A luxurious beverage that has long been enjoyed by Europeans, hot chocolate should not be confused with American-style hot cocoa, which is made with cocoa powder. Since hot chocolate is made with chocolate, it’s richer, a true indulgence, and is served in smaller portions. If you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to flavor your drink by adding a little liqueur (Cointreau, Frangelico or Kahlua, for example) or extract (peppermint would be festive – garnish with a leftover candy cane or peppermint stick!).

Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 ½ cups (362 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup (116 grams) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup packed (54 grams) light brown sugar
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) high-quality bittersweet chocolate (70-72%), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, cream and sugar and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate.
  1. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the vanilla. Serve immediately with sweetened whipped cream and, if you like, some chocolate shavings.

Recommended Equipment:

Microplane Classic Zester Grater


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Tish Boylehttps://pastryathome.com
Tish Boyle is the Managing Editor of Pastry Arts Magazine, a food writer and cookbook author with expertise in baking, desserts and chocolate. A graduate of Smith College and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, Tish has written several dessert and baking books including Chocolate Passion, Diner Desserts, The Good Cookie, The Cake Book and Flavorful. Co-writing credits include Payard Desserts and the Grand Finales series of books.

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