I’ve been wanting to try chocolat chaud or French hot chocolate for a while now. Since I won’t be going to France anytime soon, the best solution is to make my own right in the comfort of my home. Making chocolat chaud is as simple as melting chocolate in warm milk. Outrageously easy that there’s no reason not to try and indulge in a cuppa. ☕️
A very decadent chocolat chaud that’s worthy of my mom’s China!
Let’s make some French hot chocolate!
When making chocolat chaud, use the best quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate you can get your hands on because the chocolate is the star 🌟 Good quality chocolate means awesome tasting chocolat chaud.
Bittersweet chocolate is around 70% cocoa content while semisweet chocolate is around 60% cocoa content. Semisweet chocolate is sweeter while bittersweet chocolate leans towards the darker side.
I’ve made this chocolat chaud twice so far with bittersweet chocolate and both times, they were sweet enough that I didn’t even need to add sugar. If you find yours lacking, do add a teaspoon or more.
I’m using Lindt Excellence 70% cocoa dark chocolate here. But would surely try even better quality chocolate in the future.
Break the chocolate into squares if it comes in a bar. If you’re using a chocolate block, then use a knife to break it into smaller pieces. You don’t have to chop it finely as the warm milk will melt the chocolate easily.
Warm the milk in a medium-sized saucepan or pot over low heat. I used whole raw milk.
Switch off the heat when the milk is warm. Then, add the chocolate.
How do you know when the milk is warm enough? Simply dip your little finger into the milk to check. It doesn’t have to be a certain warm temperature but as long as the milk is warm enough to melt the chocolate. If you think you ought to be careful, then use a spoon.
Stir the chocolate and the milk with a whisk. Yeah, I was using a spoon initially because I was too lazy to wash the whisk but in the end, I switched to a whisk to distribute the melted chocolate more evenly. Once the chocolate has melted and combined with the milk, it’s ready to be served. But not before tasting it to see if you need to add sugar.
However, if you prefer a thicker consistency chocolat chaud, reheat it by simmering it for a couple of minutes while stirring constantly.
For an even thicker and richer consistency and taste, sit the chocolat chaud at room temperature for at least an hour. This is awesome as you can make it ahead in your free time. Then, reheat by simmering the chocolat chaud for a couple of minutes while stirring constantly. You want to stir more occasionally especially when the chocolat chaud has been sitting for quite some time as some of the chocolate have probably accumulated at the bottom of the pot.
Finally, serve the chocolat chaud hot/warm in a small tea/espresso cup or any cup size. I find that I prefer using a small cup as it’s more enjoyable. Savor a few too many sips and then add some light sprinkle of fleur de sel, mix and relish the new and fascinating chocolate profiles.
Whether it’s fall or winter or some cold rainy days, this luxurious and rich chocolat chaud has the ability to wrap you up in a warm bundle of joy! I live in a hot and humid country and yet I love it too. But then I may be biased as I’m a big-time chocolate lover. 😛
While this tasty comfort is usually enjoyed hot or warm, I find that it’s equally delicious when it’s chilled. Just pop it into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes or longer in the refrigerator. This cold hot chocolate is called chocolat chaud froid.
I hope you try this chocolat chaud recipe with both hot/warm and cold versions. You won’t regret it! ☕️🍫
Chocolat Chaud – French Hot Chocolate
Adapted from David Lebovitz
500ml whole milk
150g bittersweet chocolate (~70% cacao content) or semisweet chocolate (~60% cacao content), the best quality you can get, simply break it into smaller pieces
light sprinkles of fleur de sel, optional
sugar, a teaspoon or more, if you find it lacks in sweetness
1. In a medium-sized saucepan/pot, heat the milk over low heat.
2. Once the milk is warm, switch off the heat. Add the chocolate and stir with a whisk until the chocolate is melted and combined with the milk. For a thicker consistency, reheat by simmering the chocolat chaud for a couple of minutes while stirring constantly. For an even thicker and richer consistency and taste, allow the chocolat chaud to sit at room temperature for a least an hour or more, then reheat by simmering it while stirring occasionally. Taste test it and add sugar if needed.
3. Serve hot/warm in a small tea/espresso cup (classic way) or any cup size. Lightly sprinkle with fleur de sel to enjoy the different chocolate notes. It’s also very good when it’s chilled. Chill it in the refrigerator or freezer (quicker).