Hot Chocolate Recipes for the Holidays

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
User avatar
Posts: 165
Joined: 16 years ago

#1: Post by jamhat »

Hello and happy holidays!
I'm planning to have a Christmas get together and would like to make some hot chocolate for guests that don't drink coffee. It would be good to have a simple recipe for a powder (or a syrup) that I can just add to milk and then steam it with my espresso machine.

Any ideas?

Thank you!

User avatar
Posts: 95
Joined: 17 years ago

#2: Post by fredfal »

Hey James,

I often make hot chocolate for folks when I have coffee get-togethers for the same reason you stated (non-coffee drinkers at my house).

I like to keep it simple. Basic ingredients are milk and Hershey's syrup. I'll steam the milk in the pitcher and then add the Hershey's to taste (pretty much the same proportion as if you're making chocolate milk) and stir.

I tend to stretch the milk a little bit extra, kind of like for a capp so it's a little bit sweeter and fancier than a regular hot chocolate. Microfoam is key.

Sometimes to fancy it up, I'll add some Readi-Whip on the top and drizzle a little bit more Hershey's on that.

For a little holiday twist, you may consider some sort of mint flavoring. Maybe just float a mint candy (I like those Andes Candies or even a candy cane) on top of the microfoam or stick it half-way in the Readi-Whip or something along those lines.

Oh, also, soy milk works great too.

Hope this helps.

User avatar
Posts: 330
Joined: 15 years ago

#3: Post by drdna »

Hot cocoa! Yum! It's not just for the holidays, you know. I make it frequently. My recipe:

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup baker's (or regular) sugar
3 Tbsp. powdered vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
pinch of piment d'espelette (or cayenne pepper)

Mix all the ingredients and store in a Mason jar or other container. It makes about a half dozen servings.

To prepare, put 3-4 Tbsp. in a cup, spritz a little hot water into it and stir to incorporate. It should look like a thick espresso. Then just foam milk as usual and pretend you are making a latte. Yum! :)

*if you don't have powdered vanilla, you can add a few drops of liquid extract with the water instead.

*The lazy way is to just squirt an equal amount of chocolate syrup into the cup and prepare the same way. Easy! Although not quite as tasty.... '_'

User avatar
Posts: 1112
Joined: 15 years ago

#4: Post by GC7 »

That looks like a fantastic recipe. I have some penzeys natural process cocoa that I use for baking but should be great for hot chocolate.

You don't seem to need to froth the milk with the cocoa (and other ingredients) already in it. Is this correct?

Posts: 355
Joined: 18 years ago

#5: Post by LeoZ »

my recipe: (quick recipe, approx per cup)
-2tbl chocolate powder
-2tbl dark brown sugar
-dash of salt
-dash of vanilla extract
-1-2oz of boiling water
-5-6oz steamed milk
-chocolate powder or flakes

Use the boiling water to mix the chocolate powder and dark brown sugar until they liquefy and blend smoothly.
Add the dash of salt and vanilla and mix.
Pour the steamed milk over the top, garnish with flakes or powder.

For larger servings, you can heat the powder and sugar with milk on the stove, then add the frothed milk over that. it makes it a bit more creamy.

User avatar
jamhat (original poster)
Posts: 165
Joined: 16 years ago

#6: Post by jamhat (original poster) »

Thanks! Those are great recipes that I can try at the upcoming party. Also, Dan, the video you posted shows a good idea, too. Who knew you could pour latte art with cocoa!

Posts: 138
Joined: 18 years ago

#7: Post by SylvainMtl »

aindfan wrote:I think you need to steam milk with chocolate powder in it (so the chocolate powder gets nicely mixed into the milk), pour a bit into the cup (about as much as an espresso shot, 1-2 oz), and then make a layer of chocolate powder that works like crema for your artistic pour.

Good luck!
I cover the bottom of the cup with sifted cocoa powder and it amounts to something similar, but I think doing the way you describe is better. The powder should still be sifted though. Otherwise you'll end up with lumps.

Posts: 1355
Joined: 17 years ago

#8: Post by Beezer »

Last year we had a big Christmas party and I served a lot of hot chocolate to the kids (and some adults) with the help of my espresso machine. I just used Ghiradelli hot chocolate powder, added a couple of ounces of steamed milk, stirred the mixture a bit, then added more steamed milk on top. You can even pour latte art. It looks a lot like a latte, only sweeter. Yum.
Lock and load!

User avatar
Posts: 330
Joined: 15 years ago

#9: Post by drdna »

GC7 wrote:You don't seem to need to froth the milk with the cocoa (and other ingredients) already in it. Is this correct?
If the sugar and cocoa are pre-mixed, there should not be any clumping. It is simply to liquefy with a bit of hot water, then pour the frothed milk on top, just like a latte. You don't stir your lattes, and they come out fine, right?


Posts: 3
Joined: 16 years ago

#10: Post by lantash »

I prefer to use guittard's chocolate wafers. It requires a two pitcher approach though. I put the wafers in one pitcher with milk then steam to melt and stir in the chocolate. You might have to stir more to dissolve the chocolate stuck on the bottom. In a second pitcher steam milk as usual. Fill a glass with the chocolate milk mixture and fill with the regular milk. This way is a little more involved but it gives the opportunity to have some latte art in the cup.