I love that chocolate is part of daily life in French culture. This starts with breakfast where le chocolat chaud, or hot chocolate, is as popular as coffee. Before we get into the specifics of French-style hot chocolate let’s discuss the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa.
Hot chocolate vs. hot cocoa is one of those things that is obvious but you never think about until someone explains it. Hot chocolate is made with chocolate and hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder. The difference is cocoa butter which makes hot chocolate rich and creamy. Unfortunately, hot chocolate and hot cocoa are often used interchangeably which is why we’ve created the term ‘drinking chocolate’ to distinguish true hot chocolate.
French-style drinking chocolate is simply high-quality chocolate and milk. It’s so simple, yet that’s what makes it stand out. It is thick and rich from the high ratio of chocolate to milk but still drinkable. And with only two ingredients the quality of chocolate stands out.
Another popular way to make hot chocolate is Italian or Spanish-style–known for being so thick “your spoon will stand in it.” This effect is created by the addition of cornstarch. I personally have nothing against cornstarch, but I prefer my hot chocolate to be thick because of the high chocolate content–not because of additives.
Make the best French-style drinking chocolate at home with our 65% Dark Drinking Chocolate Mix. We’ve found 65% dark chocolate creates the perfect balance of chocolate and sweetness. Our mix is crafted from bean-to-bar with only two ingredients, organic cocoa beans, and organic cane sugar, and ground into small pieces–easy for melting.
2. Add 4 tbsp (1.5 oz) chocolate and an optional pinch of sea salt.
3. Whisk thoroughly until the chocolate has melted and mixed in the milk.
4. Carefully pour into a mug. Top with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings
Ah, now that is beautiful! It tastes even better when enjoyed with a good book or shared with a friend. Careful it will be hot so please enjoy responsibly.
This recipe creates a great hot chocolate base to experiment with. Try adding candy canes, vanilla beans, cinnamon, and cayenne, or replace half of the milk with strong coffee. Let us know what fun variations you invent.
Purchase our 65% Dark Drinking Chocolate Mix here.