There are hundreds of recipes out there, but how do you really make the perfect hot chocolate?
It's actually all in the preparation and using good-quality ingredients. Without a good base, the end result just won't be the creamy-textured delight you are seeking.
We have put together some top tips on how you create the perfect hot chocolate and make your Christmas as magical as it should be!
Use good-quality chocolate
In an interview with Food 52, Jacques Torres (master chocolatier to you and me) confirms that without good-quality chocolate, a hot chocolate simply won't taste as good as it should.
In order to make the best hot chocolate, you have to start with chocolate - Jacques Torres, Food 52
Think about it this way; if you were to make a fruit salad with fruit that was old and bruised, would it taste the same? Absolutely not.
Look out for chocolate that is at least 60-70% cocoa, which will help give the hot chocolate a rich depth without being too bitter. Anything over 75% cocoa will simply taste too strong.
While many people opt for dark chocolate to make their perfect drink, it really is like beauty; it's all in the eye of the beholder. If you prefer the taste of white chocolate, go for that one. If you like your drink to taste a little sweeter, swap out some of the dark chocolate for its milk version. That way, you're also avoiding adding extra sugar.
Milk or Cream?
Now this one will be debated by multiple people, as it really does come down to personal choice.
Whole milk is super creamy as it is, but if you love indulgently rich textures, adding in a splash of cream at the end just helps to give it a more luxurious depth.
Similarly, if you prefer the taste of semi-skimmed milk, but want something a little creamier, mix half and half with whole milk.
We wouldn't suggest using skimmed milk as its high water content just makes the hot chocolate taste too watery and thin.
This is where you can go all out depending on how indulgent you want your perfect hot chocolate experience to be.
While the standard extras are usually whipped cream and marshmallows, you really can experiment further. Take a look at some of our favourite combinations below:
- Good-quality Sea Salt is perfect for bringing out the richness and depth in a hot chocolate.
- Add a hint of Chilli Powder for a spicy twist.
- Try spices such as Nutmeg and Cinnamon for a festive twist.
- If you are feeling under the weather or pregnant, add a sprinkling of Ginger as it helps with inflammation and nausea.
The Perfect Hot Chocolate Recipe
Ingredients: 35g good-quality chocolate (your choice of white, milk or dark), 240ml whole milk, pinch of salt.
- Melt the chocolate and 120ml of the milk in a bowl over a saucepan filled with warm water. It's important you do this slowly so you don't burn the chocolate.
- Add in the other half of the milk and stir until fully combined.
- Add in a hint of sea salt to bring out the richness of the chocolate.
- If you like your drink super sweet, you can add in a little sugar to taste.