French hot chocolate is fantastically luxurious, smooth, creamy, and decadent! Made with fresh cream and flavorful chocolate, this Le Chocolat Chaud will transport you to the romantic streets of France with each sip! If you love this, you will also love this Chocolate Martini, Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa, and Peppermint Eggnog White Hot Cocoa!
French Hot Chocolate is a true revelation. It’s not made from cocoa powder, like traditional American varieties, but instead it uses a mixture of heavy cream, milk, and real chocolate. The difference in ingredients makes for an intense, rich flavor and an incredibly thick consistency.
This is not a hot chocolate recipe for the faint of heart! Le Chocolat Chaud is very indulgent and meant for slow sipping on cold Winter nights. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few mugs full of this romantic drink at cafes in Paris. Each experience was better than the last and each sip only made me crave more!
I have nothing against a good ‘ole cup of Swiss Miss but if you’ve got the time, and a bit of spare change to spend on good chocolate, I’d encourage you to give this recipe a try. You might just never go back to those packets again!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE FRENCH HOT CHOCOLATE
- UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE- use high-quality chocolate whenever possible. I used Guittard, but any good quality brand such as Lindt, Godiva, or Ghirardelli will work great too. I prefer unsweetened or dark chocolate for a deeper, more intense flavor, but honestly the choice is up to you!
- WATER- Adding water to the chocolate just helps the melting process go a little smoother. Use room temperature, filtered water for the best result.
- GRANULATED SUGAR- Everyone has a preferred level of sweetness when it comes to hot chocolate. Personally, I like it to be sweet without the sugar coating my mouth. I’d recommend you add the sugar a ¼ cup at a time, tasting the mixture and adding more to fit your own taste.
- SALT- A pinch of salt enhances flavor. I love to use sea salt here.
- HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM- Fresh whipped cream is combined with chocolate to create a decadent base for this drink. Once the hot milk is poured over the top, the cream melts and mingles to make the best cup of hot chocolate ever!
- WHOLE MILK- Using whole milk makes for a thick, smooth, and creamy texture. I wouldn’t recommend swapping it out for a variety lower in fat.
HOW TO MAKE PARISIAN-STYLE HOT CHOCOLATE
- Start by roughly chopping the chocolate into chunks. Don’t worry about the pieces being uniform in size, they’re going to melt anyway.
- Add the chopped chocolate and water to a small pot. Whisking continuously, melt the chocolate into the water over low heat.
- Stir in the sugar and salt (tasting as you add the sugar), then continue to heat until the mixture is pretty thick, about 5 minutes.
- Let the chocolate cool while you whip up the cream.
- Carefully fold the chocolate into the whipped cream, then transfer to the fridge to set.
- When you’re ready, add 2 (very big) tablespoons of chocolate cream to a couple of mugs and pour a cup of hot milk over the top. Stir and sip!
FLAVORING HOT CHOCOLATE
A little touch of warm spice makes quite the difference in French Hot Chocolate. I love to add a personal touch by incorporating a pinch of cinnamon or scraped vanilla bean seeds to my cup. On a super cold Winter night, I’ll add some cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper, or some cloves to make the chocolate a bit spicy. Of course, this step is optional.
HOW TO STORE LE CHOCOLAT CHAUD
Store the leftover French hot chocolate in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, use a microwave or a saucepan on low heat.
French Hot Chocolate
- 6 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream whipped to stiff peaks
- 6 cups whole milk hot
- Add chocolate and water to a small pot on low heat and stir until chocolate melts and is completely smooth.
- Stir in sugar and salt over low heat. Continue to heat and stir for about 4 minutes or until it is pretty thick then remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Fold the chocolate into whipped cream and set in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, add two heaping tablespoons of chocolate cream mixture to a mug then fill with hot milk.