In this article, we will answer the question “How to thicken hot chocolate?”, and how to make the best hot chocolate?
How to thicken hot chocolate?
The best thickening agent for hot Chocolate is cornflour or cornstarch. It is the same starch that is added to stews and sauces to get a velvety texture. However, cornstarch must be heated to a boiling temperature to allow the starch to gelatinize and thicken the milk. The following basic ingredients are used to make a rich and decadently thick hot chocolate.
Corn must be dissolved in milk or water before adding it to a simmering hot chocolate. To avoid lumps, it must be stirred continuously with the milk to get a smooth texture.
Chocolate is the showstopper here. Therefore, you must use high-quality chocolate from brands like Valrhona, Cacao Barry, Callebaut, or even Lindt. Using dark or semisweet chocolate that has a 70% or more cocoa content will give an intense chocolate flavor to your hot chocolate. Adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar or milk when using dark chocolate.
Milk contributes to the fat content of the hot chocolate. Prefer using full-fat milk for a rich and creamy end-product. You can add milk powder for extra richness or add more milk for a thinner hot chocolate.
Recipe to make decadently thick hot chocolate
- 700 ml or 3 cups whole milk
- 1 heaped Tbsp of cornstarch/cornflour
- 1 cup 55-60% chocolate (use discs or chop coarsely) 150 g
You can use any sweetener you like or skip if you want.
- Pour milk into a saucepan. Add sugar or any other sweetener and bring the milk to a boil on medium to high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add cornstarch slowly. Stir the milk continuously while adding the cornstarch to avoid lumps. Dissolve the corn starch in some milk or water before adding. Stir and heat the milk until smooth.
- Add the chocolate discs or chunks and stir gently to dissolve them in the milk. Add any remaining ingredients including salt or vanilla.
- Turn off the heat when desired consistency is achieved.
- Serve warm. Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
Toppings of hot chocolate
The classic toppings of a creamy and rich hot chocolate are either whipped cream or marshmallows. These light toppings balance the richness of the hot chocolate.
On top of these lighter toppings, a drizzle of salted caramel sauce adds a sweet and salty hint to your hot chocolate. A drizzle of chocolate syrup works great as well.
Alternatively, you can top off the torched marshmallows with some peanut butter or peanut butter powder. This adds salty and nutty hints to your mug of hot chocolate.
Chocolate chips, crushed graham crackers, candy cane pieces, sprinkles, grated cinnamon, shaved sweetened coconut, all make delicious toppings for your hot chocolate.
How to store hot chocolate?
- Always store your hot chocolate in a cool and dry place preferably at a temperature anywhere between 18-20 degrees Celsius is fine. In summers, you can shift your hot chocolate from the pantry to the fridge. Always store in an airtight container.
- Keep the hot chocolate away from the stovetop or windows to avoid direct sunlight. Heat and temperature fluctuations will deteriorate the quality rapidly. Maintaining a stable temperature is important to avoid fat and sugar blooms in your chocolate.
- Protect your hot chocolate from moisture. Do not use wet spoons to scoop out your hot chocolate.
- Freeze your hot chocolate by adding the liquid to an ice tray and wrap it up with plastic. Take out one or two cubes whenever you want.
Tips to make the best chocolate
Use chocolate instead of cocoa powder
Chocolate has fats added for a silkier texture that make the hot chocolate rich and creamy. Adding cocoa powder will not yield the same flavor and texture. It might also form lumps. Use 4-oz dark chocolate for every 4 cups of milk to make the perfect hot chocolate with rich and intense chocolaty flavor.
Do not add too much sweetener
Use any sweetener like including white sugar, maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey. Do not add too much of it. Perhaps you can add sweet toppings to adjust the sweetness.
Add some salt
Adding a pinch of salt really helps adjust the sweetness and complement the deep chocolate flavor.
Cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, chile powder, cloves, pimento can be added to jazz up your boring mug of hot chocolate.
Add espresso or booze
Add some espresso powder for a deep chocolate flavor that wakes you up instantly. Add booze to make the hot chocolate more comforting.
Other FAQs about Chocolate that you may be interested in.
In this article, we answered the question “How to thicken hot chocolate?”, and how to make the best hot chocolate?