Dorie Greenspan's Hot (and Cold) Chocolate

February 3, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: The perfect from-scratch hot chocolate is just 3 pantry ingredients and 10 minutes away. Adapted slightly from Paris Sweets (Clarkson Potter, 2002).Genius Recipes

Serves: 4


  • 3 cups (750 grams) whole milk
  • 1/3 cup (80 grams) water
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) sugar
  • 6 ounces (175 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
In This Recipe


  1. To make hot chocolate: Bring the milk, water, and sugar just to the boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. The hot chocolate needs to be blended at this point. At Ladurée, this is done with a hand-held blender (also called an immersion blender). If you have this tool, leave the hot chocolate in the saucepan and whip it with the hand-held blender for 1 minute. If you don't have a hand-held blender, transfer the chocolate to a traditional blender and whip on high speed for 1 minute. (When blending hot liquids, be sure to remove the center insert from the top of the blender, and cover the top with a folded kitchen towel to allow steam to escape.) The chocolate should be served immediately, while it is still very hot and frothy. Alternatively, you can pour the chocolate into a container to cool; the cooled chocolate can be reheated or served chilled. (The chocolate can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept tightly covered in the refrigerator.)
  2. To reheat chilled hot chocolate: Working in a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the chocolate, stirring gently, just until the first bubble pops on the surface. Pull the pan from the heat, whip the chocolate for 1 minute with a hand-held blender (or in a traditional blender), and serve immediately.
  3. To make cold hot chocolate: Chill the hot chocolate until it is very cold, then stir in 3/4 cup (200 grams) cold milk. Whip the cold chocolate for 1 minute with a hand-held blender (or in a traditional blender). Serve the cold hot chocolate over an ice cube or two.
  4. Keeping: Once blended, the hot chocolate can be cooled and refrigerated in a tightly sealed jar for 2 days; reheat gently, or serve as cold hot chocolate.
  5. Cold hot chocolate makes a fabulous ice cream float. Greenspan whips the cold chocolate to froth, pours it into a tall glass -- beer glasses are great for this -- and adds ice cream. While the traditional go-with-chocolate flavors, like vanilla, coffee, vanilla-fudge, and chocolate in all its renditions, are always good, her favorite floatable flavor is Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

More Great Recipes:
Hot Drink|Cheese|Milk/Cream|Chocolate|Make Ahead|5 Ingredients or Fewer|One-Pot Wonders|Mother's Day|Christmas|Fall|Father's Day|Spring

Reviews (9) Questions (2)

9 Reviews

Abby K. January 2, 2019
Great recipe with amazing results!
Elizabeth D. December 25, 2018
This was excellent. The second go-round, I added a pinch of salt and instant espresso powder. For a grown-up hot chocolate, I added a shot of bourbon.
mstv October 19, 2018
This is an excellent recipe. Have made several times. With a high % chocolate, I find the amount of sugar to be just right. I do add a pinch of salt.
Asta December 5, 2017
Made it with semisweet chips and no sugar. It was still delicious. I’m sure it’s richer with bittersweet chocolate. I can’t wait to try it!
twinjadojo March 16, 2015
Sweet Lord in heaven above! Not only was this, by far, the very best hot cocoa we've ever tasted, it was also the recipe that finally pushed us to purchase our long-awaited immersion blender! We served this warm at a very fancy Valentine's "tea" party we hosted for sixteen 4 and 5 y.o.s. Later that night we relished in cold hot chocolate cocktails, because see preceding sentence.
KittyKate February 26, 2015
This is divine!!!! The best hot chocolate I've ever made, or had, in fact. The topping of chocolaty foam on top is crazy-good :)
Stine R. February 15, 2015
This is AWESOME! I used unsweetened chocolate and a little more sugar. So good!
photon February 4, 2015
I had some of my Scharffen Berger stash left from Christmas (not sure how that happened), and just came across this recipe and dropped everything to try it. It is absolutely swoon-worthy. Rich, creamy, and chocolatey without being heavy, syrupy, or overly sweet. We live in snow country, and I can't imagine anything better to warm and comfort people coming inside. Thank you!
Nikki February 4, 2015
I have been looking for a good hot cocoa recipe. Thank you. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it will be tasty.