Hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder, but hot chocolate is made from real chocolate pieces melted into milk or cream.
This recipe makes 2 servings of rich, delicious, hot chocolate. Read through to the bottom of this post to see special add-in recipes for flavoured hot chocolate!
- 1 3/4 cup 2% milk (or use non-dairy products like almond or soy milk)
- 1/2 cup Half & Half (10%) cream (optional)
- 1/2 cup couverture chocolate drops, shavings (or chop bars into in small pieces suitable for melting) - we like Bittersweet, but you can use any kind of chocolate and you'll have to adjust the sugar. Add more or less chocolate, to taste.
- Brown sugar (optional, to taste - this will add sweetness and a butterscotch flavour note to your cup of hot chocolate)
- In sauce pan, combine the milk, the half & half, and any flavourings or spices of your choice (for example, tea bags, lavender, cloves, mint etc. See below for ideas).
- Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Don't let the milk scald!
- Remove from heat, cover, and let the flavours infuse for 2 to 5 minutes (longer for a stronger flavour — experiment!)
- Pour the milk through a strainer into a bowl (if you are not using spices or flavouring, you may skip this step)
- Return the milk to the sauce pan and return to simmer, stirring constantly, being careful not to let the milk scald.
- Add the bittersweet chocolate and the sugar; whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour into mugs and, if you prefer, top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or marshmallows.
There are many flavoured hot chocolates you can make with our basic Hot Chocolate recipe. Here are some of our favourites:
London Fog Hot Chocolate
Put one tea bag of Earl Grey Tea in the warm milk and let steep for 3-5 minutes before adding the chocolate. Stir well to combine flavours.
Lavender Hot Chocolate
Put 1/2 tsp. lavender in a tea ball and let steep in the warm milk for 3-5 minutes before adding the chocolate. Stir well to combine flavours.
Spiced Hot Chocolate
Add 1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp. (or to taste) of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, and a pinch of ginger into the warm milk and chocolate, then stir well to combine.
Chai Hot Chocolate
Steep a bag of Chai tea in the warm milk for 3-5 minutes before adding the chocolate. Stir well to combine flavours.
Mint Hot Chocolate
Use fresh crushed mint or dried mint, either loose or in a tea bag. Add a 1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp. of fresh crushed or dried mint into a tea ball (or use a bag of mint tea) and let steep in the warm milk for 3-5 minutes before adding the chocolate. Stir well to combine flavours.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Add 1/4 tsp. (or to taste) of Ancho chilli powder into the warm milk and chocolate, then stir well to combine. Cayenne powder can be used instead of Ancho chilli powder for more of a kick.
Mayan Hot Chocolate
Add 1/2 tsp. (or more to taste) of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cayenne pepper to the warm milk and chocolate, then stir well to combine. Whipped cream and chocolate shavings make a delicious garnish for this spicy recipe.
Rosemary Fusion Habanero Hot Chocolate
Stir pieces of our Rosemary Fusion chocolate tablet into hot milk or hot chocolate, to taste.
Oregano Fusion Habanero Hot Chocolate
Stir in pieces of our Oregano Fusion chocolate tablet into hot milk or hot chocolate, to taste.
Try our other Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate recipes: