Purely in the cause of scientific advancement, Chez and I have set ourselves a pre – Christmas research project.
For some time, well ever since we had that cold snap anyway, we have been testing the quality of hot chocolate, locally. I know what you are thinking and yes, it is a thankless task but someone has to do it and so putting aside all thoughts of personal hardship we’ve been scouring Cardiff and its surrounds in search the best mug of the brown beverage.
As you can imagine, planning for this exercise had to be meticulous, and we spent many hours discussing whether to include whipped cream or not in the assessment. Even more contentious was the addition of marshmallows, but thankfully the issue of topping with chocolate sprinkles was relatively easy to resolve. Finally, in the early hours of last Thursday week, we had a break through and the decision was taken that the hot chocolate could, or better still, should include whipped cream and sprinkles. However, we concluded that the vagaries and additional sweetness/calories of marshmallow might adversely affect both the findings and our waistlines so these, regrettably, had to be excluded.
Satisfied we had the project’s parameters in place, we spent the next day on a dry run at home and after procuring a fresh tube of squirty cream, made a number of cups – just to get the hang of the practicalities and to prepare our taste buds for the marathon to come. Our first ‘live firing’ test was Starbucks and so this would become our benchmark for the task ahead. Over the following few days, we sampled, M&S, Costa’s, John Lewis and even The Range, as we’d popped in to check out their Christmas decs.
Yesterday we went to Bill’s and that was quite promising, as they provided a chocolate flake on the side. (I do, also, have a soft spot for Bill’s as we used to go to the original cafe in his green grocers shop at Lewes, long before he went global ) but this project isn’t for the faint hearted and eschewing all thoughts of bias, I knew the search had to continue.
Wednesday’s are rest days, so today we set aside for getting the Christmas decs down from the attic. Tomorrow and Friday, Chez and I are working, but come the weekend and we’ll have our noses firmly back to the grindstone – the search for truth stops for no one.
Mmm – think we might try Jamies’s Italian on Saturday.