Cindy Wang – The 4 Types of Hot Chocolate

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, let us make some hot chocolate! While Swiss Miss will get the job done, there is nothing like curling up with a steaming cup of rich, smooth, and satisfying homemade hot chocolate. Here are four recipes for you to get your chocolate fix. 

European Drinking Chocolate

This rich chocolate drink is a cross between the intense, water-based hot chocolate from France and the almost think-as-pudding Italian version. As it tastes a lot like a pure melted chocolate bar, this recipe would be a wonderful vehicle for comparing different types of chocolate. Consider replacing the dark chocolate with white chocolate or milk chocolate. 

2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 ½ cups chopped dark chocolate

Combine 1 cup milk and brown sugar and heat in the microwave or on the stove until steaming. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the milk and chocolate are completely emulsified. Add the rest of the milk and heat until your desired temperature. Pour into small mugs, top with marshmallows, and serve immediately.

Traditional Hot Chocolate

The all-American favorite. Compared to the European hot chocolate, this drink is lighter, milder, and thinner, making it far more approachable and easier to drink lots of. You can use any percentage of milk, but I prefer nonfat milk for it allows the chocolate take center stage. 

2 ½ cups nonfat milk

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 ½ cups chopped dark chocolate

Combine 1 cup milk and brown sugar and heat in the microwave or on the stove until steaming. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the milk and chocolate are completely emulsified. Add the rest of the milk and heat until your desired temperature. Pour into large mugs, top with marshmallows, and serve immediately.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

This non-dairy hot chocolate pays homage to the Mayans, who ground chocolate nibs with spices for drinking chocolate thousands of years ago. Spicy, aromatic, and slightly tart, this is perfect for those who are seeking a more exciting chocolate experience. 

⅓ cup light brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne

1 teaspoon ground pasilla chile

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups chopped dark chocolate

5 cups almond milk

Whisk together brown sugar and all the spices in a bowl. Set aside. Combine 1 cup almond milk and vanilla extract and heat in the microwave or on the stove until steaming. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the milk and chocolate are completely emulsified. Add the brown sugar and spices and stir until the spices are completely incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and heat until your desired temperature. Pour into mugs, top with more pasilla chile, and serve immediately.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Smooth, cold, and refreshing, this hot/cold chocolate is perfect if you are craving the rich, classic hot chocolate flavor when it is still hot outside. The trick for a thick milkshake-like consistency without being overpowered with the flavor of cream is to make a concentrated chocolate syrup, and blend it with ice. So good.

¾ cups water

2 ½ cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon corn syrup

2 ⅔ cups chopped dark chocolate

Combine water, milk, corn syrup, and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and the syrup is shiny and completely emulsified. Remove pot from heat and allow it to cool. For each serving, blend 1 cup of ice with ½ cup of chocolate syrup until it resembles a milkshake. Serve immediately

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