Cold outside? Cozy up inside with a cup of rich and satisfying French hot chocolate and feel those winter blues melt away. This luxurious drinking chocolate is guaranteed to warm you from the inside out and tastes better than anything out of a packet.
There’s nothing quite like sipping a cup of cocoa or hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day unless that is, you happen to be sipping a cup of French hot chocolate.
Silky and smooth, French hot chocolate is a chocolate lover’s dream. Its’ velvety texture and rich chocolate flavor is miles above anything out of a packet. Best of all it’s easy to make at home, all you need are 3 ingredients and 5 minutes.
What’s the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate?
While many people use the terms interchangeably, they are actually different drinks.
- Hot Cocoa - Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, sugar and milk. If you’re buying the packets you just add water as the milk is already incorporated as powdered milk. If you are buying a canister you’ll add your own milk and stir in the powder which is a combination of cocoa and sugar.
- Hot Chocolate - Hot chocolate on the other hand is made with real chocolate (and sometimes a combination of chocolate and cocoa), sugar and milk. The chocolate is melted into the warm milk creating a richer more full-bodied drink than using cocoa alone thanks to the cocoa butter contained in the chocolate.
What is French Hot Chocolate?
French hot chocolate (also known as sipping or drinking chocolate) falls into the category of hot chocolates, it too is made with dark chocolate (but not cocoa), milk and sugar; but what sets it apart from ordinary hot chocolate is its consistency and flavor. It’s thick and intense and served in small espresso cups instead of big mugs, as it’s meant to be sipped and savored.
(Here are a few notes about the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. As always find the full list of ingredients and directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
- Dark Chocolate – You’ll want a good quality dark chocolate in the 66% to 74% range for the best flavor.
- Milk – I’m using light coconut milk for a dairy-free version but you can also use regular milk if you prefer.
- Sugar – I’m using coconut sugar for its rich caramel undertones but you can also use brown sugar if you’d prefer.
TIP: A lot of recipes will call for cream in addition to milk in an attempt to increase richness, but it’s actually a high ratio of chocolate to milk that creates a luxuriously velvety drink with a much deeper and richer flavor. In fact cutting the milk with water will give you a much richer and more intense hot chocolate than adding cream will, so save your heavy cream for making chocolate sauce.
How to Make Drinking Chocolate:
(Here are the basic steps and some helpful tips on how to make the recipe. Find the full directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
- Gently bring the milk, water and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan.
- Add your chopped chocolate and let it sit for a minute or two to allow the chocolate to start to melt.
- Return pan to heat and whisk the chocolate into the milk mixture over low heat until smooth and fully combined.
- Pour and enjoy!
This luxurious drinking chocolate is guaranteed to warm you from the inside out and
tastes better than anything out of a packet.
- ¾ cup/180ml light coconut milk
- ¼ cup/60ml filtered water
- 2 teaspoons/8g coconut sugar
- 3.2 ounces/90g dark chocolate (66% -74%), finely chopped
- In combine coconut milk, water and sugar in a small saucepan set over medium low heat. Whisk together and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Turn off heat and add chopped chocolate, let sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk chocolate into milk, return to heat and gently warm over low heat for another 1-2 minutes while stirring until completely smooth and steaming.
- Serve immediately in small cups.
VARIATIONS: Use regular milk instead of coconut milk for a non-vegan version. Use brown sugar instead of coconut sugar if desired. Use a combination of both semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate. Recipe can be doubled.
STORAGE: Store in an airtight container in the fridge and re-heat to serve.
DIETARY INFO: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.