drizzle with Thomas (he abhors cupcakes "Whatever happened to fairy cakes?" he asks). When she first goes to Elaine's house for a gathering she is served homemade sushi. Later in the story Elaine serves Daisy gorgeous handmade petticoat tails on an Emma Bridgewater platter. The food goes with the person who has made or is eating them. And with this element of taste we see another aspect of their personality.
Plus there are descriptions of gardens. Which inspired me to pick up my secateurs.
Coming Up Roses is out today.
Recipe for Homemade Hot Chocolate
Makes two large, comforting, mugs
Non-stick saucepan, whisk, mug
- 300ml milk
- 100ml double cream
- 50g chocolate. Dark, milk or a mixture. Broken into pieces.
- Double cream, whisked until thick (or aerosol cream)
- Chocolate flake
- Pour the milk and the cream into the saucepan and add the broken chocolate.
- Heat gently and whisk. Bring to a gentle boil.
- Once smooth pour into mugs.
- Add a blob of thick cream, scatter over the marshmallows and flake some chocolate over the top.
- Drink whilst reading.
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