Our Christmas tree is up, our decorations are out, we have Christmas music playing pretty much 24/7 … which means it’s hot chocolate season! We love the Christmas season for so many reasons – spending time with those we love, sharing joy, dreaming of Peace and all of the wonderful food experiences surrounding this gorgeous holiday season. One of our favorite Christmas traditions is making (and drinking!) our best French hot chocolate.
This recipe is for our favorite, creamiest, chocolatiest (that’s a word, right?!), Christmas Heaven hot chocolate. It’s super simple to make and so yummy to drink. You will be adding this hot chocolate recipe to your own family holiday traditions in no time!
But first, a little hot chocolate comparison… Hugo is French, I am from NYC and have lived in Paris for 15 years and my family lives in Italy. Each place has it’s own special way to make hot chocolate. Growing up in NYC, we always enjoyed hot chocolate made with cocoa powder and topped with mini marshmallows. In Italy, hot chocolate is really thick, quite sweet and almost like pudding. In France, hot chocolate tends to be made with a very high percentage of dark chocolate, is less sweetened so slightly bitter and topped with copious amounts of whipped cream. Yum! I love them all but French hot chocolate is my absolute favorite! ☺
In France, hot chocolate is called “chocolat chaud” and when you top it with whipped cream it gets a whole new name : “chocolat viennois”. (Apparently, when you add whipped cream, your hot chocolate becomes hot chocolate from Vienna… who knew?!)
Anyway, no matter how hot chocolate is prepared and no matter what we call it, hot chocolate is delicious and should be enjoyed in large quantities over the holidays!
To make our recipe, you will need quality dark chocolate which you can buy in the form of chocolate chips or even a chocolate bar. We use Cacao Barry 76% dark chocolate from Equador which we order in 1 kilo (2.2 lbs.) bags. This chocolate is typically used for making pastries. We highly recommend it for your chocolate recipes. It.is.good.
To make your hot chocolate, heat your chocolate “en bain marie” by putting the chocolate in a special chocolate melting pot that you place over a regular pot to heat. The French call this a “pot pour bain marie”. This is a nifty little tool that makes your life easier. If you don’t have one, you can also use a large glass baking bowl to melt the chocolate. Just place the bowl with the chocolate on the large casserole to heat. (Please make sure your bowl is heat resistant!) If you heat the chocolate directly in a regular pan, you risk burning the chocolate and creating little chocolate balls, whereas your goal is to have smoothe, silky chocolate for your hot chocolate.
At the same time, use a small saucepan to warm the milk. As the milk warms, a top layer will form. Skim it off using a spoon or knife. Add the milk to the chocolate, little by little, while stirring the mixture.
Voilà, your perfect French hot chocolate is now ready. All you need to do is add the whipped cream!
Materials needed for this recipe :
- Cacao Barry 76% dark chocolate from Equador
- Melting pot for chocolate (or large glass bowl)
- Large casserole
(We have included Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.)
- 80 g 70% Cacao Barry dark chocolate
- 300 g of milk
- Heat the chocolate in your melting pot.
- While the chocolate is heating, heat the milk in a small saucepan.
- Add the milk to the melted chocolate little by little while stirring the mixture.
- Serve with your favorite whipped cream.
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