Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The first snow

Yesterday fell the first snow of the season. I woke up in the morning to see the beautiful snowflakes gently falling outside my bedroom window while my whole being was screaming, "don't go to work, stay in bed, call in sick". I couldn't. I had to go.

I wore my heaviest and warmest coat, my big fat woolen gloves, a long scarf that I wrapped around my neck and head to keep the cold out, my favorite sheepskin boots to keep my toes warm and I braved the cold weather. My hands and face were freezing in no time as the snow that suddenly turned to rain, then to hail, and finally to snow again was grazing my cheeks. I was aching to go back home and crawl into bed but I pressed on.

The whole day at work I was dreaming of being in the arms of my S, drinking a cup of hot cocoa. That's all I wanted to do, and that's exactly what I did when I got home. S and I, after a rather difficult day out in the world, we sat on our comfy couch, put our favorite music on and drank some of this rich hot cocoa.

I hope you'll enjoy it as well.

Rumor has it, it will snow heavily in the next couple of weeks in The Hague. I can't wait! Perhaps we'll have a white Christmas.

See you again soon.

Hot Cocoa

Milk, cocoa, sugar. It couldn't be much simpler than that. A good hot cocoa means good cocoa powder. Don't use anything other than Dutch-processed which has an intense flavor and dark color.

And if you prefer hot chocolate rather than hot cocoa, check this out.

Yield: 2 large cups

500 ml fresh, whole milk
5 heaped tsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I use Van Houten but also Droste)
4 tsp caster sugar (or more to taste)

In a milk pan or small saucepan, add the milk, the cocoa powder and the sugar and place over medium heat. Heat, stirring until the cocoa dissolves. Don't allow the milk to boil but take it off the heat when it starts to steam.

Note: The 4 tsp of sugar that I use, make for a fairly sweet cocoa. Add more or less depending how you prefer your cocoa to taste. Keep in mind though that Dutch-processed cocoa powder is quite bitter.

Drink the cocoa while it's still hot, served with your favorite cookies. We chose the traditional Dutch pepernoten and mini stroopwafels.


  1. Whilst I've seen and been in snow many times I've never lived in a place that experiences it as part of winter. I'm sure I'd love it and dread it at the same time. Extreme cold isn't my friend!

  2. lovely post :) and i adore stroopwafels! great stuff!

  3. I much prefer hot cocoa to hot chocolate so your recipe is right up my street. No snow here yet but perhaps that's a good thing as I have to go to Birmingham today and tomorrow the car needs a service. Man, it's cold though and I have a hard time getting up. I don't blame you for wanting to call in sick but well done for finding the willpower. If you get a white Christmas, please promise to take photos - I've always dreamed of having one.

  4. It is much more fun living vicariously through other people's snowfalls - I am happy in the desert with none! :) But I do recall the incredible coziness of being inside by the fire, drinking cocoa and watching the snowfall outside... at least on the days when I didn't have to go out, shovel the sidewalk, scrape the windshield and then drive to work... I hope you get the wonderful snows of which you dream, and no more of the snow-turned-to-sleet-and-rain that you go this particular day. Stay warm! ~ David

  5. My son is looking forward to freezing in your neck of the woods as he is heading to Amsterdam for Xmas! He told me how great it was to cool beer just by setting in on the ledge outside for 15 minutes! Ha!
    Love that cocoa with REAL cocoa and to me that still means Droste or Van Houten and nothing else!

  6. I love hot cocoa, but I usually add a bit of starch or flour to thicken it up.. have you ever tried it?

  7. john — extreme cold isn't anyone's friend but I love snow! Of course I prefer being tucked inside my bed instead of being on the streets while it's snowing. It's cozier.

    ahu — thanks!

    Emily — I'll definitely take photos. I'm sure you'll catch them first on instagram though :) I too prefer hot cocoa to hot chocolate!

    David — thanks David. I have to say, I don't envy your desert as I love snow!

    Joumana — oh how nice! Yes, we all keep our beer outside during the winter. It's so cold you don't need the fridge.

    Pola — no, I haven't but thank you for the suggestion. Usually, though, if I want something thicker I go for hot chocolate. I like that hot cocoa is not too thick.

  8. I do love being cozy inside when there's snowfall. the whole world gets quiet. Hot cocoa is better--not so thick and heavy. stay warm! perhaps you will have a White Christmas. likely you had a white Sinterklaasavond...

  9. The snow, the comfy sofa, the music, and the cocoa with someone you love--perfection.

  10. Nothing is better than a cup of hot cocoa on a snowy day! Beautiful blog. I'm glad I discovered it .