Hot chocolate sticks

I know – hot chocolate sticks aren’t a new thing and have been around a while, but I love them for hamper gifts because you can get really creative. I’ve gone with salted caramel, peppermint and matcha this time around, but you could use peanut butter, liquorice and all sorts – go crazy!

The basic kit you need is a Bain Marie (just a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of water) for melting the chocolate, a silicon large ice cube moulds like this one as regular sized ones are a bit small, and some lollipop sticks. Then you’ll want some presentation bags and ribbon to decorate.

For these salted caramel hot chocolate sticks I sprinkled some rock sea salt in the bottom of the moulds, poured over melted milk chocolate and layered it with Cadburys caramel buttons. The decorations are caramel swirls from Lakeland that give a nice visual effect but I’m not sure I love their caramel taste. It doesn’t ruin the end product though – I might just use something else next time!

Matcha is all the rage right now and I’ve been in love with it since first visiting Japan in 2012! I wanted a layered effect for this one rather than just having a green block so I melted some white chocolate, filled the moulds about half way before stirring a fair amount of pure matcha powder into the other half making sure to taste as I went. It needs to be fairly strong as it’ll only make up half of the block and will be further diluted by the milk so don’t be shy. Plus you want a strong green colour to contrast the white chocolate too!

These peppermint hot chocolate sticks have got to be my personal favourite – I am a sucker for a good peppermint hot chocolate! I used dark chocolate for these ones and layered them with thin mint creams (like After Eights) cut to size (the edges don’t get wasted of course 😉 ). You can do a great vegan version of these if you use dairy free dark chocolate and Sainsbury’s own mint thins which happen to be vegan.

Have a go – what flavours would you use? Let me know in the comments 😊

Last reminder for my giveaway! I can’t believe it closes tomorrow – that’s come around so soon! Make sure you get your entry in before midday tomorrow for your chance to win some gorgeous preserved and pickles from Opies Foods. Click here for more information.

Looking for more foodie hamper gift ideas? Try this Christmas morning granola or more ideas here.

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