AS temperatures drop, there’s nothing better than a rich, creamy cup of hot chocolate to warm you up.
So treat yourself to a mug of pure indulgence at home with these budget tips and hacks.
TOOL UP: The Velvetiser from Hotel Chocolat promises barista-grade hot chocolate by warming your milk and blending chocolate flakes at the touch of a button — but at just under £100, it’s not cheap.
The Dualit milk frother, £54.90 at John Lewis, is almost half the price and does the same job.
Start with your milk and then a minute or so into the programme add the chocolate.
Or Aldi’s Ambiano milk frother and steamer, £19.99, is one of the cheapest options on the market.
Like the Dualit, it also froths cold milk so can be used for iced coffees too.
WHIP UP A TREAT: To create the perfect hot chocolate without a machine, food blogger Gemma Sokol recommends heating milk very slowly on the stove or hob while adding chocolate.
She says: “This may take more time but ensures a better result as the milk will burn if heated too quickly. Keep mixing your chocolate to make sure it’s distributed evenly while melting.”
SWEET SURPRISE: Using pure chocolate can create a richer and silkier hot drink than powder.
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Gemma says shave or grate chocolate before adding to milk so that it melts easier.
Luxury hot chocolate specialists Knoops sell a range of flakes from £9.95. Get ten per cent off your first order by signing up for the newsletter.
Or Tesco Finest Belgian Hot Chocolate Flakes, £2.50, are a more wallet-friendly option.
You could even experiment with your favourite chocolate bar. Try grating Green & Blacks white chocolate for a yummy twist.
Gemma also says adding spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger, will give your hot chocolate a festive flavour.
Deal of the day
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HATS off to this soft knitted green beanie, £6.99, from H&M, which will brighten any autumn day.
Bloom & Wild has partnered with the Carers Trust to create limited edition bouquets.
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Available until October 23.
BEDTIME is toasty with this fluffy fleece bedding from Argos, £25 a double.
Or the Snuggle Fleece set from Homebase is £12.50 for the same size.
Leah’s little helper
EARLY birds get the bubbles.
Pre-book your Christmas party at Frankie & Benny’s before November 8 and bag a free glass of prosecco for everyone in your group.
Shop and save
THERE is up to 30 per cent off face and body brands at Asos, including Revolution’s forever flawless eyeshadow palette, down to £5 from £7.
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