There’s nothing better than a sweet, tasty hot chocolate on a cold day. However, not everyone enjoys a powdery hot chocolate mix. Instead, we’ll be looking at other methods to make hot chocolate and other types of chocolate and sweeteners you can make to suit your tastes.
Liquids To Make Hot Chocolate With
Everyone enjoys hot chocolate through different methods, and we find that everyone prefers what liquid they mix their chocolate with. Some prefer using water, others prefer milk, and others prefer a mixture of both. But how does your liquid affect the taste of your hot chocolate?
Undoubtedly, water is the easiest liquid to find and use. All you need is water, and you just need to boil it. Hot water can intensify your chocolate’s flavor, especially with unsweetened cocoa powder. However, that’s not true when you use chocolate chips.
You must add more chocolate chips to your mixture when you make hot chocolate with chocolate chips and water. If you don’t, the hot water will dilute the flavor, and you won’t be able to taste the chocolate.
For anyone who plans on using water for their chocolate chips, we recommend picking up more than you would expect if you were making hot chocolate with milk.
Milk is a popular option if you want to get a creamy flavor, and you can use any type of milk you prefer. You can also adjust the type of milk you use to make your hot chocolate dairy-free. So, you can also use the following:
- Soy Milk
- Oat Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Almond Milk
You would prefer to use milk in your hot chocolate for two reasons. It adds a creamier texture when you’re using whole milk or anything above 2%.
However, if you like water in your hot chocolate, you can combine it with milk. This will offer the best of both worlds for many hot chocolate aficionados.
You can also use sweetened condensed milk with your chocolate for a sweeter taste. Condensed milk can add a creamy and sweet flavor, but making a large batch in one go is better. If you want to make a single cup, then you should use water, milk, or both.
Different Types Of Chocolate
There are so many different types of chocolate chips to try when you’re making your own hot chocolate. Let’s take a look at the different types of chocolate you can use and what you can expect from each flavor.
Milk chocolate is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy hot chocolate but prefers a sweeter taste than dark chocolate. It works well with hot chocolate because it is easy to find and because you don’t need many sweeteners to make it, either.
Dark chocolate is popular with hot chocolate drinkers, but it may not be for everyone. Not everyone enjoys the bitter taste of dark chocolate, so many prefer to sweeten it. However, dark chocolate also offers the strongest flavors for you to enjoy.
White chocolate is the sweetest of all types of chocolate, and because of that, it doesn’t need a sweetener. However, you need to ensure you have the right white chocolate. You aren’t using real white chocolate if there is no cocoa butter.
The Best Chocolate Chip Brands
We admit that your brand of chocolate chips can make or break your recipe. We recommend you always choose a good brand. The best way to know if a brand is good for you is to try them first. If you don’t like chocolate chips alone, you probably won’t enjoy them as a drink.
To help you find recommendations, we’ve included some of our favorite chocolate chip brands.
Chocolate chips are one of the easiest ingredients to make hot chocolate. They are in small packets, so you can easily adjust the amount you need to measure.
You can also buy them in different flavors, including semi-sweet, dark, milk, or white chocolate. While this isn’t a definitive list of chocolate chip brands, these are our own personal recommendations.
How To Add Flavor To Your Hot Chocolate
Suppose you want to experiment with flavors for your hot chocolate. In that case, you can do so by adding various spices and extracts. However, there is an art to flavoring your chocolate, so you don’t accidentally overpower the flavor or get none at all.
The two best practices depend on the type of flavorings you use:
- You should steep your spices in your milk while making hot chocolate on the stove. If you’re heating your hot chocolate in the microwave, we recommend sprinkling your spices into your drink.
- If you’re adding extracts, you should add them separately after your hot chocolate is boiled. You shouldn’t add the extract before you begin and should always wait until it is heated enough to absorb the flavor.
We recommend these spices if you want to steep them in your hot chocolate:
- Chili Powder
- Dried Chili Peppers
- Vanilla Bean Pods
If you want to include extracts, you will have a little bit more variety to decide what to include.
Not all of these extracts pair well with all types of hot chocolate. For example, peppermint extract is better suited for anyone making white or dark chocolate. In contrast, the orange extract is best with dark chocolate.
The Best Sweeteners To Use For Hot Chocolate
Not all hot chocolates are naturally sweet, so you may want to include some additional sweeteners to suit your tastes. We’ve included our favorite selection of sweeteners to help you identify what you’re looking for.
You might taste a lower level of caramel flavor with brown sugar. We recommend having maple syrup if you want a strong flavor. However, brown sugar is more suitable for when you want a light caramel taste.
We recommend using coconut sugar if you want a healthy alternative to other sugars. This type of sugar can be added for anyone who doesn’t want to have regular sugar.
Mild honey can be a great addition to your hot chocolate, as it offers a sweet taste without overpowering the natural taste of your hot chocolate. It’s best not to get a stronger honey, or you may find that your hot chocolate will have a stronger taste of honey than chocolate.
Maple syrup is the best choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a hot chocolate with a hint of caramel. It works best with homemade hot chocolate, as you can control the taste’s strength.
You can put raw sugar in your hot chocolate but you must add it when it’s freshly brewed. It’s best to do this then, or you may have larger granules that won’t dissolve. To ensure your sugar dissolves, add it straight away.
You can add vanilla sugar in two ways, and your options depend on if you have a food processor. You can pick up vanilla sugar from the store if you don’t have a food processor.
If you have a food processor, you can mix some white sugar with seeds in a vanilla pod. Then, pulse them in a food processor between six and ten times.
White sugar is the most common sweetener you can find. You can put it in hot chocolate, coffee, and tea. You can adjust the sweetness levels depending on how many teaspoons you include in your recipe.
What Garnishes Can You Use For Hot Chocolate?
One of the best parts about drinking a hot chocolate is the number of garnishes that you can put on it. You can be creative with what you put on a hot chocolate, making it a versatile drink that you can make to suit your tastes.
Consider filling a plate with different garnishes if you’re making hot chocolate for a group.
Our favorite garnishes include:
- Caramel Sauce
- Chocolate Sauce/Syrup
- Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Crushed Oreo Cookies
- Crushed Peppermint Candies
- Mini Candy Canes
- Mini Marshmallows
- Peppermint Bark
- Toffee Bits
- Whipped Cream
You can also use other flavors of sauce or any other chocolate toppings. You can include many types of garnishes with your hot chocolate. Have fun experimenting with the variety of flavors available to you.
Making Hot Chocolate With Chocolate Chips And Water
To make hot chocolate with chocolate chips and water, you will need to heat your water in a microwave or on your stove. However, if you have a kettle, we recommend using it to boil the water faster.
To add the chocolate chips into your water, you should whisk in your chocolate chips until they melt in the water.
However, additional ingredients will make your hot chocolate sweeter and creamier. These two ingredients are:
- Tahini/Cashew Butter
Adding butter to your hot chocolate will give it a small amount of fat and make it creamier. While it isn’t the same as adding milk, it will give your hot chocolate a little additional flavor.
You shouldn’t overwhelm your hot chocolate with the amount of butter you include, so ensure you add only one teaspoon, so there isn’t too much.
Tahini, or cashew butter, are other ingredients that you can add to your hot chocolate too.
These two ingredients have the same effect, giving your hot chocolate a creamier mouthfeel. The good thing about these flavors is that they don’t impact the flavor of the hot chocolate either.
The best way to add your tahini or cashew butter is to add a tablespoon to every cup of water. You just need to heat it and blend it with either a food processor or an immersion blender.
However, if you don’t have these two items, you can focus on using normal butter instead. After adding these extra ingredients, all you need to do is strain your hot chocolate until it’s smooth.
It’s best to add tahini or cashew butter when you want to make a large batch of hot chocolate. If you don’t want to make a large batch, you could skip this step and focus on adding more butter.
However, don’t be tempted to add creamy peanut butter to your hot chocolate, as it will affect the flavor, overpowering it with the taste of peanut butter.
Making Hot Chocolate With Chocolate Chips And Milk
Hot chocolate made from chocolate chips and milk is a popular choice for many, as there are so many types of milk to choose from. It is much easier to make, as you don’t need to adjust the flavors as much as making hot chocolate with water.
You can also choose to mix water and milk to create a half-and-half combination. Combining water and milk can make it easier for your chocolate chips to milk, making your drink creamier.
One of the best things about making hot chocolate and milk is that you don’t have as much sweetener, as it depends more on the chocolate chips you use.
Making Hot Chocolate With Different Types Of Chocolate
You don’t only have to make hot chocolate with milk chocolate, but you can also use dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. Milk chocolate is the traditional choice for hot chocolate, but dark chocolate can offer stronger flavors.
However, white chocolate is the sweetest option. In this section, we’ll be taking a closer look at how dark chocolate and white chocolate have different flavors and how you need to adjust them.
Hot Chocolate With Dark Chocolate
High-quality dark chocolate can be used to make some of the best hot chocolate, but it’s not a great choice when making hot chocolate with water. However, you can make an excellent hot chocolate with dark chocolate using milk or a half-and-half combination.
If you want to make your dark hot chocolate with water. As it has a more bitter taste, you may need to adjust the flavor and select different sweeteners to ensure it tastes as you like it.
Hot Chocolate With White Chocolate
White hot chocolate is sweeter than milk chocolate; when using it, you don’t have to use any sweeteners. You would make it like any other type of hot chocolate, so you don’t need to make any major adjustments.
It is also creamier and has a light buttery flavor, so it tastes significantly different from milk and dark chocolate. We would suggest not using water when making white hot chocolate.
Still, if you wanted to make it with water, you would need to use double the amount of white chocolate you normally would use.
Making Instant Pot Hot Chocolate With Chocolate Chips
Do you want to make hot chocolate for a large gathering of friends and family? The best way to do this is by making your hot chocolate in an Instant Pot.
You wouldn’t use this for a single hot chocolate, but if you want to make a batch, this is your best option. Here is a step-by-step guide to making hot chocolate in an Instant Pot.
Pour 12 ½ cups of milk into your Instant Pot. Eight of these cups should be whole milk. Four cups should be half-and-half, and half a cup should be heavy cream.
Add 24 oz. of milk or dark chocolate chips to your Instant Pot. This should consist of two 12 oz. packages.
Turn on the pressure and cook your hot chocolate for a minute.
Manually release the pressure and whisk your chocolate chips to smooth your hot chocolate. Scrape the sides to ensure you don’t miss any of your chocolate and to guarantee as much chocolate is available.
Once the chocolate is smooth, you can leave your hot chocolate in the Instant Pot to allow your friends and family to help themselves. Ensure you have garnishes ready so that they can customize their hot chocolates as much as they want.
Making Hot Chocolate With Chocolate Bars
When you make hot chocolate with chocolate chips, you’ll notice there is less cocoa butter than you would otherwise expect in a chocolate bar. Making a hot chocolate with a chocolate bar will immediately be richer and creamier than if you used chocolate chips.
We recommend that when you make hot chocolates with a bar, you use baking, Hershey’s, or an artisanal bar without any extra additions. These can be either bittersweet or unsweetened. However, unsweetened chocolate bars may need some additional sweeteners of your choice.
Personally, we’d choose a chocolate bar over chocolate chips any day if we had to pick between the two. That’s why we’ve included how to make them.
Making Hot Chocolate In The Microwave
Chocolate Chips And Water In The Microwave — Step-By-Step Guide
To help you make a quick cup of hot chocolate, which you can make quickly in a microwave, we suggest following our step-by-step guidelines. Making your drink in the microwave is the best method to make your drink if you want a single serving.
Pour a cup of water, and add six tablespoons of chocolate chips into a measuring cup. Ideally, you should use a 2-cup version. Always whisk the chocolate in a measuring cup, or else you risk spilling your hot chocolate down the sides of your mug.
Heat the measuring cup in the microwave for a minute and a half.
Remove your hot chocolate from the microwave and whisk it until it melts. Use a spatula to scrape any chocolate from the sides and the bottom of your measuring cup to ensure you don’t miss any chocolate chips.
Add a teaspoon of butter to your hot chocolate, and whisk it until you’re certain it’s melted. While this step isn’t necessary, it will make your drink creamier.
Sweeten your hot chocolate by starting with half a teaspoon of your choice. You can add more until you find it sweet enough. We recommend looking at the section above to decide which sweetener suits your tastes.
Pour your hot chocolate into a mug, and garnish it to your heart’s content. It is now ready to serve.
Chocolate Chips And Milk In The Microwave — Step-By-Step Guide
This step-by-step guide will teach you how to make hot chocolate using milk in the microwave. Like the above recipe using water, this is best suited for making one single serving at a time.
Pour a cup of milk into a liquid measuring cup. We recommend a 2-cup capacity to prevent your hot chocolate from spilling over the edges.
Add three tablespoons of chocolate chips. This should be between 1 ½ and 2 ounces.
Heat your milk and chocolate chips in the microwave for a minute and a half.
Remove your hot chocolate from the microwave, and whisk the chocolate chips into the milk until they melt. Your hot chocolate should be smooth.
Once the chocolate chips have melted and your hot chocolate is smooth, pour it into a mug. Add a small amount of sweetener if you like. Garnish it with any toppings you like, then it will be ready to serve.
Chocolate Bar And Milk In The Microwave — Step-By-Step Guide
If you want to try making hot chocolate using a bar instead of chips, we recommend using this method. It’s the easiest way to ensure you can enjoy your hot chocolate when you want to make a single serving.
Pour a cup of milk into a liquid measuring cup. Ensure it has a capacity for 2 cups so that you don’t risk spilling any of your drink.
Break your chocolate bar into small pieces, and add 2 oz. to your milk.
Take your measuring cup and put your chocolate and milk in the microwave for a minute and a half.
Remove your hot chocolate from the microwave and whisk the chocolate bar in until it melts. Your hot chocolate should be smooth when you serve it.
Once your hot chocolate is smooth, pour it into a mug and garnish it to your liking. Once you’re done, you can serve it.
Making Hot Chocolate On The Stove
Chocolate Chips And Water On The Stove — Step-By-Step Guide
We recommend making your hot chocolate on the stove if you’re serving more than one person. Ideally, this is designed for a family-sized serving. Still, you can adjust the number of people you make hot chocolate for by changing the measurements slightly.
Pour four cups of water into a small saucepan and add your preferred spices. Turn your stove on, and adjust the heat, so it is medium-low, but ensure that it doesn’t boil.
Add ¼ of a cup of cashew butter or tahini for a creamier mouthfeel. This is only an optional step, so you don’t have to add these ingredients if you don’t want to.
Remove your water from the heat and cover it. Let your spices steep for five minutes.
Once five minutes have passed, strain out the spices.
Blend your water if you add tahini or cashew butter. You will need an immersion blender for this part, which is only relevant if you follow the second step.
Add your chocolate chips to the hot water, and whisk them until they melt. If they aren’t melting, consider returning the pan to heat until the hot chocolate is smooth.
This is another optional step if you prefer a creamier taste. Add butter if you want, and whisk it until the hot chocolate is smooth.
Pour your hot chocolate into mugs, and garnish them to your heart’s content. These are now ready to serve.
Chocolate Chips And Milk On The Stove — Step-By-Step Guide
We recommend making this recipe for hot chocolate using chocolate chips and milk for a family serving. However, you can adjust the recipe by changing the measurements to serve either more or fewer people.
Pour four cups of milk into your small saucepan. You can use any type of milk to heat, but we personally would recommend whole milk. You can also choose to add 75% milk and 25% light cream for a creamier texture.
Heat your milk in a medium-low setting until it begins to steam. Try not to let it boil.
Remove your milk from the stove and add twelve tablespoons of chocolate chips to your milk. Whisk them until they all melt, and your hot chocolate is smooth. Don’t forget to scrape your chocolate from the sides to ensure you don’t miss any chocolate.
Add a splash of your chosen extract and stir it into your hot chocolate. However, feel free to experiment depending on the type of chocolate you choose.
Pour your hot chocolate into mugs, and sweeten them to your liking. Garnish your hot chocolate with a topping of your choice, then they will be ready to serve.
Chocolate Bar And Milk On The Stove — A Step-By-Step Guide
Making hot chocolate on a stove is a better option for serving a family-sized portion of hot chocolate. You can always adjust the measurements to suit your needs.
Pour four cups of milk into a small saucepan. You can also try combining different types of milk or a mixture of 75% milk and 25% light cream.
Turn the heat on your stove to medium so that the milk will be steaming. However, you should be careful not to let it boil.
Break your chocolate bar into smaller pieces to melt easily into your milk.
Take your milk off the stove, and add twelve tablespoons of your chopped chocolate pieces, then whisk it until your hot chocolate is smooth.
Once your hot chocolate is smooth, pour it into your mugs. You can garnish it with your preferred toppings and serve it to everyone.
What To Serve With Your Hot Chocolate
Now that you have your hot chocolate, you’re probably wondering what you can enjoy as a snack with it. But what is your best choice? Generally, sweet, salty, or spicy foods are all pretty good choices to enjoy while relaxing with a hot chocolate.
Do you have hot chocolate as a treat for when you’ve finished your supper? Then why not have some banana pudding with your hot chocolate. We recommend trying banana pudding while you’re also having dark hot chocolate, as they complement each other well.
The ultimate combination of hot chocolate and dessert has to be a chocolate cake. You can either buy one for the store, use a store-bought mix, or make your own from scratch. Whichever you choose, there’s no doubt you’ll love this combination.
If you don’t want to have a sweet snack, you can always choose Chex mix for your hot and spicy savory cravings. However, you can choose to have a white chocolate Chex mix if you prefer a sweeter alternative.
Do you know how chili works well with hot chocolate? Then you should keep some chili on hand for when you want to have a spicy treat. It’s even better around Halloween too.
These small pastries are perfect for dipping into your hot chocolate to enjoy, especially if you add a little extra cinnamon. You can also dip them in chocolate sauce or enjoy churros with a chocolate filling.
You can enjoy cinnamon rolls with your hot chocolate. They have a soft, gooey center, making them perfect for hot chocolate. You just need to put them on a plate and then enjoy them as you please.
Cookies are one of the best snacks that you can enjoy with your hot chocolate, and you can enjoy any you like. You can dip them in your hot chocolate and garnishes for extra flavor.
Popcorn is a surprisingly good snack that goes well with hot chocolate. You can enjoy it sweet or salty or dip it in chocolate. It’s undoubtedly a perfect snack for when you want a chill night in.
If your family is having a tamale party, it’s the perfect time to combine your tamales with hot chocolate. While you might find it a surprising combo, it allows you to combine savory with sweet in a way that works well.
Waffles and pancakes are both perfect for anyone who loves breakfast desserts. These are also the perfect supply for when you’re camping, as they make the perfect combo.
If you enjoy this guide, feel free to check out some of our other posts to get more inspiration about what you eat and drink.
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