5 Ingredients or Fewer

Perfect Hot Chocolate

February 22, 2011
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 1
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: http://www.savvyeat.com/tag/hot-chocolate/ —SavvyJulie

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Perfect Hot Chocolate
  • 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.
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30 Reviews

Diana M. December 11, 2021
One square of 100% cacao Ghirardelli with 1 tablespoon Healthworks 100% cacao, a couple squirts of liquid chocolate Stevia, a cap full of hazelnut extract, and it’s the best chocolate ever. A large Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave so I don’t have to scrub a pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
bettye198 January 20, 2020
I vary my hot chocolate two ways. One way a tiny drop of peppermint extract or cayenne. Hot dark chocolate with a kick. I have tried nut milks but only if desperate. Milk or some watered down half in half make it lovely.
Kurt C. July 20, 2017
2 tablespoons of sugar? What? Are you f**** crazy??
Heather December 23, 2017
Calm down, dear. Perhaps a cocktail would help.
Victoria K. February 26, 2017
Oh now I see. I didn't get a "PRINT" option until I signed up. Thanks.
Victoria K. February 26, 2017
Wish there was a "PRINT" option. It sounds yummy!
hayden J. December 9, 2016
could i do this in a crockpot and x16? (to make one gallon)
judy February 23, 2016
I make mine with brown sugar and extra dark cocoa powder, a hit of vanilla (or sometimes orange or mint) extract. Then don't forget the Baileys'!
patricia G. December 20, 2015
Even better, make hot chocolate the night before, and allow it to mellow before re-heating. It will be smoother, more satiny, more chocolatey. I like star anise in mine.
Julia M. December 20, 2015
I also add a dash or two of rum and some flour to thicken the chocolate. It then becomes hot drinkable chocolate mousse
Julie November 21, 2014
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!!
Bizuga October 17, 2014
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...
Diana October 11, 2014
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.
Tulips2 January 1, 2014
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.
Luvtocook June 26, 2013
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. :)
judy September 20, 2021
Used to drink at night, now find that it keeps me up. So I enjoy for my morning break--still don't forget the Bailey's!
Annette@Bake C. February 12, 2013
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.
The G. November 13, 2012
There is nothing special about this recipe. IT's good, but far from amazing.
nkddrummer March 1, 2012
It tastes amazing! I 've also added some melted white chocolate. :)
Shalini February 23, 2012
Wow I didn't know this was your recipe, Julie! I've gotta try it now...congratulations!
Darlin G. January 18, 2012
So delicious! I added a splash of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. Perfect for a snowy winter day!
Nina L. January 13, 2012
Simple and delicious. Not too rich but full of chocolate goodness. Top it with a homemade marshmallow...yum.