Chocolate/ Drinks/ Holiday

Hot Chocolate

October 23, 2014

This European-style hot chocolate is thick, decadent, and insanely chocolaty – perfect for a cozy winter evening.

European-style hot chocolate, thick, decadent, and insanely chocolaty!

Hello, winter. It’s about time you got here!

Last night, I was at home watching a movie when a sudden rainfall started out of nowhere. It was so romantic, or it would have been if Erez had been back from his business trip. Still, it made me think of him and how we would have spent the evening if he were with me. Watching a movie was one of the options, but drinking hot chocolate wasn’t. Ever since we met, Erez has had much healthier eating habits than me, so if I had suggested sipping hot chocolate together, he would probably have said no. Even if I beg (and I do), it doesn’t help. So, since he wasn’t around, I made some to sip on as I finished the movie. It felt so satisfying, like I had smuggled ice cream out of the kitchen and ate it when no one was watching.

This hot chocolate isn’t the type that you drink quickly. Thanks to the cream and melted chocolate, it’s decadent and thick, much more so than the hot chocolate you get from a store-bought mix, so I take my time with it (well, depending on the day). It’s the perfect treat for you, your family, or your guests on a cozy night. It’s pretty rich, so I wouldn’t serve it in huge glasses. If I make it for guests, I’ll usually pour it into a teapot so they can drink as much as they like.

I call this European-style because it reminds me of the hot chocolate I drank in Paris and Belgium. Words cannot describe the experience (although I tried here). Unlike regular recipes made from cacao, this recipe uses pure chocolate. As usual, the higher the quality, the better the taste, although I’ve had cravings for this before and used whatever I had on hand, and as I’m sure you can guess, I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

European-style hot chocolate, thick, decadent, and insanely chocolaty!

Over the years, I’ve played with the recipe to better suit my own taste. If I make hot chocolate, it’s usually a way to spoil myself on the rare special occasion, so I make it as rich as possible. However, if it’s not quite to your liking, there are many ways to change it. You can replace the heavy cream with milk (any kind) or half-and-half. You can use just one kind of chocolate instead of both milk and dark. You can even add more chocolate if you’re (somehow) an even crazier chocoholic than me – up to 4 oz. in total. Or, on the other hand, you can reduce the amount of chocolate to 2 oz. for a more subtle flavor. Alternatively, you can make the recipe as-is, then add more milk or cream until you reach the desired taste or consistency.

European-style hot chocolate, thick, decadent, and insanely chocolaty!

A touch of pure vanilla extract adds a nice flavor, so if you have some, add it. Note that this is optional, and you should avoid using artificial vanilla as it won’t give the right flavor. You can add just a pinch of spices such as cinnamon or even cayenne pepper. You can add a bit of espresso powder, instant coffee granules, or a drop of your favorite liquor if you’re feeling fancy. If you’re aiming for a thicker consistency, you can add about ½ teaspoon cornstarch (make sure to constantly whisk the milk-cornstarch mixture while heating), but I personally find it unnecessary.

 

European-style hot chocolate, thick, decadent, and insanely chocolaty!

Hot Chocolate
Yields: 2-3 servings
 
This European-style hot chocolate is thick, decadent, and insanely chocolaty – perfect for a cozy winter evening.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (360ml) milk
  • ½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 110 g/4 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 50 g/1.7 oz milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, heat milk and cream on medium heat until just below simmering point (it should be hot and steamy but not boiling). Remove from heat and add dark and milk chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, then add vanilla extract and whisk vigorously. Reheat on very low heat (don’t let it boil!) just until chocolate has completely melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately. Alternatively, you can make this a few hours ahead of time and rewarm in a saucepan on low heat just before serving.
  2. Optional: Garnish with cinnamon stick, whipped cream, grated chocolate, or cocoa.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Winnie
    October 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    יאווווו איזה משקה מפנקקקקקקקק
    במיוחד לערבים שמתחילים להיות קרירים, והכי כייף זה לשתות אותו בשניים 🙂

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 25, 2014 at 6:46 am

      Exactly! Thanks Winnie 🙂

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    October 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    This is a decadent and delicious looking hot chocolate! Loving your styling of it – pinned!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 25, 2014 at 6:45 am

      Thank you Thalia!

  • Reply
    Maggie
    October 24, 2014 at 1:26 am

    This sounds like the authentic French way to serve hot chocolate and it looks so delicious! 🙂
    I love your photography and the way you represent the drink. Great recipe!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 25, 2014 at 6:46 am

      Thank you so much Maggie! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tash
    October 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I second the above, your photography is beautiful! The best hot choc I ever had was on the Swiss/Italian border, by Lake Como. I have since returned to England, and every hot choc I’ve ever bought I have specified ‘thick’…but nobody seems to understand what that means here! I have to try this out. Yummy.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 26, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Now I wanna go there and taste it! I have a few tips if you like a thick hot chocolate, let me know whenever you need any help! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cailee
    October 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    YUM! What a lovely, beautiful recipe! I LOVE hot drinks to warm me up on a chilly afternoon! 🙂 Beautiful photography as well!! On point!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 26, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Thank you so much Cailee! 🙂

  • Reply
    rene
    November 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Amazing pictures! Original recipes … best blog ever

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you Rene!

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