Nothing spells decadence like a cup of rich and creamy Italian Hot Chocolate. Made with just 5 ingredients it's luxuriously thick, creamy and delicious, like a little piece of chocolate heaven.
Italian Hot Chocolate
With its custard-y almost mousse like texture, Italian Hot Chocolate is quite different from your regular store bought hot chocolate.
While you can stir cocoa powder into warm milk and call it a day, this recipe is extra special and worth the effort.
Believe me, once you try this hot chocolate, you will never go back to the store bought packs.
Ingredients Preparation checklist
It's always best to check that you have all your ingredients or alternatives before starting with a recipe. When you are making your hot chocolate, you’ll want to use the full printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
There are just 5 ingredients in this recipe. Simple but the combination of all create a magical treat.
Chocolate: Although dark chocolate (50-70% cocoa) is the best to use for this recipe, not everybody is a fan of dark chocolate.
I would say use dark chocolate if you like or mix in your favorite plain chocolate. It can be chocolate chips, chocolate buttons or simply a roughly chopped plain slab of chocolate. As long as it melts, you good to go.
Milk: You can use whole milk or 2%. Any works perfectly fine. If you do not or cannot drink milk, then your plant based or lactose free milk will make a great substitute.
Unsweetened cocoa powder: Make certain that your cocoa powder is unsweetened. Cocoa powder with added sugar and flavoring will change the taste and sometimes the texture of this recipe.
Cornstarch or cornflour: The true magical ingredient responsible for creating the thick custard like texture. If you do not have cornflour or cornstarch, plain flour will work.
But I really suggest you get cornflour, on your next trip to the grocery store. It gives this hot chocolate the most amazing creamy, melty texture. It definitely won't go to waste, plus you can use it to make my easy 3-ingredient custard powder (egg free, gluten free too.
Sugar: White granulated sugar works perfectly in this recipe. I would say sugar is optional. You can add it to your taste, use your sweetener. If you are satisfied with the amount of sweetness from you chopped chocolate, then you can even leave out the sugar altogether.
How to make Italian Hot Chocolate
This is just the overview so you can see the process. When you are making your hot chocolate, you’ll want to use the full printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
Chop the chocolate (if you are using a slab of chocolate)into small chunks.
- Add the sugar to a small pot and sift in the cocoa powder and cornflour.
- From your measured milk, scoop out 4 Tablespoons of milk and whisk it with the cocoa powder and cornflour and sugar. Whisk well to form a very smooth paste like consistency. There should be no visible specks of cornflour or cocoa powder.
- Turn your stove on to a medium low heat. Place the pot onto the heat. Slowly add in the remaining measured milk whisking continuously.
- The mixture will start to thicken in about 2 minutes. You will see tiny foamy bubbles forming on the outer edge of the mixture.
- When this starts, drop in your chocolate and continue whisking for about 30 seconds until the mixture becomes smooth, thick and creamy.
- Remove the pot from the stove and pour into a mug or cup, serve immediately.
Frequently asked questions
You can use whole milk or 2%. Any works perfectly fine. If you do not or cannot drink milk, then your plant based or lactose free milk will make a great substitute.
Plain all purpose flour is a quick alternative if you do not have cornflour. I have tested this recipe separately with both plain all purpose flour and cornflour. While the plain all purpose flour did thicken the hot chocolate, the melty, creamy texture seemed to be somehow lacking. So you could use plain all purpose flour, but I strongly suggest you get all cornflour/ cornstarch the for the next time you make this hot chocolate.
Ensure that you dissolve the cocoa powder and cornflour in a little of the warm milk first. Whisk it together well to form a smooth paste like consistency before incorporating with the rest of the milk. Don't skip this step, it's important in making a smooth creamy hot chocolate.
Yes you can, with the same delicious smooth decadent flavor. You can use less cornstarch called for in the recipe. And simply remove the pot from the heat when it reaches your favorite consistency. Keep in mind that the more you cook it, the more it will thicken.
Tips for the perfect Italian Hot chocolate
- I have used 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in my recipe. If you prefer a slightly thinner consistency, use just 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch.
- Sugar adds sweetness to this decadence. If you prefer more or less sweetness, then add sugar accordingly. You could even skip the sugar altogether, or add in your own sweetener.
- Make certain that you sift your cocoa powder and cornflour before mixing. This extra step makes your hot chocolate super smooth and free of cornstarch and cocoa specks.
How to serve Italian Hot Chocolate
This hot chocolate tastes absolutely amazing on its own. However if you would like to fancy it up a bit before serving, give these a try:
- Allow the hot chocolate to cool a bit and top with a scoop of whipped cream or ice cream
- Add a sprinkle of chopped chocolate or top with dark or white chocolate curls
- Top with mini marshmallows for a sweeter treat
- Sprinkle the top with almond nibs or assorted crushed peanuts.
- Serve with delicious homemade cookies
Storage and reheating
If by the slimmest of chances you have any leftover Italian Hot chocolate 😲highly unlikely, but just in case. Don't toss this precious deliciousness down the sink. Here's how to store and reheat.
- Refrigerate the cooled Italian Hot Chocolate in a sealed container for up to 3 days. As it cools the hot chocolate thickens to a pudding, mousse like texture.
- You can serve the leftover hot chocolate as a thick, decadent pudding dessert.
- Or you could reheat it on the stove. Add in a little warm milk to thin it down a bit. Whisk until warmed through and to your preferred consistency.
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