French Hot Chocolate

For a richer, less sweet cup of hot chocolate, try the French variety! French hot chocolate is smooth and luxurious, with a depth of flavor and a unique consistency.

As with many things culinary, the French really take hot chocolate, or le chocolat chaud to the next level of culinary perfection. While I don’t have first hand experience (despite my two trips and combined 3.5 months of time in France), a nice cup on a street cafe patio is on my list of to-dos next time I’m in Paris. However, until I can get back to the most magical city in the world, I’m going to make do with this recipe, based on one from David Lebovitz.

This French hot chocolate is actually quite simple to make, and the quality of the ingredients is key in achieving the best results (another hallmark of French recettes). All you need is a bar of good dark chocolate, whole milk, some brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Oh, and also a bit of time. That’s really just as important an ingredient for an excellent cup of chocolate.

How to Make French Hot Chocolate

  • Begin by chopping up 65 grams, or 2.5 ounces of high-quality dark chocolate.
  • In a small saucepan, heat a cup of whole milk over medium-low heat until it’s steaming. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching.
  • Add in the chopped chocolate and continue stirring. Don’t turn up the heat, and continue stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.
  • If you’d like the hot chocolate to be thick, continue simmering and stirring for another 2-4 minutes.
  • Remove it from the heat and taste. If you’d like to sweeten it, you can add a tablespoon or two of brown sugar. Make sure to stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Whisk in the salt if using extract and serve immediately. It can be served plain, like in France, or with a dollop of whipped cream that melts into the chocolate as you sip.

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Many people think that the thick, creamy texture of French hot chocolate comes from whipping cream. However, you should actually use whole milk, which makes it a lot less heavy of a drink. Simply simmer it a bit longer for a thicker consistency.
  • I stuck to the original recipe from David Lebovitz pretty closely. However, I did opt to cut the recipe in half to make two servings (it can easily be doubled or tripled for more people).
  • A pinch of sea salt also lends a nice balance to the richness of the chocolate.

The Best Kinds of Chocolate for French Hot Chocolate

  • A good, high-quality dark chocolate bar is going to give you the best hot chocolate. I think that a 70% chocolate is nice, but that may be too bitter.
  • Avoid milk chocolate, as it will be overly sweet.
  • Also, don’t use chocolate chips if possible. They tend to be lower quality chocolate with fats other than cocoa butter solids. This yields a less intense chocolate flavor with a waxier feel.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy:

Swiss Cheese Pull from a French Onion & Steak Puff Pastry Pie
French Onion Pot Pies
Raspberry Chocolate Croissants
Raspberry Chocolate Croissants
Homemade eggnog
Homemade Eggnog
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French Hot Chocolate


  • Author: Rebecca Neidhart, adapted from David Lebovitz
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

For a richer, less sweet cup of hot chocolate, try the French variety! French hot chocolate is smooth and luxurious, with a depth of flavor and a unique consistency.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) whole milk
  • 2.5 oz. (65 g) dark chocolate, high-quality, about 70%
  • 24 Tbsp. brown sugar (optional)
  • A pinch of sea salt ( optional)

Instructions

In a small pot heat the milk over medium-low until steaming and hot. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk it until it’s melted and completely combined with the milk.

If you want thicker hot chocolate, continue to stir and let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Taste it and see if you would like it to be sweeter. Add the brown sugar according to taste, making sure to stir it until it has completely dissolved.

Whisk in the vanilla extract and serve immediately.

 

Notes

  • Many people think that the thick, creamy texture of French hot chocolate comes from whipping cream. However, you should actually use whole milk, which makes it a lot less heavy of a drink. Simply simmer it a bit longer for a thicker consistency.
  • I stuck to the original recipe from David Lebovitz pretty closely. However, I did opt to cut the recipe in half to make two servings (it can easily be doubled or tripled for more people).
  • A pinch of sea salt also lends a nice balance to the richness of the chocolate.
  • Category: Drinks & Beverages
  • Method: Stovetop Cooking
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: french hot chocolate, hot drinks, chocolate

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