Hot Chocolate is a rich, creamy & flavorful drink, ready in a few minutes, perfect for the cold weather.
This is one of my favorite winter drinks to prepare during the Christmas or Holiday season.
Have you started your Christmas preparation yet? Do check out some of my favorite recipes here - BEST CHRISTMAS FOOD IDEAS.
I have kickstarted my Christmas series with this super easy, creamy drink. More recipes are coming up. Stay tuned!!!
What is Hot Chocolate?
A delicious drink recipe prepared by melting shaved chocolate or chocolate chips with cocoa powder in water or milk, to which a sweetener of your choice is added. Sweeteners such as sugar or honey or maple syrup or stevia work well. Cream may be added to make it richer.
Some topping ideas for Hot Chocolate
- whipped cream or marshmallows,
- cinnamon powder
- crushed peppermints or candy cane
- chocolate sauce
- caramel sauce
What is the difference between hot cocoa vs. hot chocolate?
Hot cocoa, as the name suggests, is prepared using just cocoa powder, milk, and sugar. This is thinner in consistency than hot chocolate.
On the other hand, hot chocolate is made using real chocolate, milk, cocoa powder, and sugar. Cream is also added commonly and is thus thicker, creamier, and rich.
Which chocolate is the best while making hot chocolate?
The quality of chocolate is what decides the final taste of your drink. You can use semisweet, bitter, milk chocolate, or whatever you prefer. Just know how it works below.
Bittersweet generally has less sugar, and thus more intense, rich chocolate tastes come out.
Semisweet chocolate has more sugar than bittersweet, so a less intense chocolate flavor comes out.
Milk chocolate works too, but you can skip adding sugar totally to the drink since it is already too sweet.
Which one to use - Milk or water to make hot chocolate?
If you are looking for a rich, thick, creamy, and dreamy drink, then go for full-fat whole milk and some heavy cream. But feel free to use low-fat or skim milk too.
For a vegan version, use dairy-free unsweetened soy, cashew, or almond milk.
You can also make this with water, one of my most preferred methods, especially late at night on winter days. Here you will get that unique flavor of chocolate, but it will not be creamier in any way.
In short, make it to your liking:
- If you want to make it rich, add milk and some heavy cream like the recipe below.
- If you're going to make it healthier, use low-fat, dairy-free milk or make it with water.
- Want it less sweet? Then, use bittersweet chocolate.
Ingredients for Homemade Best Hot Chocolate
2 cups Whole milk
2 tablespoon Sugar
¼ cup Heavy cream
2 tablespoon Cocoa powder
½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
¼ cup Bittersweet or Semisweet or Milk chocolate (chips, chunks, or shavings)
For whipped cream on top
¼ cup Heavy cream
1 tablespoon Sugar
¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract
How to Make the Best Hot Chocolate at Home?
Chop the chocolate into small pieces so that they dissolve faster. Keep this aside.
In a saucepan on medium heat, add milk, sugar, heavy cream, and cocoa powder, and whisk until warm and lump-free.
To this, add vanilla extract and chocolate and keep whisking until the chocolate is melted completely and it comes to a light boil.
To prepare whipped cream:
In another bowl, add heavy cream (preferably cold) and sugar. Whisk for a minute using a hand-held beater. Now add vanilla extract and whisk until soft peaks are formed.
To the serving glass, pour hot chocolate and top it with a spoon of whipped cream, dusting of cocoa powder, and some shaved chocolate. Serve hot and enjoy.
Tips and FAQs:
- Want it richer? Substitute ¼ cup of milk with an equal portion of heavy cream. Thus, the recipe will have 1.75 cups of whole milk and 0.5 cup of heavy cream.
How to make vegan hot chocolate?
Instead of whole milk, use unsweetened dairy-free milk like soy, cashew, almond, coconut, etc. Also, use dairy-free cream such as coconut cream or cashew cream instead of heavy cream.
How to make keto-friendly sugar-free hot chocolate?
Just use coconut or almond milk and organic stevia in the recipe to make it keto-friendly and sugar-free.
How to reheat hot cocoa?
Reheat hot cocoa until warm on low heat, frequently stirring on the stovetop.
Can I use a store-bought hot cocoa mix?
Yes. In this case, skip the cocoa powder and sugar mentioned in the recipe.
Some variations to hot chocolate:
Spiked hot chocolate:
Oh yes. Is there any better way than spiked hot drink to warm your body on a cold day 🙂 Just add ¼ cup of your favorite liquor to 1 serving.
I recommend any of the following liquors - rum, whiskey, bourbon, Kahlua, coffee liquor, vanilla vodka, and Baileys Irish cream.
Once your drink is ready, add liquor and spike it 🙂
Mexican hot chocolate:
To make this, all you need is some additional spices ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch each of nutmeg and cayenne powder.
Italian hot chocolate:
Italian cioccolato calda is a thick version. All you have to do is add a little more chocolate - maybe an extra 2 tbsp, along with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to the mixture while boiling.
Nutella Hot Chocolate:
Skip chocolate and sugar and add ¼ to ⅓ cup of chocolate hazelnut spread or Nutella in the recipe.
Video recipe for Homemade Best Hot Chocolate
Detailed recipe for Homemade Best Hot Chocolate
Homemade Best Hot Chocolate Recipe Ever | How To Make Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups Whole milk
- 2 tablespoon Sugar
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon Cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Milk chocolate or Bittersweet or Semisweet chocolate (chips, chunks or shavings)
For whipped cream on top
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract
How To Make The Best Hot Chocolate At Home?
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces so that they dissolve faster. Keep this aside.¼ cup Milk chocolate
- In a saucepan on medium heat, add milk, sugar, heavy cream, and cocoa powder, and whisk until warm and lump-free.2 cups Whole milk, 2 tablespoon Sugar, ¼ cup Heavy cream, 2 tablespoon Cocoa powder
- To this, add vanilla extract and chocolate and keep whisking until the chocolate is melted completely and it comes to a light boil.½ teaspoon Vanilla extract, ¼ cup Milk chocolate
TO PREPARE WHIPPED CREAM:
- In another bowl, add heavy cream (preferably cold) and sugar. Whisk for a minute using a hand-held beater. Now add vanilla extract and whisk until soft peaks are formed.¼ cup Heavy cream, 1 tablespoon Sugar, ¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- To the serving glass, pour hot chocolate and top it with a spoon of whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa powder, and some shaved chocolate. Serve hot and enjoy.
- Want it richer? Substitute ¼ cup of milk with an equal portion of heavy cream. Thus, the recipe will have 1.75 cups of whole milk and 0.5 cups of heavy cream.
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