For the love of Nutella and good food…

My name is Michelle and I’m a Nutellaholic. I can’t deny a good slice of toast with Nutella, if somebody offered me a crêpe just with the chocolatey hazelnut goodness or when it’s mixed in my cup of warm milk as a hot chocolate drink. I’m not really sure where the idea of making hot chocolate with Nutella came from (probably from Word Nutella Day), but it’s definitely been one of my vices for the past year ever since I found out about it. What’s best about it all is when you don’t even need to go to the effort of making it yourself and you can just sit back and enjoy it.

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Enjoying a nice cup of Nutella hot chocolate at Le Café Gourmand in Edinburgh

For that, I blame Le Café Gourmand where I first found out about the genius creation. The small but warm and inviting café on Nicolson Street offers your standard coffees and cold drinks, including milk shakes, and a range of French delights like sweet and savoury crêpes, macaroons and cakes. You can make it yourself at home (I’ll put the recipe further down), but there’s something truly relaxing about sitting back and getting served that makes the experience all the more worthwhile. It’s like bubble tea – you can make it yourself at home with quick boil tapioca pearls, but you also enjoy the experience of going to a shop with your friends and enjoy a bit of socialising with your friends. With my friends, going out for a cup of bubble tea or two is our favourite thing to do, catching up while enjoying our favourite delight that comes in a cup with chewy goodness on the bottom. It’s the same with Nutella hot chocolate, except it’s a thing between my OH and I before he goes to work.

So how do you make a cup of Nutella hot chocolate of your own?

Ingredients:

1 cup of milk
1 heaped tbsp of Nutella

All you really do is heat the milk (be careful not to over-boil the milk, otherwise a layer of ‘skin’ forms at the top) on low heat for a few minutes and when it’s steaming, carefully melt the tablespoon of Nutella in the milk.

My only tip is try to keep the spoon from scraping the sides of the pan, you’ll end up with milk solids in your milk otherwise. It should look a deep chocolatey colour once it’s well mixed, but when it’s left to sit will separate but don’t worry. If it’s well-mixed and isn’t the same colour or similar to that in the photo above, just add slightly more Nutella! It’s really just a matter of personal choice, how chocolatey you want your hot drink to be!

The other great thing I discovered is the meal deals from Bookatable. It’s not just for UK customers as well, if you go to the bottom of their site, you’ll see which countries are also involved in the online booking site! All you really need to do is search for the city you want and find out which restaurants have meal deal menus on offer! It’s only because I used their online booking so often whenever we go to Jamie’s Italian that I get newsletters every now and then. On looking at the various meal deals, we decided that we would go with the 3-course menu for £22.50 per person with a gin fizz cocktail on arrival at One Square at the Sheraton Hotel.

Knowing that the Sheraton is a more upscale hotel, we thought that was quite a good price and I was quite taken by the choices (although somewhat limited) on the sample menu displayed on the booking site. The food was fantastic and the service was impeccable. It didn’t matter that I was dressed in my usual casual attire of jeans and my Ed Hardy sneakers, the hostess greeted us just the same as they would someone in business attire: friendly and professional. The waiting staff were very attentive and seemed to always be on hand when you needed anything. Funnily, my OH and I both decided on the same dishes for our 3 courses: for the starter we had ham haugh with crispy bread and a micro-salad, a fillet of fish (don’t ask, I’m bad with names of fish) with a pumpkin and cream purée for the main course and an apple and bramble crumble with a scoop of custard ice cream for dessert.

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Ham haugh with crispy bread and micro salad starter

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The main course

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The final dish: apple and bramble crumble with custard ice cream

The portions seem small to begin with, especially for my OH, but by the time I got to the main course I was already starting to get full and had to take my time with dessert. All I can say though was the flavours of each dish wasn’t overwhelming and the way the starter was served challenged my limited culinary skills in eating. It was definitely an interesting experience and I enjoyed every morsel of food we were served. My favourite part was the unusual ice cream – custard ice cream? Never tried that before, but it was definitely one of my new favourite ice cream flavours!

Have you booked with Bookatable before or tried one of their meal deals? What was your experience? Any favourite Nutella recipes?

PS – Tutorial for PJ trousers coming up next!

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