Introduction: Hot Chocolate Recipe

Picture of Hot Chocolate Recipe

Thick rich hot chocolate is a commodity in seemingly short supply these days. With this in mind, I present to you this delicious recipe. This is the type of thick and rich hot chocolate that you typically would need to travel to Italy, Spain, France or Mexico to enjoy. Fortunately, with the help of this simple and elegant recipe, you can start enjoying thick, rich, life-altering, hot chocolate from the comfort of your own living room. Never drink mediocre hot chocolate ever again.

This hot chocolate goes great with these homemade marshmallows.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Picture of Go Get Stuff

 You will need:

- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 bars (or 3 cups) of semi sweet bakers chocolate (crushed and/or grated). For a good time, add a few extra handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- 2 tbsp high quality cocoa powder

Possible flavor additions:
- Mint extract
- Orange blossom water
- Caramel sauce

Step 2: Break the Chocolate

Picture of Break the Chocolate

Grate and/or smash the chocolate into small bits.

Personally, I grate one bar and smash the other two by putting them inside two plastic bags and bashing them with a mallet.

I'm not sure if either technique is more beneficial, but I like to pretend that a mixture of both is ideal.

Step 3: Stir It Up

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Pour the milk into a cooking pot. Thoroughly stir the cornstarch into the milk.

Step 4: Mix in the Chocolate

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Heat the milk over a low flame and start by adding in a cup of heavy cream.

Next, add in the chocolate in small additions, stirring constantly. Keep adding chocolate until its thoroughly melted in.

Then add your high quality cocoa powder and stir for another minute.

Step 5: Boil

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Raise the flame and bring the hot chocolate up to a slight boil.

As soon as it starts to boil, remove it from the flame and let it cool slightly.

Step 6: Serve Immediately

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It's not called hot chocolate for nothin'.

As soon as it cools down slightly, serve it to all of your friends and family.

The richness of this hot chocolate recipe helps weed out the weak from the strong. You'll see.


lorisbendeck (author)2014-12-05

Best recipe I have tried so far. Great thick and creamy hot chocolate. Added a bit of sugar because the cocoa was unsweetened.

Screamo (author)2010-09-27

mMMMM speaking of hot chocolate, im gonna make some :D

Cardinal Fang (author)2010-02-28

Just a couple things.

Don't boil the milk too much. Chocolate burns if it gets too hot, so heat the milk enough to be hot and melt the chocolate, but not to boiling (it also means you don't have to wait too much before drinking it).

Adding the corn starch (aka corn flour if you're in the UK) makes the drink thick but you can easily get away without it.

If you want to set serious about chocolate, pick one that's at least 70% cocoa solid. This is dark and bitter but flippin' good (you might need to add sugar if it's too bitter for your linking). If you do this you can dispense with the extra cocoa and just add the grated chocolate.

Lastly - if you want a real Aztec vibe to it, try adding ground (powdered) almonds, cayenne pepper (or even ground chipotle chilli if you've got some) and a little honey.

Morgan Graveyard (author)2010-02-14

I also make a wicked Hot chocolate white russian

Morgan Graveyard (author)2010-02-14

I like the ideas! For my hot chocolates I use Veges Fire bar and break it up small. Wisk it into the milk of choice.

ReadsInTrees (author)2009-12-03

I made this on a whim after seeing the recipe, so I didn't have all the fancy stuff on hand. I used regular store brand chocolate chips for the chocolate, Hershey's baking cocoa, and a half cup of whipped cream from a can since I didn't have heavy cream on hand. I also made 1/4 batch since it's just me. This made exactly one mug full.

Wow! Talk about rich! I have been dying to try a rich hot chocolate recipe after seeing the movie "Chocolat" and noticing how THEIR hot chocolate shows deep brown chocolately goodness on the side of their mug when they swirl it, whereas our silly American hot chocolate just leaves behind a weak milky film.


randofo (author)ReadsInTrees2009-12-04

Glad you liked it!

There is a lot of variation you can add to the recipe. This one is a combination of a few different ones I tried. I think I want to try my hand at adding flavor next.

Kaiven (author)randofo2009-12-05

Peppermint extract?

keastes (author)Kaiven2010-01-06

or possibly peppermint schnapps

bowmaster (author)keastes2010-01-08

REAL cinnamon. The stuff we get in America is fake.

keastes (author)bowmaster2010-01-08

i think peppermint and cinnamon,

and where does one find real cinnamon in the US?

smokehill (author)keastes2010-02-02

You can also get REAL cinnamon from a wonderful gourmet spice catalog called Penzey's.  They're online at

They also have a fabulous printed catalog that you can request.  Their catalogs were a veritable Master's Degree course on spice and cooking, and they explain exactly why their spices are so much better than the junk you buy in grocery stores (or most gourmet stores, for that matter).  Part of it is freshness ... but there are a lot of other factors, which you'll learn from their catalog. Fascinating reading, actually.

One warning -- you may have to play a bit with recipes, since their spices tend to be much more concentrated than that generic crud that sits in a can for years before it's sold in Safeway or Giant.  When I got my first batch of cinnamon, I put the usual amount on my applesauce and it almost made my eyeballs smoke.  I had to back off about 70%.  This also makes their somewhat-high prices not nearly as expensive as one first thinks.

I'm not really much of a gourmet, but the Penzey stuff convinced me that it's the only way to go for spices.  Considering the tiny extra cost-per-serving, it adds immeasurably to things such as eggnog, potato salad, hot chocolate ... things where the spicing is truly critical to the overall taste.

Their cinnamon, whether powdered or in sticks .... to DIE for !!!!

smokehill (author)smokehill2010-02-02

I should have checked Penzey's catalog before posting before.

They carry two different types of chocolate, and one of them -- Dutch chocolate -- they claim is the choice for hot chocolate recipes.

I have not personally tried this, but I suspect it's probably a great place to start on experimenting with the perfect hot chocolate recipe.

Bon appetit !

keastes (author)smokehill2010-02-03

i think that is right:

heh i love wikipedia

keastes (author)smokehill2010-02-03

thanks,  now i know where to go to fill my spice cabinet.

bowmaster (author)keastes2010-01-08

Natural food stores. Look around.

Zetheros (author)2010-01-28

American hot chocolate is pretty much warmed chocolate milk with a few dehydrated marshmallows dropped in.

This recipe looks excellent!

linny (author)2010-01-26

Thank you for this intriquing hot chocolate recipe! 
While I question the value or cornstarch I guess I'll have to try this. Only I will only use about half of what you suggest.

For 30 years I've been told I make the best cocoa around -- smooth --  and the only thickner is the marshmallows that melt on top -- I have never used corn starch.  Corn starch  must fill you up instantly and only makes the beverage more fattening. 

You need that wire whisker!
My secret is to blend dry ingredients first right in the dry pot: the cocoa and sugar, then I whisk this while adding slowly about 3 tbs. of water to make a paste. Lastly add  whole milk,  maybe 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 marshmallow per person.   If it's for company I add  bits of whatever chocolate I have & serve marshmallows.

randofo (author)linny2010-01-26

Oh yes. It is heavy and rich, but very tasty. An average person can stomach about one to one and half glasses at a time. I have been trying for years to replicate the hot chocolate I had in Florence that would hold a spoon completely upright. This doesn't exactly pass the "spoon test", but it comes very close.

Sirius Lock (author)2010-01-25

 I'm definitely going to try this soon. As someone suggested before, peppermint extract is a good idea. I absolutely love it with my hot cocoa, I was so addicted that I stopped drinking for a few months out of fear of gaining tons of weight :P Cool instructable.

fzxdf5 (author)2010-01-25

I hate lumps and whisking them out...but a little exercise takes all the calories out of this treat making it a health food right?

put your corn starch into the cold pan first, then add a little milk to dissolve the starch...this will eliminate the lumps

scienceguy8 (author)2009-11-30

As a lover of hot chocolate who has almost always been disappointed with everything he has drank in a restaurant or whose instructions call for water rather than milk, I must say this looks like what I have been looking for all these years and cannot wait to try it.  Unfortunately, as a dorm resident with no access to a real stove, I can only look at these lovely photographs and dream.

dulciquilt (author)scienceguy82010-01-24

Back in the dark ages when I lived in a dorm, we used electric popcorn popper pots for heating. You can also get a nice hot plate.

ladycat9010 (author)scienceguy82010-01-24

Most dorms that I know of, allow microwaves or have one available, just use the lower power settings and low time settings to warm milk, cream and melt the chocolate to proper temp. Works well and tastes great. Also, If anyone is interested I have a one mug " cup" chocoate cake recipe for microwaves, it's really good espically if you add warm gormet chocolate syrup and melted caramel on top.
Contact me at and in subject line ask for mug cake recipe, Sorry about this folks, it's on my work pc that can't access this site, but I can access my alt email. If someone wants wants to get the recipe and post it on here be my guest.

randofo (author)scienceguy82009-12-01

Yes, in my opinion, this does not disappoint. I hate going somewhere that people claim has great hot chocolate only to get a cup of watery chocolate powder mix. Smuggle in an electric stove burner!

Weelious225 (author)2010-01-24

Could you please add what a "bar" of chocolate means in weight? From zooming in on the picture of the ingredients, it showed that a bar is 4 oz. I'm just saying that it would probably be good to clarify.

Jawa888 (author)2010-01-15


jessfelfoldi (author)2009-11-30

Thanks for sharing!  I too have known the glories of fine hot chocolate from abroad - specifically in Sicily.  I'm excited to see it's within reach here at home!

randofo (author)jessfelfoldi2009-12-01

I tried a few recipes before arriving at this one. I've been desperately trying to find something to rival the stuff I got in Florence 10 years ago and I feel this recipe comes pretty close.

Z.. (author)2009-11-30


I'll try this. I bought some Belgian drinking chocolate in an attempt to get away from the run of the mill stuff, but it isn't much different. However.....

I shall now go and make some of this, because I am now in the chocolate mood!! Better than nothing!

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Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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