There’s hot cocoa and there’s hot chocolate, and they’re most definitely not interchangeable. Hot cocoa is what you drink when you want some chocolate flavored milk. It’s milk made more fun with the addition of cocoa and sugar. Hot chocolate is what you drink when you literally just want to drink chocolate. It’s chocolate made liquid and drinkable by the addition of milk. Both have their place in the world. I’m kidding. I don’t understand the point of hot cocoa when real deal hot chocolate is so simple to make.
There is no one correct proportion of milk to chocolate – you can make it stronger by using more chocolate or darker chocolate (though you may need to add sugar if you’re using chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage), or milker if you find it too strong. Whipped cream and marshmallows are popular toppings, and while I enjoy them sometimes, I don’t think they’re necessary at all – in fact sometimes they just feel like minor distractions from the deep rich flavor of the chocolate.
But this is, as they say, your party. Make the basic recipe for hot chocolate and then customize it as you wish. If you’re thinking of adding a splash of rum or a touch of orange liqueur, you’re on the right track. Proceed with your taste buds as your guide.
The recipe is easily scaled up.
- 1 cup milk
- 1.5 oz dark chocolate chips or finely chopped (I use 60%)
- Optional – tiny pinch of salt
Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat. When it comes to a simmer, add the chocolate and turn the heat down to medium-low. Whisk till all the chocolate has melted into the milk (making sure the milk does not boil), and add the salt, if using. Serve hot.