Hot Chocolate

Humph. Double humph.

I’m grumpy.

I’ve taken this as an indication that I’ve not had enough chocolate recently, so after a lacklustre supper (details not necessary) I’ve decided to make some hot chocolate from scratch.

I’m using Waitrose Dark Continental Cooking Chocolate, which melts easily, and is very tasty. It also has the advantage of being cheap. For each person I use about 60g chocolate, a tablespoon of cream, and 200mL milk, but you can adjust the ratios to suit. It can happily be done without cream, but I happened to have some lurking in the fridge.

It cannot be done with milk chocolate.

  1. Get a double boiler, or a Pyrex jug atop a saucepan of water, and bring the water to the boil, and then reduce as low as possible.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add.
    It will take a few minutes to melt, do not stir it, although the occasional poke and prod are acceptable.
  3. Whilst that’s going on, heat up the milk. I use the steam nozzle on my espresso machine for this, but otherwise do it in an adjacent saucepan. Do not boil.
  4. Stir in the cream if you’re using it. This should add easily, and make the next steps less hazardous.
  5. Add a small amount of the hot milk to the chocolate and stir vigorously. If the milk is too cold, or you add too much, the chocolate will separate, and you’ll need a balloon whisk.
  6. Turn up the heat underneath the chocolate, so the water will come to the boil, but don’t wait for it to come to the boil, carry on with the next steps.
  7. Keep on adding the milk, bit by bit, until you’ve added about half the milk.
  8. You can then add the rest of the hot milk in one go, but keep on stirring.
  9. Serve in pre-heated cups.


Here are some other ideas.

  • If you follow this procedure, just using equal quantities of chocolate and cream, this makes quite a passable chocolate sauce.
  • You could also add some liqueur, e.g. Frangelico or even some whiskey, but be subtle; no more than a half a teaspoon, to make it “mysterious”, as Pomiane would say.

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