While we are in the middle of winter (even though it hasn’t quite been winter yet), it is still hot chocolate season! I absolutely love hot chocolate, it’s one of my favorite drinks or snacks. It was something I drank often as a child. Whether we were sledding, skiing, making snow angels or snowmen – hot chocolate was always involved.
We also make it at Dessert’D and my classic hot chocolate recipe from the bake shop can be found in my new book, The Mountain Baker. There are so many different ways to make hot chocolate even though it’s made with very few simple ingredients. It’s part of what I love about it, all the different varieties and flavors!
I was asked by my friends at Organic Valley to create a creamy hot chocolate recipe for them. So I created this 4 ingredient hot chocolate recipe that’s made with dark chocolate. My Dark Hot Chocolate is creamy, very chocolatey, and totally delicious! And if you use Organic Valley Whole Milk, it makes it even better. When I first made it, I asked Delaney if he wanted to have a cup with me, and he said he’d just have a sip of mine. He drank more than half my cup!
The dark chocolate in this recipe lends well to topping it with whipped cream (which is my absolute favorite way to enjoy hot chocolate). The slight bitterness of the dark chocolate and richness of the cocoa added in makes adding a huge dollop of whipped cream completely perfect. I prefer not to have marshmallows on my hot chocolate as I’m a whipped cream girl all the way. But you could also add marshmallows as well.
I also like to add chocolate shavings on top. I think it’s such a simple way to elevate the fanciness of your hot chocolate. In high school, I was a pretty much a loner (not much has changed). But I did have a best friend, Heidi, who was two years older than me. And while I was a freshman and sophomore we were inseparable. It helped that she could drive, and one of our Friday night traditions was going to this little coffee shop downtown, and we’d just sit outside and sip hot chocolate. (Yeah, our parents didn’t have to worry about us partying it up haha). They made the best hot chocolate, with whipped cream, cocoa powder, and chocolate shavings on top. This is now my go to recipe for coffee shop hot chocolate.
Tips for Making the Best “coffee shop” Dark Hot Chocolate
• Use Organic Valley Whole Milk. I cannot stress this enough, if you want a rich and creamy hot chocolate, then use whole milk!
• Use chocolate and cocoa that is high quality. Sometimes people think one single ingredient doesn’t matter because you’re mixing a bunch of them together. However, that is completely not the case as all the ingredients make up end flavor of the recipe. So, make sure to use high quality chocolate and cocoa that you like the flavor of. There’s so many different kinds out there!
• Use Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream and make your own whipped cream from scratch. This is a huge difference maker in enjoying a delicious hot chocolate! Homemade whipped cream is a million times better than one bought.
• The chocolate shavings make this drink extra special. They are such as easy topping, but something that completely elevates your hot chocolate. They are totally worth it!
Dark Hot Chocolate
1 cup Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
1 1/2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Cocoa4 cups Organic Valley Whole Milk
1/4 cup (35 grams) organic dark chocolate chunks
2 tablespoons (28 grams) organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons (10 grams) Dutch Cocoa powder
organic milk chocolate
To make the whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a bowl using a hand mixer, add all the ingredients. Slowly start to mix, so it doesn’t splatter, and gradually increase the speed while the mixture thickens until you are at full speed. Whisk until stiff peaks form and the whipped cream doesn’t fall off the whisk.
To make the cocoa: Add all ingredients into a 2-quart saucepan. Put over high heat.
Whisk until all ingredients dissolve and the temperature reaches 160°F on a drink thermometer. Remove from heat.
To make the chocolate shavings: Use a chocolate shaver (or you can use a carrot peeler) and shave off pieces from a bar of milk chocolate.
To serve: Pour into glasses, and top with whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.
Vegan – Replace the milk with organic unsweetened vanilla coconut milk.
High Altitude – Follow the recipe as noted.