I thought I’d share a couple of ideas that we’ve tried out recently, which are really just variations on two old favourites in this sweets-loving household: hot chocolate and baked rhubarb.

Rum-spiked hot chocolate
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast

500mL milk
50g* dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick cinnamon
A dollop of honey and a bit of brown sugar (less than 1/2 tsp each, or to taste)
2 tbsp gold or dark rum

Put all ingredients except the rum into a saucepan and gently bring up to simmering point, stirring well to melt the chocolate. Once it is heated through, pour into mugs and stir 1 tbsp rum to each mug before serving. Yield: 2 large mugs

*This is half the amount of chocolate in the original recipe. Of course, feel free to up the quantities as you wish, and of course the richness would also depend on the chocolate you use – but be warned, 50g seemed a good amount to us. The original recipe also calls for more honey and brown sugar but we felt this wasn’t needed either. See how you go!

Maple-baked rhubarb

Trim 1 bunch of rhubarb into 5cm lengths. Place in a baking dish and toss in 1/4 cup maple syrup. Bake for 20 minutes in a 200C oven. That’s it.

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