The Best Hot Chocolate (Drinking Chocolate)

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This hot chocolate recipe is, hands-down, the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. It’s so rich, so packed with chocolate flavor, that it’s hard to put your mug down.

I began to experiment with from-scratch hot chocolate recipes and techniques and I ended up with the best recipe ever. I get to use my favorite dark chocolate and cocoa powder (the same ones I use in my chocolate cupcakes) to guarantee the flavor profile I want in my drinking chocolate.

Two mugs of hot chocolate

Why Make This Hot Chocolate

This recipe for hot chocolate is without a doubt the best one that I have ever made. Here’s why:

  • It uses milk. Water simply can’t provide you with a true hot chocolate experience. I even use milk on the rare occasion that I make hot cocoa from a mix.
  • This hot chocolate is made with a mix of dark chocolate pieces and unsweetened cocoa powder. The chocolate pieces give the drinking chocolate some thickness and an intense chocolate flavor, while the cocoa powder keeps it from turning into a ganache that’s too thick to drink.
  • It uses a sweetener other than white sugar. While I use a cassonade syrup (a caramelized brown sugar syrup that tastes like a cross between golden syrup and light molasses), this recipe benefits from any syrup. Using a syrup adds complexity. Try golden syrup, maple syrup, date syrup, or even sorghum molasses.

Cassonade Syrup

  • Butter makes it better. Butter is the secret to this super rich hot chocolate. The butter makes me feel like I’m drinking a liquid version of my addictive chocolate sugar pie.

How to Make This Hot Chocolate Recipe

  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave until hot but not boiling.
  2. Melt butter in another small saucepan on medium heat.
  3. Add your chocolate chunks to the melted butter and stir until completely melted.
  4. Stir in the cocoa powder.
  5. Whisk in hot milk a little bit at a time.
  6. Whisk in cassonade syrup (or other syrup of your choosing) and continue to heat until mixture is nearly boiling.
  7. Remove from heat and serve hot in a mug, topped with whipped cream, marshmallows, or both – and an extra drizzle of syrup.

How is Hot Cocoa Different From Hot Chocolate?

Hot cocoa is not hot chocolate. The former is made from a powder, while the latter is made from milk or cream combined with actual chocolate. Hot chocolate is also called drinking chocolate.

Over the years, I’ve made hot cocoa using all manner of gourmet hot cocoa mixes. I even own a hot cocoa-making machine (basically a kettle that heats and froths the milk). Cocoa mixes alone never created the chocolate nirvana that I craved.

Sugar Pie Hot Chocolate
Hot cocoa can be good, but hot chocolate can be divine.

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Sugar Pie Hot Chocolate
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5 from 2 votes

The Best Hot Chocolate Recipe

A rich, sweet, and decadent hot chocolate! This may be the best hot chocolate you've ever had.
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 mugs
Calories 417kcal
Author Stefani

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk I prefer 2% milk in my hot chocolate, but any kind will do
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate use your favorite dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder use your favorite unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cassonade syrup substitute with golden syrup, maple syrup, date syrup, or even sorghum molasses, and have a little extra for drizzling

Instructions

  • Heat milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave until hot but not boiling.
  • Melt butter in a separate small saucepan on medium heat.
  • Add dark chocolate to melted butter and stir until completely melted.
  • Stir in unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Whisk in hot milk a little bit at a time.
  • Whisk in cassonade syrup and continue to heat until mixture is nearly boiling.
  • Remove from heat and top with whipped cream, marshmallows, or both. Add an extra drizzle of syrup and serve immediately.

Notes

If you don't have cassonade syrup, you can make this recipe with light molasses, golden syrup, or another syrup of your choosing.

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 1116mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Calcium: 379mg | Iron: 4mg
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The Best Hot Chocolate (Drinking Chocolate)

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One comment on “The Best Hot Chocolate (Drinking Chocolate)”

  1. Nancy Pollacksays:

    Drinking my sample right now. Everyone who loves hot chocolate should try this recipe.

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