A Really Good Cup of Hot Chocolate!

      December is here! In the north, that means you’ll need a good cup of hot chocolate, and I’m ready.

After making snowmen and forts with my brothers on cold, blustery days, Mom would have steaming hot chocolate waiting for us! Nothing tasted better, and nothing warmed us more, beginning with our frozen hands on the warm cups.

As an adult, I often made it two ways, one was with unsweetened cocoa powder and sugar and milk, the way my mother made it, built-in memories with every sip. The other method was simple – melt really good chocolate into warm milk, much more decadent, but on the expensive side.

The Cocoa Contest Resulted in a Tie

While trying to figure out which one I liked best, I made both batches, sampled them, Droste cocoaand had everyone else sample them to mixed reviews. In fact, we had a tie, even with the kids. With quite a bit left over from both, I blended them together in a canning jar to chill and become chocolate milk for the kids. Before putting it away, I tasted this merger, and loved it better than either separately! So here we go!

I used Droste Dutch processed cocoa here, one of the house staples. Start with 2 tbsp. and taste, you might like yours a little darker, and this is all about making it your way. I used 2% milk here, but you can also use any % or a non-dairy milk. If you like things sweeter, use milk chocolate or increase the sugar. While a little really good chocolate is a nice indulgence now and then, you can also use baking chips here.

You can’t really mess this one up. I rarely actually measure the ingredients, just go by the feel, and it always tastes great!

Better than Mom’s Hot Chocolate

In a medium saucepan over medium low, heat and stir with a whisk:

  • 2 -3 tbsp. unsweetened Droste cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. organic white sugar
  • 3 cups milk or plant milk, any percentage
  • Pinch of salt

Heat until the milk starts to steam then add:

  • 4 ounces (or a little more) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

   Continue whisking until the chocolate is melted, but do not let this boil.

Remove from heat and pour into cups. If you really want to be naughty, top with a bit of whipped cream.

At Christmastime, we like to add a candy cane to each cup to flavor the chocolate and act like a stirrer. You can also toss a few Andes mints in with the dark chocolate. For the adults, you can add a splash of peppermint schnapps as well.

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66 Comments Add yours

  1. Alicia says:

    I never though about melting chocolate to make a cup of cocoa. I usually just use a powdered mix, but I bet this tastes a lot better. Maybe I don’t know what I’ve been missing.

    1. Give it a try! You won’t want to go back to the mix. Good luck, and thanks for commenting!

  2. Kathryn says:

    It’s wonderful how aroma’s and tastes take us back…where as it’s a bit warm here for hot chocolate (which I love) I have just finished making a batch of my Christmas Mince for the obligatory Christmas Mince Tarts…I am transported instantly to my Nanna’s kitchen 😊. Enjoy the snow!❄️☃️

    1. Thank you for you comments Kathryn! How wonderful that you make the Christmas Mince tarts. These connections are better than a time machine keeping memories alive, and that’s what it’s all about!

  3. TaMara says:

    I read whisking as whiskey and was so onboard! Time for some cocoa (whisky-less).

    1. I won’t tell if you whiskey the whisking!

  4. Suzassippi says:

    Mom always made her hot cocoa with chocolate powder (Hershey’s of course) and added sugar and milk. I bought Droste in Amsterdam and still have the tin.

    1. I love the Droste. That is the cocoa powder I used in most of my chocolate cakes and other treats.

  5. Angela says:

    Ah, I love this. So fun finding out *by accident* that you like the blend. Such perfect timing for the holidays. I will try this next time we make hot chocolate! Thanks Dorothy :).

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do Angela!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am on the melted hot chocolate team, more sinfully delicious 🤤

    1. It really is! I think of it as dessert!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I love hot chocolate and this looks delicious

    1. To me, it always brings back memories.

  8. My husband would live this recipe.

    1. The basic, turned up a notch!

  9. NativeNM says:

    Nothing is better than a cup of hot cocoa on a cold snowy day! I’m instantly transformed back to the days when my boys were outdoors making a snowman or sledding down the hill. A cup of cocoa was the best treat afterwards!

    1. Sometimes Jan, it was the only thing in our cupboards that was a treat, and it never got old!

  10. C.A. Post says:

    Don’t forget the rum! 😊

    1. Yes, as soon as the kids are out of the kitchen!

  11. Americaoncoffee says:

    Dorothy you are a pamperer. You are setting the mood. What a yummy old fashioned, seasonal treat! ☕️☕️❤️☕️☕️

    1. Thanks! Who doesn’t love a steaming cup of hot chocolate!

  12. That sounds so good can’t not wait until they remove the milk restriction 🙂

    1. It’s great with oat milk, soy milk, etc. We have some dairy challenged folks in the family, so I’ve used lots of alternatives.

      1. I do like the alternatives just 90 days or so it is a no go.

  13. Lovely! Can you eat the spoon. Sorry! 🙂 Bad joke. I know Droste cocoa powder. I will look for it when I am in the store. Good idea!

    1. Funny you said that though. Last Christmas, I received little demitasse spoons from a friend and they were covered with chocolate!

  14. Christy B says:

    Ohhhh I’m going to add a bit of salt to my next cup, like you suggested!

    1. It just helps everything along a bit!

  15. Ronit says:

    A cup of hot chocolate on a cold day – that’s always a good idea!
    I like to add a bit of spiced rum to it… 🙂

    1. Perfect! Sometimes I add a bit of powdered espresso as well.

  16. Even if here are 30 degrees Celsius I would love a cup of this hot chocolate 😋

    1. Ah, thanks Ribana! I’ll send you a cup!

  17. The hot chocolate looks delicious and the tin is devine!

    1. Thank you! I love the old tins, especially if they are all about chocolate!

  18. terrie gura says:

    Mmmm!!! My hubby loves a really good hot chocolate and yours sounds amazing! Love the pinch of salt in there to highlight all that chocolatey goodness. I might use a cinnamon stick to stir ours and yes, extra naughty with whipped cream on top! Now, where to find some snow… ❄️🙏🏼

    1. Yes, alas, after a couple of 50-degree days, we are reduced to mud even here in the north country, and the snow fort has gone the way of Frosty…

  19. jama says:

    Yum!! Want some NOW. Also, bring on the naughty whipped cream. 😀

    1. It’s here, waiting for you and the rest of the gang!

  20. Well, you know I’m gonna try this with the kiddos! My mom’s idea of hot chocolate was Hershey’s syrup in warm milk. Blah! ❄️

    1. I’m sure it was sweet, the way kids like it!

  21. Gail says:

    I could get in really big trouble with this recipe. ❄️☕️❄️

    1. Oh, I bet you could my friend!

  22. Jenna says:

    There is nothing better than a steamy mug of hot chocolate on a cold day!

  23. JOY journal says:

    What a fun idea to mix the two. Melting chocolate does feel delightfully decadent though!

    1. Oh, it is indeed decadent, and so delightful!

  24. Ally Bean says:

    My mother was a fan of Droste cocoa and swore it was the best, therefore I know your recipe is the best!

    1. Ah, thanks Ally! Mom always had Droste on the shelf, and I do too! Wouldn’t dream of making a chocolate cake without it!

  25. You continually provide a wide variety of recipes for all of us to review and take to heart those that fit our lifestyle. Made from scratch Hot Chocolate must just about hit everyone’s list as a keeper. I’m impressed! Love the cup too. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Judy!
      The cups were a gift, and they delighted the grandkids immediately!

  26. It is fun idea to use the candy cane as a stirrer. In Copenhagen, the coffee shops make hot chocolate milk, white or dark, depending on the customers’ preference, with a small triangular pyramid of pure chocolate. It is suspended in hot milk by a wooden stick which you swirl around and it slowly melts in the milk. Your recipe adding the chocolate would do the same thing and reminded me of this. As I can no longer drink coffee, I usually drink hot chocolate – but on oat milk. I am going to give your suggestions a try.

    1. That sounds marvelous, Amanda. I can see the lovely chocolate melting in the cup on a snowy day.
      We have a lovely chocolate shop nearby that features its hot chocolate, very decadent, rich chocolate shavings that one just melts into the milk. Of course, the way they make it, it is much too thick for me, so I cut back on the amount considerably.
      I actually love this recipe very much made with oat milk.

  27. Nancy says:

    Oh sooooo delicious! There’s just something about a cup of hot cocoa!My Mom made it as well but used Hershey’s cocoa. Now I need to give Droste Cocoa a try!

    1. I think you will be pleased Nancy! The Droste cocoa is Dutch processed and tastes just a little more chocolatey!

  28. nancyc says:

    This hot chocolate sounds yummy! Hot chocolate is my beverage of choice on a cold winter day! 🙂

    1. Nothing better when the snow is falling and the north winds blowing!

  29. sunisanthosh says:

    Love this melted hot chocolate.

    1. Thank you! It’s really delicious!

  30. Chef Mimi says:

    Thank you for all of your hard work experimenting on hot chocolates!

    1. Just one of those little things Mimi, when you get an idea in your head and have to fiddle with it!

  31. Sandhya says:

    So yummy and perfect for the season!

    1. Thank you! I’ve saved you a cup!

      1. Sandhya says:

        Thanks so much ❤️

  32. Anonymous says:

    A friend of mine (who is now in heaven) told me that he used to melt two bars of Snicker bars in his hot chocolate! My tooth hurt just listening to him described how to made his hot chocolate. He apparently really loved it that way! 🙂 Your post makes me want to make myself a cup of hot chocolate right now! 🙂

    1. That is way too much sugar for me! I never liked Snickers for that reason.
      Go make yourself a cup! You deserve it.

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