Perfect Hot Chocolate

By • February 22, 2011 19 Comments

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Author Notes: Hot cocoa is all well and good. A mug is a great way to satisfy your after-dinner chocolate cravings. And cupping the warm mug between your hands after playing in the snow or shoveling the driveway is simply heavenly.

The chocolate must be chopped or shaved into small pieces in order for this method to work. Otherwise, you’ll end up with chunks of unmelted chocolate in the bottom of your mug. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but not quite what we’re going for here.

This recipe was a part of Hot Chocolate Week on my blog, Savvy Eats, in February 2011. More posts from the week can be found here:

Food52 Review: Drinking chocolate this is not. More like drink-up-able. Whole milk, unsweetened cocoa powder and luscious dark chocolate (the best you have - you'll only be using 1 ounce) liquefy together over low heat - a whole new kind of holy trinity unites before your eyes to become what is undoubtedly the Perfect Hot Chocolate. It's chilly out there, drink up! The Editors

Serves 1

  • 1 ounce semisweet or dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional, to taste)
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. In a small saucepan, mix the chocolate, cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of the milk over low heat. Stir continuously until the chocolate is completely melted.
  2. Add the rest of the milk and the salt. Stir, then allow to heat the rest of the way through.
  3. Stir in sugar to taste. Pour into a mug and top with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!

More Great Recipes: Chocolate|Breakfast & Brunch|Desserts|Snacks|Booze-Free Drinks

Topics: Christmas

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Comments (19) Questions (0)


10 months ago Julie

I prefer drinking chocolate to hot chocolate. I just made this sans the (optional) granulated sugar b/c the chocolate I have at home has a little sugar in it, and I used almond milk. It hit the spot!!


11 months ago Bizuga

usually 1 add one Orange peel and a pinch of cinnamon while melting the chocolate... Add also a bit of rose pepper powder.... hot and calming but exotic...


11 months ago Diana

Excellent recipe. Although I used 70% cocoa, it turned out a bit too sweet for my taste. I will use less sugar next time. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it.


over 1 year ago Tulips2

Yummy! I'll try it.
Also try adding 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) brown butter to the hot chocolate for another flavor, and don't there is also cocoa butter to add... can't wait, thanks for posting.


about 2 years ago Luvtocook

I have a cuppa hot chocolate every night (great sleep aid!) but I use a big coffee mug, whole milk and 2 tablespoons of Ghiardelli's Double Chocolate Cocoa which is already sweetened. First I "nuke" the mug of milk (about 2 min.) and then add the cocoa powder to the hot milk and whiz it together with a spoon. That's all. No whipped cream (hate marshmallows!) so just the chocolate-sweetened hot whole milk is my "guilty pleasure." Yesss! Note: the cocoa powder seems to dissolve more efficiently in hot milk than cold. I tried the cold...once. :)


over 2 years ago Annette@Bake Chocolate Cake

The perfect cup of hot chocolate depends on the quality of chocolate used. Every chocolate has a different flavor. What kind of chocolate was used in this recipe? I love a very dark chocolate and I definitely have my favorites, but I have still not found the perfect combination for the "Best Hot Chocolate." When making hot chocolate I have found that it is easier to heat the milk first and then pour a small amount of hot milk over the chopped chocolate to create a chocolate syrup. Gradually stir the syrup back into the pot of heated milk and whisk lightly. I also prefer a light dusting of cocoa (or curled chocolate) on top instead of super sweet marshmallows or cream.


almost 3 years ago The Good Cook

There is nothing special about this recipe. IT's good, but far from amazing.


over 3 years ago nkddrummer

It tastes amazing! I 've also added some melted white chocolate. :)


over 3 years ago Shalini

Wow I didn't know this was your recipe, Julie! I've gotta try it now...congratulations!


over 3 years ago Darlin G

So delicious! I added a splash of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. Perfect for a snowy winter day!


over 3 years ago Nina Lombardo

Simple and delicious. Not too rich but full of chocolate goodness. Top it with a homemade marshmallow...yum.


over 3 years ago stellaelizabethx

I don't have a scale. How do I know how much chocolate chips to put in? Is there another way to measure it?


over 3 years ago beijinggirl

One ounce is about 2 tablespoons, I hope this helps!


almost 2 years ago tastysweet

Won't that measure depend on how the chocolate is chopped?


over 3 years ago arielleclementine

congratulations! this does sound perfect!


over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, simply wonderful. Just love it. Congrats on the Wildcard honors!! ;o)


over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Mmmm. I love hot chocolate. I have my own version that I consider perfect, and it looks a lot like this. What a winning combination! :) Congrats on the wildcard! And whipped cream topping all the way!!!


over 3 years ago dottydeviah

at last found simple recipe for hot chocolate. thanku.


over 3 years ago chardrucks

you could also top it with some creme fraiche ... and/or use a cinnamon stick as your stirrer.