Parisian hot chocolate is luxuriously thick, smooth, creamy and flavorful. It’s like drinking hot molten chocolate and simply no other hot chocolate can compare!
After a long Winter walk through the streets of Paris, you slip into a nearby cafe to warm up.
Rubbing your cold hands together you order chocolat chaud and before long you’re gripping a hot cup between your chilled palms and fingers.
You slowly take a sip and feel the richness of creamy chocolate fill your mouth. You close your eyes and swallow, savoring every moment of the experience. The ritual is repeated until your mug is empty.
You button your coat, turn up the collar and tie your scarf. The City awaits…
If you’re a chocolate lover there are two things you have to try that, in my opinion, are the ultimate chocolate experiences: Pot de Crème (one of my all-time favorite indulgences) and Parisian hot chocolate.
Luxuriously thick and phenomenally rich without being overly sweet, the Parisians know how to make hot chocolate. And you can easily make it in your own kitchen to satisfy the craving when it strikes.
French hot chocolate doesn’t have nearly as much sugar as typical hot chocolate. In fact, you have full control over the sugar depending on what kind of chocolate you use and how much (if any) sugar you add. Instead of the overly sweet stuff most of us our used to, in Parisian hot chocolate the focus is the chocolate itself. And too much sugar is more of a distraction than anything. Understandably, the quality of the chocolate you choose is key. Choose a good dark or bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%) – it’s lower in sugar and the bitterness will be tempered by the natural sweetness of the milk.
Parisians typically don’t use cream, only milk, as the hot chocolate is very rich and creamy without it. With some milk, just a touch of sugar if desired, and top quality chocolate, you’ll be able to experience the full range of the chocolate’s amazing flavor notes.
Let’s get started!
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until it’s hot and bubbles appear.
Add salt and the finely chopped dark chocolate and whisk until dissolved and smooth. Bring the hot chocolate to a very low simmer, whisking continuously, and simmer for about 3 minutes (this will thicken it). Stir in the salt and brown sugar if desired and whisk until smooth. For an even thicker result, make the hot chocolate ahead of time, let it cool and then reheat when ready to serve.
Pour into cups and serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Parisian Hot Chocolate (Le Chocolate Chaud)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 ounces top quality dark or bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%)) , chopped finely
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional and according to taste)
- tiny pinch of sea salt
- whipped cream for serving (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until it's hot and bubbles appear. Add salt and the finely chopped dark chocolate and whisk until dissolved and smooth. Bring the hot chocolate to a very low simmer, whisking continuously, and simmer for about 3 minutes (this will thicken it). Stir in the brown sugar if desired and whisk until smooth. Pour into cups and serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
- Note: For an even thicker result, make the hot chocolate ahead of time, let it cool and then reheat when ready to serve.
Molly Kathleen Robertson says
Many, many stars! I did not know about this French hot chocolate. Yum! If you slip across the mountains into Spain you will find Chocolate Caliente. A recipe so similar with a dash of cornstarch thrown in. Now I will have to decide which one to have on a cold winter day! Thank you for the conundrum, Kimberly.
Kimberly Killebrew says
So interesting, Molly, because France and Spain have another dessert that’s very similar: Crème Brulée (France) and Crema Catalana (Spain), one difference being that Spain thickens that with cornstarch too. I generally try and stay our of cultural battles, lol, but in this instance of the burnt custard dessert, even though France tries to lay claim to it, the origin rightfully belongs to Spain – by more than 200 years! :) Thanks for the tip, I will most definitely scout out Chocolate Caliente next time I’m in Spain!
Wow! This was fantastic. Definitely a sipping kind of hot chocolate and not meant to be quickly consumed. I felt like I was at a fancy expensive restaurant drinking this. Very rich and not your average hot chocolate that is for sure. I really enjoyed it and I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate particularly. The chocolate I used was Lindt 70%
Kimberly Killebrew says
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Shawna, thank you for the feedback!
Marta Williams says
Why is it that letting the hot chocolate cool and reheating it will make it thicker? I’m just curious. Thank you!
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
Hi Marta, I can’t explain the science behind it but if you try you’ll see what I mean! :)
Retrogradation of starch contained in cocoa.
Water also evaporates when it’s cold