So we watched the Jamie Oliver Christmas shows. Now, we love Jamie Oliver (not in a sexual way, you understand). His early TV shows were superb, as were his first books, and together they made a huge, lasting, positive impact on our cooking. He’s gone on to do Great Things, and we wish him and his expanding waistline all the best.

Excited by some of his seasonal recipes (although a bit weirded out by the number of supermarket packets being used – we’re more used to Hugh’s way of doing things), Her Outdoors made the waffle and hot chocolate breakfast on Boxing Day. Here’s the proof:


I hope I’m not too late to say: Don’t try this at home. It’s utterly inedible. Far too much baking powder and the salt was overpowering (we did substitute salted butter ‘cos we don’t have anything else, but even without it, it would have been an awful waffle). The hot chocolate was OK – superbly thick – but there were complaints of powdery nature. After a single bite each, we gave it all to the pigs and chickens, and Jamie’s reputation took a savage beating.

Although this experiment was a disaster, the idea of waffles and hot chocolate is a good ‘un. And fortunately, Her Outdoors has huge experience in pancakes and waffles, having lived in California for many years. So she took the waffle recipe from “Joy of Cooking” and the real hot chocolate from The River Cottage Family Cookbook, with a couple of minor modifications, and made this:


It was sublime. Exactly what we would have wanted on Boxing Day. Light, fluffy and filling waffle with a rich, sweet and chocolatey drink on the side. Proper – as Jamie would say in the old days – pukka tucker.

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