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Our expert’s guide on how to make the best hot chocolate
For us, thin, watery and bland hot chocolate is the stuff of nightmares. All too often, powdered hot chocolates sold in supermarkets fail to meet your expectations. Rather than a thick and creamy delight, you get a sweet, watery drink with no depth of flavour.
Although you may opt for the simple cocoa powder, sugar and milk method, this too can compromise your drink- why? Cocoa powders are typically made via the ‘Dutching’ process, whereby roasted cocoa beans are soaked in an alkaline solution, dried and then crushed, releasing the cocoa fats.
Whilst this might do for baking, it means the cocoa lacks the depth needed for a full-bodied cocoa creation. We think the cocoa butter melt is crucial – without it, you lack the silky, sumptuous finish. To help you curate a cocoa fit for the gods, we’ve put together a guide on how to make the best hot chocolate. After all, you deserve nothing but the best.
A steaming mug of hot chocolate is a thing of beauty, which is why we think it deserves only but the best ingredients. It’s not just us who think that it should be celebrated, either. The Mayans once consumed their own version of hot chocolate, typically drinking it during festivals or celebrations. A beverage which is rich in history, we think this legendary drink deserves nothing but the finest ingredients.
If you want to find out how to make the best hot chocolate, then we suggest first deciding on the type of milk you want to use. For a sumptuous and creamy drink, full-fat milk delivers the best results. Alternatively, if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant then there are plenty of other options to choose from; oat milk has a similar creaminess to dairy; cashew and almond milk have a subtle sweetness to them; hazelnut milk boasts a delicate nutty flavour profile and soy is virtually flavourless.
Next, the all-important component – the chocolate. Whilst our chocolate slabs can be grated and melted down, this can be hard on the knuckles, and the chocolate needs to be small enough to evenly melt the cocoa solids and butter.
Rather than putting in all that unnecessary effort in an attempt to make the best hot chocolate, opt for our chocolate flakes instead – we’ve done all the hard work for you. Grated flakes of the real stuff reveal our secret on how to make a thick hot chocolate – we’ve found the perfect consistency for a velvety finish and punchy cocoa taste.
Choose your favourite hot chocolate flavour
Whilst our signature Classic 70% Dark Hot Chocolate is the perfect option for when you just need a warm hug of hot cocoa, you might find that you occasionally want to switch up your hot chocolate routine…
Sink into the nutty, mellow notes of our Hazelnut Praline Hot Chocolate, made with unsweetened ground hazelnuts. Why not relish the decadence of our Salted Caramel & Clementine Hot Chocolate, or treat yourself to a bit of extravagance with our Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate?
For the more daring, our Chilli Dark Hot Chocolate combines deep 70% dark with a gentle Habanero chilli tingle. For a more fragrant spice, our Ginger Hot Chocolate leaves you feeling aglow with fiery ginger and smooth dark. Don’t fret – these recipes won’t leave your mouth on fire. We put all of our recipes through a vigorous four-step tasting process, so we’re confident that we’ve found the perfect amount of heat to leave you feeling pleasantly warm, even after the mug is empty.
All our hot chocolates are made with natural ingredients only – the best hot chocolates shouldn’t contain any nasties. We avoid additives, and only use sugar to enhance the flavours of our hot chocolates – it’s never the dominant taste in our recipes.
The next step in how to make the best hot chocolate is finding the right method. For the traditional route, bring the milk of your choice to a gentle simmer, stirring slowly with a whisk. Next, remove from the heat and add the chocolate of your choice to the milk. Return back to the hob on a medium heat, and continue to whisk until all the chocolate has melted, and you’re left with a thick and glossy consistency. Do not boil.
No added sugar is necessary – our chocolatiers have perfected our recipes to find the perfect balance between the rich depth of cocoa and the sweetness of sugar.
Pour into a mug, and enjoy. Sprinkle with a pinch of chocolate flakes for an added touch of magic.
Although making hot chocolate yourself over a stove is fairly simple, it does require you to keep a close eye on it, and typically takes around five minutes to make the perfect mug of cocoa. Furthermore, it isn’t always that easy to smooth those pesky chocolate lumps out.
For us, the secret behind how to make the best version lies in our very own The Velvetiser. Imagined by our chocolatiers, and powered by Dualit, reinvent your approach.
The Velvetiser offers a silken shortcut to whipping up a mug of cocoa. The Velvetiser melts the chocolate to the perfect temperature, enabling both cocoa solids and cocoa butter to effortlessly blend together. Once the chocolate has melted, The Velvetiser whisks and folds the chocolate into a velvety liquid consistency.
We took inspiration from the Molinillo: this ancient whisk works by rotating, rubbing the palms together to aerate the chocolate, resulting in a glorious silken froth. The whisk is so good at making hot drinks that it’s still used today.
Although deciding on the ingredients involves a bit of thought when it comes to making the best hot chocolate, The Velvetiser makes the process effortlessly easy. Our single-serve sachets contain the right amount for one – simply pour into The Velvetiser, add the milk, press the button and let the magic happen. Decadently smooth and ready to enjoy in just 2.5 minutes.
Don’t worry – cleaning The Velvetiser is just as quick. Its detachable components can be easily washed, although avoid dishwashers.
Rated 5/5 by The Guardian, The Velvetiser lets you enjoy barista-grade hot chocolate, from the comfort of your very own home. Perfect your own hot chocolate ritual, today.
How to make thick hot chocolate
The answer to how to make thick hot chocolate is relatively simple – just add slightly more grated chocolate to your mix. Alternatively, add a splash of double cream to your after it’s been velvetised.
However, we think our single-serve sachets are the perfect shortcut in understanding how to make thick hot chocolate. Enjoy the opulence of high-quality chocolate, melted, and then lightened with the help of The Velvetiser.
If you want a really thick chocolatey drink then you can go Italian-style by whisking in a little cornstarch into the hot milk. This will thicken up the mixture and give it a truly indulgent texture.
Finding the right hot chocolate which suits your personal preferences is the key – we hope we’ve made the decision a little easier.