French Hot Chocolate Recipe
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This simple 5-ingredient French Hot Chocolate Recipe, AKA Drinking Chocolate, is a Parisian favorite and a must-make for the holidays!
Several months ago I had the opportunity to spend a week in Paris with a few friends. Traveling with a group of sweet-tooths, and noticed that hot chocolate is a thing in Paris.
Cafes. Bakeries. Sandwich shops. Chocolatiers. Tea shops.
If you need a warm luxurious mug of French Hot Chocolate while in Paris, you can find one within a block or two, no doubt.
Luxury is the prominent feeling when experiencing French Hot Chocolate for the first time.
It’s not thin and cocoa powder based, like most American hot chocolates.
The Parisian variation, known as Chocolat Chaud, is most definitely a dense drinking chocolate. Thinner than chocolate fondue or liquid ganache… Yet not by much.
My French Hot Chocolate Recipe requires only five simple ingredients:
- Good quality semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate
- Brown sugar
- A little vanilla extract
I tried using only milk, only half & half, and then only heavy cream, but found this combination of both whole milk and heavy cream provides just the right consistency to rival any mugful I tasted in Paris.
The key is to gently simmer and stir the ingredients until not a single unmelted speck of chocolate is present. The mixture must simmer until entirely smooth. Then it will thicken just a touch to the perfect velvety texture.
This French Hot Chocolate Recipe is the perfect after dinner drink for your holiday feast.
Sip it by the fire for a romantic ending of a day (hopefully) filled with love and laughter.
Love out drinking chocolate? Also try our decadent Drinking Caramel!
French Hot Chocolate Recipe
- 8 ounces quality chocolate bars, semisweet or bittersweet
- 1 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a sauce pot. Set the pot over medium-low heat and add the milk, cream, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Stir until the chocolate comes to a low simmer and the drinking chocolate is completely smooth and slightly thickened.
- The drinking chocolate should be substantially thicker than classic hot chocolate, but not as thick as chocolate fondue. If it is too thin, simmer a little longer. If it is too thick, add another 1/4 cup milk. Ladle into mugs and enjoy immediately.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
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What brand of chocolate do you use?
There’s not one specific brand I buy, but I do buy the good chocolate bars in the candy section rather than buying “bakers chocolate”.
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Outstanding. Reminds me of the Chocolat Chaud I had when I visited France. I added to the pan all the ingredients except the chocolate. Also added 2 sticks of cinnamon. Brought to a light boil and then simmered for 10 mins for the cinnamon to infuse the milk. After this the chocolate went in and stirred until lightly thickened. Wow, this is absolutely delicious.
If you want you can make the full recipe and store the hot chocolate you will not consume immediately in the refrigerator. Just reheat when you are ready. Taste just as good as just made.
This was delicious, and as close as I’ll get to the hot chocolate I had at Angelina’s and Lauderee without actually boarding a plane to Paris. I paired it with freshly made whipped cream. Magnifique!
And you recipe is good and yummy
Thanks for sharing! Does it separate very quickly?
No, if you follow the directions it will not separate at all. :)
This looks so good! What a fun drink to make when you are trying to get cozy at home!
Will this recipe work with almond milk, coconut milk.
Coconut milk would be a good choice! :)
So i’m deathly allergic to coconut would the almond milk work?
It won’t be as thick, but should still taste delicious!
This. Is. Spectacular. I have been trying to find a drinking chocolate like this for, literally, YEARS. I made it with Ghirardeli bittersweet chocolate chips. It was perfect. Thank you so much!!!
You can do this same thing but much easier if you have a French press. Just process good quality chocolate in a small food processor I told fine and pour a little hot water over it to melt, then add the other ingredients into a mug.
I happened to have all of the ingredient when researching this recipe. ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. Keep you eye on the pan at all times. It can boil over very quickly. It is VERY RICH and a teacup even a demitasse would suffice as a serving rather than a mug.
Will definitely be making this one again and again.
Thanks for sharing.
I noticed the serving size was only 4oz but made sense since it’s so richm
Great hot chocolate! I used semi sweet morsels instead of bars. Was still wonderful!
i read the comments till i found what i wanted — an addition of 1/2 tsp. espresso powder is what i’ll be adding. most of the recipes i’ve seen use only milk, but i’m the kind of person who’s more likely to have heavy cream in the fridge than milk, so …
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I just stumbled upon this recipe, I tried it immediately and as a French person… I loved it!
I rarely had such nice hot chocolate before! I usually make hot chocolate with only chocolate, milk and sugar but the cream definitely adds a little something.
I’ll make some again, for sure!
I appreciate the effort you made to share the post. The topic here i found was really effective to the topic which i was researching for a long time. Thank you for sharing.
Hi, I was just hoping for some clarification as I’m dying to try this. Higher up you say what’s needed and it says ‘good quality semi-sweet chocolate’ and then in the actual recipe you call for ‘bittersweet chocolate’…which is it actually, as they are rather different things. Thanks!
Honestly, you can use either. Go with bittersweet chocolate, if you don’t have a huge sweet tooth, as it will cut down on the sugar. :)
It was definitely too sweet for me next time I’ll use dark chocolate and cut back on the sugar. But I loved it!! Perfect for this time of the year!
What chocolate do you recommend? I don’t normally buy it fir baking so I’ve no idea what yo buy.
Just buy good quality bars, whatever brand you prefer. :)
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I would only want to be making enough for one serving but I’m not sure I could successfully reduce the ingredient quantities so that it would taste good. If I made the full batch, or maybe even half a batch, could the rest be refrigerated and then heated?
Absolutely! We reheat it all the time. :)
Delicious….just a bit too sweet for me and I love sweet. Next time, I’ll either cut the amount of sugar or add more chocolate.
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Ah this looks so delicious and the mugs are so cute!
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This is amazing! I’m wondering…would you suggest some appetizers to go with this super rich treat? I was looking at your Spiced Apple meatballs that looked delish, but wasn’t sure if they would play well together ; )
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I have being look for a long time for a hot cocoa that its creamy and amazing like the one of your recipe, so when I founded the pictures at Pinterest, holly cow! I finally made this hot cocoa and it is DI-VI-NE. Thank you SO much!!
YAY! I’m so happy you liked it. We make it more than we should this time of year. ;)
This looks amazing! Would it work the same with white chocolate?
The consistency would be slightly different, but I don’t see why not. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!
Thank You for this delicious recipe. I also added 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder along with Giant bowl of whipped cream, for serving to it and it was a lip smacking one.
I have tried your mini banana cream pie and it was too good that my daughter Miya ask me to make it often.
Last week I tried a chocolate brownie, and everyone loved it. I am sharing the link here if you wish to try the chocolate brownie:
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AMAZING! Smooth, silky, delicious! Perfect treat on a cold day by the fireplace.
So incredibly silky!
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This looks like pure chocolate deliciousness! Pass a glass my way!
Hot chocolate is a must have most days for me in the winter. It keeps me sane. This looks amazing!!
Melted chocolate is my weakness! This looks SO delicious!
Wow, so decadent!
I’m all about everything French! Bring on the hot chocolate!
That looks so nice and thick and chocolaty and good! I want a cup right now!
There is nothing like a good cup of hot chocolate like this one!
Sounds like the perfect treat to make for your Valentine! So gorgeous!
I make this all the time but leave out the vanilla essence and heat cream for daily use. I do top it with a dollop of cream sometimes. It is absolutely delicious! Be sure to use a very good quality dark chocolate for the most authentic taste.