Written by Lydia in Drinks

I love hot chocolate this time of year. This recipe is one inspired from Cocoa, a dreamy little cafe which resides on Ecclesall road in Sheffield.  Hayley used to live in Sheffield and was eager to take me here when I visited her and I am so glad she did! It still remains one of my favourite cafes I have ever been to, not only for the wonderful chocolates, array of teas and hot chocolate but also for the vintage meets boho way the cafe is styled too. The cafe is painted bright turquoise and has pink chairs and tables outside so you can’t miss it. You enter into an old fashioned sweet shop with jars full of exciting candies and a glass cabinet displaying all their fabulous chocolates.  Then upstairs they have this wonderful room which is like sitting in a dream, full of patchwork throw cushions, bunting, bird cages and mismatch china.  It is what I imagine that Florence from Florence and The Machine’s house would be like.  And if it couldn’t get anymore twee, they have a knitting and book club as well.

The hot chocolate at Cocoa is out of this world. It’s so chocolatey and indulgent, a million miles away from your syrup or powder offerings at most cafes. You get a real hit of dark chocolate flavour in their hot chocolate and can have it two ways; very thick – made with cream and chocolate (I always plumped for this one) or milky- thick hot chocolate topped up with steamed milk.  So this hot chocolate recipe is my ode to Cocoa, not quite as good as their recipe as is top secret but until I visit another day this will have to tide me over. It is a rare treat that I make this as it is such a rich drink so I always serve it in mismatch china for the occasion and if I close my eyes,  I am almost there.


Makes 3 mug fulls or 6 china cups

570ml gold top channel island milk
1 cinnamon stick
100g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces


  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan with the cinnamon stick until almost boiling.
  2. Turn the heat to low and stir in the chocolate pieces until fully melted and slightly thickened. The milk should be a rich chocolatey colour.
  3. Remove the cinnamon and serve immediately.


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