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Italian Hot Chocolate

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This easy to make Italian style creamy hot chocolate recipe is super thick, rich, and enriched with intense chocolate flavors.

It’s made with some real dark chocolate, cocoa, and milk — the ultimate comfort beverage. It’s ready in under 10 minutes. 

a female sprinkling chocolate shaving on a transparent Italian Hot Chocolate glass

Make this for a cool evening or a holiday treat! This indulgent hot chocolate recipe would always make you feel warm and comfy. This chocolate bliss pairs well with shortbread cookies or butter cookies!  

Fancy a deliciously creamy gourmet-style Italian Hot Chocolate you get in cafes? No need to look further. You must try this incredibly easy to make Homemade Hot Chocolate recipe. It gives you fail-proof rich and decadent hot chocolate each time. 

This sinfully tasting hot chocolate is one of those kinds of drinks which you drink only a few times a year. Because this is made with real dark chocolate and is super-rich.

Every spoonful of this delectable hot chocolate would take you on a journey to the winter wonderland. It is so rich and luxurious that my little one calls it drinking chocolate pudding. ;)

It’s one of those types where you just take a sip and you wouldn’t want to stop until the whole mug is empty! I just can’t stop even if I am so full. 

hot chocolate pouring into a cup

What is Italian Hot Chocolate?

Italian hot chocolate is drinking chocolate that tastes super decadent. It is super thick and would make you feel like sipping chocolate sauce. Now, who wouldn’t love a warm and cozy chocolatey soup?

The combination of unsweetened cocoa powder and some good quality dark chocolate makes this hot chocolate extra flavorful and delicious! And a simple topping of whipped cream or marshmallows right before serving takes it to the next level.  

I’ve tested many different varieties of hot chocolate but this authentic Italian version of Hot Chocolate is my favorite. It is made with basic ingredients, but tastes exotic — just the same you get in your favorite cafe.

This easy recipe makes a satisfying hot chocolate that tastes better than the store-bought hot chocolate mix.

hot chocolate in a transparent cup

What are the features of this Hot Chocolate?

This Italian Hot Chocolate:

✔ makes a great treat for cold weather and the holiday season

✔ is loved by all age groups

✔ has no cream but it is still super-rich

✔ thick, creamy, and delicious

✔ is ready in under 10 minutes

✔ is made with real dark chocolate

✔ is ideal for weekend movie nights

What are the ingredients needed for Hot Chocolate?

This hot chocolate is made with simple ingredients that are easily available in every kitchen. 

Below are the ingredients needed for making hot chocolate:

  1. Unsweetened cocoa powder

  2. Premium quality dark chocolate

  3. Sugar

  4. Milk 

  5. Cornstarch

  6. Salt

a women holing a spoon over Italian Hot Chocolate mug topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings

How to make Hot Chocolate recipe at home?

Making a Hot Chocolate recipe at home is only a few minutes long. You just throw a bunch of simple ingredients into a saucepan and cook them together until thick and creamy. This is how it is done in simple 7 steps:

  • Step 1: Chop the dark chocolate.

  • Step 2: Mix cornstarch with some cold milk.

  • Step 3: Mix cocoa, sugar, salt, and milk.

  • Step 4: Simmer the mixture, and add cornstarch mixture.

  • Step 5: Mix well and cook until thickened. 

  • Step 6: Add chopped dark chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.

  • Step 7: Pour into serving mugs and top with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings. Done.

For a full list of Hot Chocolate recipe ingredients and step-by-step photo and video instructions, please see the recipe box on this page. 

What is Hot Chocolate made of?

Hot chocolate is a drinking chocolate made with cocoa and/or chocolate, and some milk/water. Some sweetener is also added to this type of drinking chocolate. It can be served as it is or with a topping of whipped cream or marshmallows.

A female holding a transparent tall glass of Italian Hot Chocolate

Can I replace the cocoa powder with drinking chocolate powder?

Well, you can use drinking chocolate powder if you don’t have cocoa powder handy. When using drinking chocolate make sure to taste the mixture before adding additional sweetener. This is because drinking chocolate powder or cocoa powder is generally sweet and if you add additional sweetener then you will end up with too sweet hot chocolate.

How to make Hot Chocolate less sweeter? 

If you want it less sweet, then add a lesser amount of sweetener. Or you can completely skip adding the sweetener.

How to make even sweeter Hot Chocolate?

If you like Hot chocolate sweeter in taste then use the combination of semi-sweet and dark chocolate. You can also increase the amount of sweetener.

How to make Hot Chocolate extra rich?

To make Hot chocolate extra rich, add about 1/4 cup of heavy cream half and half.

How to make Vegan Hot Chocolate?

To make it vegan, use almond milk or soy milk and use vegan chocolate.

How to make Hot Chocolate healthier?

To make hot chocolate healthier, you can use skim or nonfat milk. And reduce the amount of added sugar. You can also omit the sugar completely. Also, avoid any toppings.

Can I make Hot Chocolate with chocolate chips?

Yes, you can. For this recipe, you can swap chopped dark chocolate with the same amount of dark chocolate chips.

What are some variations of the Hot Chocolate recipe? 

This is an authentic Italian style hot chocolate that is made with milk, chocolate, cocoa powder, corn starch, salt, and some sugar. It has no added flavorings. If you want to make flavored hot chocolate then there are endless options you can try. 

You may add any of the following flavors from the list below:

  • Vanilla Hot Chocolate; add some vanilla extract.

  • Cardamom Hot Chocolate; add a pinch of cardamom.

  • Cinnamon Hot Chocolate; add some ground cinnamon.

  • Toffee Hot Chocolate; add some toffee sauce to the hot chocolate mixture. 

  • Mint Hot Chocolate; add some peppermint extract and use peppermint flavored chocolate in this recipe.

  • Hot Chocolate Coffee; add a shot of espresso to the hot chocolate mixture while simmering.

  • Caramel Hot Chocolate; add some caramel syrup to the mixture while cooking and then drizzle hot chocolate with some caramel sauce at the time of serving.

Italian Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings in a transparent tall glass

Can I reheat Hot Chocolate? 

Yes, you can reheat this hot chocolate. To reheat, add the hot chocolate to the saucepan along with some cold milk. Whisk well until combined. Then reheat it on low heat on the stovetop until it’s hot and steamy. Make sure to stir constantly or it will stick to the bottom.

How to store Hot Chocolate?

Let the leftover hot chocolate cool completely before storing it. Then store it in an airtight jar or bowls in the refrigerator. After cooling, this would turn into a chocolate pudding. So you enjoy it as pudding or reheat before serving! It stays fresh for up to 3 days.

What are some important tips and tricks to make the best Homemade Hot Chocolate?

  1. Traditional Italian Hot Chocolate recipes are made with some good quality dark chocolate. This is one ingredient that makes or breaks the taste of any hot chocolate. So make sure you use some real dark chocolate. 

  2. You can use dark chocolate with 55% to 84% cocoa in this recipe. 

  3. If you prefer sweeter tasting hot chocolate then go for 55% percent cocoa, and if you prefer less sweet but intense chocolate flavor then you can use up to 84% cocoa.

  4. I have used 4 tablespoons of cornstarch in this recipe which makes it really thick and creamy, which is similar to the consistency of the chocolate sauce. If you prefer thinner hot chocolate then use only 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

  5. Adding sugar is optional. If you are using semi-sweet chocolate in this recipe, then I would advise skipping sugar entirely here.

  6. Feel free to add any of your favorite flavorings. 

  7. Make sure that you only bring the milk to a simmer, and then turn the heat to low. And cook on low heat.

  8. The addition of little salt balances the sweet chocolaty flavors. So, adding salt is highly recommended in this recipe.

  9. Serve the hot chocolate immediately. This is because the drink will continue to thicken as it cools.

  10. You can also top this hot chocolate with some homemade vanilla ice cream, or chocolate Hazelnut ice cream.

hot chocolate pouring into a cup

Italian Hot Chocolate [Recipe]

This easy to make Italian style creamy hot chocolate recipe is super thick, rich, and enriched with intense chocolate flavors. Ready in under 10 minutes.
★★★★✰
(Rating: 4.9 from 4 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
15 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Drinks Italian 4-6
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
185 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

For Italian Hot Chocolate:
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 ml) milk (I use semi-skimmed milk) (you can also use water)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 240 grams (8 oz) dark chocolate (75%)
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 pinches of salt
For Serving:
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings

INSTRUCTIONS:

Making Italian Hot Chocolate:
  1. Chop the dark chocolate. Set it aside.
    Image of the cooking step-1-1 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  2. In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup of cold milk and cornstarch. Set it aside.
    Image of the cooking step-1-2 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  3. In a saucepan place cocoa, sugar, salt, and mix.
    Image of the cooking step-1-3 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  4. Also, add 3 cups of milk and whisk together.
    Image of the cooking step-1-4 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  5. Place the saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat. Heat the milk mixture, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is simmered and starts to bubble around the edges.
    Image of the cooking step-1-5 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  6. Once the milk is heated and reaches the scalding stage, turn the heat to low, and add the milk and cornstarch mixture.
    Image of the cooking step-1-6 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  7. Keep whisking continuously and cooking until the mixture has thickened and combined. This would take about 3-4 minutes.
    Image of the cooking step-1-7 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  8. After that, add the chocolate pieces and turn off the heat.
    Image of the cooking step-1-8 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  9. Whisk continuously for approximately 2-3 minutes or until completely dissolved and thick.
    Image of the cooking step-1-9 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  10. Pour hot chocolate into mugs, and garnish with some whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
    Image of the cooking step-1-10 for Italian Hot Chocolate
  11. Serve immediately.
    Image of the cooking step-1-11 for Italian Hot Chocolate

WATCH VIDEO:


NOTES:

  1. If you prefer sweeter tasting hot chocolate then go for 55% percent cocoa, and if you prefer less sweet but intense chocolate flavor then you can use up to 84% cocoa.
  2. I have used 4 tablespoons of cornstarch in this recipe which makes it really thick and creamy, which is similar to the consistency of the chocolate sauce. If you prefer thinner hot chocolate then use only 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  3. Make sure that you only bring the milk to a simmer, and then turn the heat to low. And cook on low heat.
  4. The addition of little salt balances the sweet chocolaty flavors. So, adding salt is highly recommended in this recipe.
  5. Serve the hot chocolate immediately. This is because the drink will continue to thicken as it cools.
  6. Replace water with milk to make a hot chocolate recipe with water.

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Some more delicious hot drinks to enjoy:

Indian Masala Coffee

Rose Masala Chai

Masala Chai

No Machine Cafe Mocha


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