Go Back
Print this page

Food + Cooking

Hotter Chocolate


The state of hot chocolate in America is about as bad as it can get. The standard, even in many froufrou cafés and restaurants, is a Swiss-Miss inspired powder mix that yields a thin, cloying brew barely a step above flavored non-dairy creamer.

Europe has a more honored tradition of hot chocolate, but some are certainly better than others—Italy's revered "melted chocolate bar" version can lean towards the greas, but France tends to get it exactly right. If you want to experience the revelatory flavors of good hot chocolate, try this: Fill a mug almost all the way with milk, then dump that into a small saucepan. Heat, and add a small handful of chopped dark chocolate; whisk. Taste, and add more chocolate or milk as needed for balance. If you're a fan of spicy chocolate, add a dash of cinnamon or cayenne. The formula is so delightful that you'll have visions of opening your own ho-chocolate-centric café.