There’s something extremely comforting to be found in a cup of hot chocolate. Somewhere in the midst of its sugariness lie milky memories of childhood, winter, dogs by the fire, rattling windows, coal smoke, story books, toys, cuddles and sleepiness – at least, that’s what I get, anyway!

You can infuse the milk with a few broken shards of cinnamon, a bashed cardamom pod, some torn bay leaves or a few strips of orange zest, but I tend to keep things as they were.

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  • 1l whole milk or oat milk
  • A small pinch of flaky sea salt
  • 200g fair trade chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 2–3 tablespoons sugar or honey


  • STEP 1

    Pour the milk into a medium-sized saucepan, add the salt and set it down over the embers to warm.

  • STEP 2

    Break the chocolate into small pieces and drop it into the milk. It will take a little time to melt, so keep stirring the milk as it comes up to a simmer.

  • STEP 3

    Taste the hot chocolate and add just enough sugar or honey to sweeten.

  • STEP 4

    Allow the hot chocolate to sit for 5 minutes off the heat before giving it a final stir and serving.

This recipe was extracted from Outside: Recipes for a Wilder Way of Eating by Gill Meller. Photography by Andrew Montgomery

Outside recipe book by Gill Meller


Gill MellerChef and food writer

Gill is a chef, food writer, author, food stylist, and cookery teacher who lives and works near Lyme Regis in Dorset.