For those of us who grew up on packets of barely-edible instant hot chocolate mix, it can come as quite the pleasant surprise when we finally encounter hot cocoa that tastes like something other than tepid brown water; around the world, various cultures have been working for decades, centuries, or even millennia to perfect their own hot chocolate recipes.
We've done a bit of research and found five tastebud-tingling hot chocolate recipes from five different countries. And, while we can’t promise that any of these beverages will end up being the best drink you've ever tasted, we’re not going to deny the possibility, either. So, get your favorite mug out of the cupboard, and prepare to have you tongue tantalized with these hot chocolate recipes from around the world.
5 Hot Chocolate Recipes
1. Sweet and Spicy Mayan Hot Chocolate
Those who've spent time in Central and South America know that sweet treats south of the border can sometimes stray into the sphere of spicy. And why not? Who’s to say that sugary foods can’t also be piquant? This recipe, from Honey at Honeywhatscooking.com, manages to be both, in a way that will absolutely have you reevaluating all of your preconceptions about hot chocolate.
1 cup organic milk (2% reduced fat)
½ tsp pure vanilla
1 cinnamon stick (or use ¼ tsp of ground cinnamon)
2 tbsp Godiva Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa mix
2 tbsp Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
~3 pinches cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- Add milk, vanilla, and cinnamon to a pot on medium heat. Whisk together.
- Add hot cocoa mix and chocolate chips. Whisk, making sure that milk isn't sticking to the bottom. continue to whisk until bubbles begin to form (this should take approximately 5 minutes).
- Add cayenne pepper. Turn off stove and whisk until smooth.
- Serve immediately. A cinnamon stick placed in the mug along with the hot chocolate can be used as a garnish.
2. Belgian Hot Chocolate
If there’s one thing that continental Europeans understand, it’s chocolate. This particular recipe comes to us from David at Davidlebovitz.com, and is a version of the hot chocolate that is served at Wittamer—one of the most widely popular chocolate shops in Brussels. What does this mean? Well, it means that you’re in for a treat.
1 quart milk (half-and-half or whole)
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (finely chopped)
4 oz milk chocolate (finely chopped)
1 tiny pinch of salt ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- In a pan, heat ⅓ of the milk. Add the chopped chocolate (both kinds) and the salt. Stir until the chocolate is melted.
- Add the rest of the milk, and whisk. Continue to warm the mixture until it is hot.
- Add the cinnamon, and then use a whisk or hand-held blender to mix everything together until it is a uniform, smooth consistency.
- Serve warm. Can be garnished with whipped cream and chocolate curls. Store in a refrigerator for later use.
3. Filipino Tsokolateng Tablea Hot Chocolate Drink
Traditional chocolate drinks of the Philippines are very different from what we in the united states are used to. How’s that? Well, the Tsokolateng Tablea (blocks of cocoa) that are used in Filipino chocolate drinks are generally much richer and thicker the powdered mixes carried in most stores.
As such, the hot chocolate that you’ll be making with this recipe—which comes courtesy of Connie at Casaveneracion.com—will probably taste more like a melted candy bar than like a mug of Swiss Miss. In other words, it’s exceptional.
Tsokolateng tablea (Add as much or as little as you’d like for taste. These can be difficult to find for purchase; check around at international food markets)
1 cup milk
- Heat milk (either on a stove or in the microwave) until it is hot, but not boiling.
- Add the Tsokolateng. Stir until completely mixed, making sure to crush and separate any clumps. You may have to reheat once you’re done stirring.
- For further uniformity, consider transferring the mixture to a blender and blending until smooth.
4. Indian Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate
India is a land known for its spices. So, when speaking about hot chocolate, it’s only fitting that our Indian submission should be one that incorporates the unique spice of chai tea. This recipe also uses white chocolate rather than brown, so get ready for a taste that is truly exotic and completely unforgettable. This recipe is shared with us thanks to Allyson via Stowawaymag.com.
2 tbsp high quality white chocolate chips or grated white chocolate
1 cup milk or milk substitute
1 cup water
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground cardamom
1 whole clove
1 whole black peppercorn
- In a saucepan, heat the milk and water together, and whisk in cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Add the clove and the peppercorn. Bring slowly to a boil, whisking occasionally.
- Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat and remove the clove and the peppercorn.
- Whisk to further mix spices and to create foam. Remove mixture from heat.
- Place 1 tbsp of white chocolate each into two mugs. Pour the mixture into the mugs onto the white chocolate.
- Stir to dissolve in the white chocolate. Spoon a portion of the foam into the mugs as well. Serve.
5. French Hot Chocolate l’Africain
The Angelina Tearoom in Paris is world renowned, thanks to its immaculate atmosphere, consummate confections, and especially its hot chocolate. The Hot Chocolate l’Africain tastes like a chocolate fantasy, and is priced accordingly.
However, thanks to Shaheen at Purplefoodie.com, you won’t have to pay the ~ €7.00 (plus the cost of a plane-ticket to France) to try this life-changing beverage. Just be sure to stock up on ingredients, because we foresee that you’ll be wanting to make Hot Chocolate l’Africain again and again.
1 cup milk (of your choice)
½ cup cream
1 inch vanilla (split and scraped) or 1 tsp vanilla extract
100g high-quality chocolate (55% or more)
Whipped cream for topping
- In a pan, heat cream, milk, and vanilla together until it reaches a simmer. Turn off the heat, and cover the pan. Let sit for ~20 minutes.
- Remove cover. Reheat pan back to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in chocolate until it is completely melted.
- Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream.