Hot Chocolate Heaven With Paul A Young

Hot chocolate heaven with award-winning chocolatier Paul A Young

During these chillier months, and especially in dreary Jan, nothing quite hits the spot like a comforting, creamy hot chocolate. And we’re not talking about one of those instant ones that comes in a sachet, oh no. TOAST caught up with award-winning chocolatier Paul A Young to learn how to make and serve the *ultimate* hot chocolate this winter.

Paul Young is an uber talented, groundbreaking chocolatier at the forefront of the British chocolate scene; his passion for his craft and cutting edge creativity have won him numerous awards and led to him being ranked amongst the world’s best chocolatiers. 

After a stint as head pastry chef for Marco Pierre White at Quo Vadis and Criterion, Paul began to specialise in chocolate and opened his first shop on Camden Passage in Islington in 2006 with his business partner James Cronin. Since then, Paul has opened another two stores and has been creating products that have won numerous industry awards, wowed customers and earned him the reputation he has today.

TOAST caught up the charming chocolatier to learn more about his award winning hot chocolate and to get his top tips and mouth wateringly delicious recipe for making and serving the ultimate hot chocolate this winter.

Paul Young Hot Chocolate

Paul A Young's Guide to Hot Chocolate Heaven This Winter

In 2011 you won a Gold Academy of Chocolate Award for your Aztec hot chocolate - what makes it so special?

"Our hot chocolate is actually not made with milk but made with just water. This really allows the purity of the chocolate to shine through and give consumers a true hit of chocolate. The inspiration for this was taken from how chocolate was first used. Aztecs drank hot chocolate heady with spices, so that’s what I’ve tried to recreate with mine – just for a slightly more modern palette! If you pop by our stores you can add in your own spices to suit your taste buds.

At TOAST we love to entertain and we think a round of indulgent hot chocolate is a wonderful thing to serve up at any festive occasion. How/when would you serve it when you’ve got guests round?

"There really isn’t a bad time to serve hot chocolate! It’s always a great aperitif, especially when mixed with something boozy or set-up as a dessert for a decadent treat after dinner, with everyone around the table adorning their drinks with little treats and spices. To really make it stand out, add a shot of fine whisky or rum to your finished mug of chocolate and pile on shavings of dark chocolate to intensify the taste and texture, even a pinch of sea salt can liven it up and increase your enjoyment."

The addition of booze in hot chocolate – yay or nay?

"Definitely yay – we teamed up with Cleo Rocos to create a recipe for Off-Piste Hot Chocolate, which features in my new book and uses tequila and cayenne pepper. Something to warm you up whilst in the alps, or back here in the UK! Mulled wine hot chocolate is a recipe in my first book Adventures with Chocolate and it’s become so many readers’ Christmas alternative to mulled wine. It’s like drinking a long lasting truffle with festive spices and a long chocolate finish with the warmth of red wine and alcohol. It’s super easy to make and wows anyone who hasn’t tried it before." 

What should we serve our hot chocolate in, and should we think about garnish?

"There’s no right or wrong way to serve hot chocolate; it’s about picking the right style for the occasion. Perhaps if you’re having a party you’d like to have it in a communal punch bowl so people can help themselves. Alternatively you can dress it up and serve it in little glass jars with cinnamon sticks. Of course, if it’s a deluxe night cap before bed, the classic mug never disappoints and has a certain charm about it, especially with an extra chocolate on the side as a chaser!  But remember chocolate is a stimulant and sleeping after a real hot chocolate will make sleeping very difficult.

Finally are there any hot chocolate dos and don’ts?

"As with most things in life, you get back what you put in. There’s definitely a time and place for instant hot chocolate but during these wintery months, it’s nice to treat yourself every now and again with the real thing. I never put marshmallows on my hot chocolate as this just adds too much sugar. If you want to add whipped cream then I recommend not sweetening it, just add a grating of orange zest. To make a really caramelly hot chocolate, add a heaped spoon of dark unrefined Mauritian muscovado sugar and stir well; this is my favourite way to enjoy hot chocolate.

You can find Paul's delicious hot chocolate recipe and recent Spotlight interview over on TheEdit now.

Paul A Young Chocolatier

Paul A Young Chocolates

For more info on Paul A Young you can visit his profile in TOAST’s Little Black Book, or see www.paulayoung.co.uk.


Posted in Food and Drink

by Sophie Farrah
on on 09 December 2016

  chocolate, hot chocolate

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