This post was sponsored by Cacao Barry. You can make the best hot chocolate with just two ingredients: dark chocolate and milk. Start with the best dark chocolate you can buy. You can keep it simple or you can infuse the milk with Earl Grey tea, masala chai, spices, herbs, etc. Hot chocolate is very easy to make and deeply satisfying.
My mom used to serve us hot chocolate in tiny, very fancy china teacups when we were growing up. I remember having it after playing with the dogs out in the backyard in the dead of winter. The tiny teacups only came out when we were having hot chocolate. I’m honestly not sure what else you would serve in tiny teacups besides hot chocolate.
Basic recipe for hot chocolate—the ratio of milk to chocolate
For a luscious hot chocolate that is not too thick and not too thin, you want to start with 2 parts milk (preferably whole milk) and 1 part dark chocolate (the best chocolate you can buy and preferably 70% cacao chocolate), so 2:1 by volume. This means 2 cups (500 mL) milk mixed with 1 cup (250 mL) chocolate. By weight, this works out to 25% dark chocolate in whole milk or 150 grams of dark chocolate melted with 500 grams of milk.
Hot chocolate vs hot cocoa
I suspect a lot of people think that hot chocolate and hot cocoa are the same. They are both hot, chocolaty beverages, but they aren’t made in the same way. Hot chocolate is made from chocolate and milk, while hot cocoa is often made from cocoa powder and boiling water (and/or milk), mixed with sugar and possibly vanilla or other ingredients. Both hot chocolate and hot cocoa are very easy to make at home and require few ingredients, but personally, I find that hot chocolate has a richer, more luscious flavor. And the more chocolate you add, the more unctuous and luxurious hot chocolate is. On the other hand, hot cocoa has a deeply bitter chocolate flavor that means you will have to sweeten it quite a bit to get the taste you want. Hot cocoa can seem quite thin, especially if made with boiling water only, like those grocery store hot cocoa mixes you can buy in individual pouches.
The best chocolate for hot chocolate
When it comes to recipes like hot chocolate, where the chocolate is the star and one of two main ingredients, it’s even more important to reach for a quality chocolate that has a great flavor. To make this hot chocolate, I used Ocoa chocolate from Cacao Barry, which is a 70% cocoa dark chocolate with a deep chocolate flavour. You can find it at IGA grocery stores in Quebec in 1 kilo resealable bags. If you aren’t living in Quebec, you can order this chocolate online (and many other Cacao Barry products) via the Vanilla Food Company website. They ship across Canada and to the United States! This means that we all have access to professional quality chocolates at the click of a button. By investing in the best chocolate, you will make the best hot chocolate. It’s that simple.
How do you make hot chocolate with real chocolate?
Making hot chocolate with real chocolate is so simple. All you have to do is heat the milk, add the chocolate and stir to melt. You can finish the hot chocolate with a hand blender to smooth out any lumps and to make sure the mixture is emulsified properly. This will also add froth to your drink. If you’d like to infuse hot chocolate with tea or spices, you would want to do that before, then strain it out and add the chocolate to the hot infused milk.
Earl Grey hot chocolate recipe
Hot chocolate infused with Earl Grey tea
This is a recipe for the best hot chocolate, made with high quality dark chocolate (70%) and whole milk. The milk is infused with Earl Grey tea, but you can skip that if you prefer. This makes a rich, luxurious hot chocolate.
- 500 mL 3.25% milk 2 cups
- 3 tea bags Earl Grey tea or masala chai tea optional
- 150 g Cacao Barry Ocoa dark chocolate 1 cup
Place the pan of milk on the heat. Heat over medium–high heat until it's almost boiling. Remove from the heat and add the dark chocolate. Stir to melt. Use a hand blender to emulsify the mixture to yield smooth hot chocolate. This will also froth the hot chocolate.
Optional: Heat the milk in a saucepan with the tea bags, if using. When the milk almost comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and let steep 5 minutes. Squeeze the bags and remove. then continue with step 1
Divide the hot chocolate between two mugs. Serve immediately as is, or with a dollop of sweet whipped cream or a marshmallow.
If you are in the middle of winter, like we are, and you are craving other hot beverages, try this Turkish coffee (great afternoon caffeine jolt) and hot buttered rum (because sometimes, booze is the answer).
This post is sponsored by Cacao Barry. I was compensated monetarily and with product. Thanks for supporting the companies that allow me to create content for Kitchen Heals Soul. As always, please know that I wouldn’t work with a sponsor nor recommend a product if it wasn’t worth it.
Please note this post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy a product I recommend, I will get a small commission, and the price you have to pay will not change in any way.