Nov 20

Chocolat Chaud–Hot Chocolate the French Way

in Uncategorized

I’ve already mentioned this week how I fell in love with hot chocolate and how I drank vats of it while living in France. Chocolat chaud, as hot chocolate is called in France, is divine. It’s thick (but not too thick), creamy, rich, and flavorful. It touches upon the perfect balance so that you can drink an entire cup and not feel sick to your stomach. Absolutely délicieux. What we’re talking about here is the goddess of all chocolate drinks, IMHO, chocolate melted into cream or milk (or both!).
But what do you do if you aren’t living in France and can’t hop on over to the nearest cafe to get your fill of l’élixir divine? I recently stumbled across the solution on one of my favorite blogs, Orangette. Back in January (how did I miss this?) Molly of Orangette posted a recipe adapted from a hot chocolate recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Paris Sweets, which actually happens to be adapted from Ladurée’s recipe. You cannot ask for a better pedigree de chocolat. Dorie Greenspan (prolific author and blogger, special correspondent for Bon Appétit, etc.) walks on water, in my opinion, and definitely knows what she’s talking about, and Ladurée, well, where do I begin? Ladurée is an incredibly famous (for way too many delicious reasons) cake and pastry bakery/brand based in Paris, France. Okay, so now maybe you understand why I was SO excited to find this recipe, and believe me, it doesn’t disappoint! This recipe is easily adaptable to your particular tastes since the chocolate which you use can really change the flavors in your hot chocolate. So choose a chocolate that you LOVE. Plus, as Molly points out, it has only four ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry: milk, water, sugar, and chocolate so there is nothing standing in your way from having a cup of rich and creamy chocolatey goodness right now. If you close your eyes as you sip, you may just be able to feel the chill of autumn in the Paris air and the rough feel of the cobblestones under your feet as snippets of rapid-fire French float by your ears.

Hot Chocolate
From Molly at Orangette (Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets and Ladurée)
Makes 2 servings

1 ½ cups whole milk
2 ½ Tbsp. water
2 ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, water, and sugar. Place over medium heat and whisk occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture just to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. At this point, blend the mixture. If you have an immersion blender, you can do this directly in the saucepan; if not, you’ll need to transfer it to a traditional blender. Either way, blend for 1 minute (on high speed, if using a traditional blender – and take care(!), as hot liquids expand when blended). The finished mixture should be very smooth and frothy.

Serve immediately.

Note: Leftover hot chocolate (ha, ha, ha) can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days. Reheat it gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Blend for 1 minute; then serve immediately.

Coming Tomorrow: What do you dip in your hot chocolate? (One Good Loaf)

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

ZoomyDuke November 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm

That’s definitely my favorite beverage! Reminds me of the good old days in Montreal – in the middle of winter, under a foot of snow, sipping hot chocolate…


Bob November 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm

That will do, Mama. That will do. Heh. Man that looks good, I’ve been dying for some good hot chocolate. Time to get off my butt and makes some. Hmm, I should probably wait for my girlfriend to get home. If I don’t she will harm me. :D


Daily Spud November 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Now that’s what I call an elegant recipe. The drooling that follows reading it is, of course, not elegant at all (but who cares so long as nobody’s looking? :) )


biz319 November 20, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Yum! My daughter adores hot chocolate – I’ll have to make this for her.

I say dip biscotti!


Olga November 20, 2008 at 7:05 pm

ooh Laduree!!! what great memories this brings :)


[email protected]: a food blog November 20, 2008 at 9:25 pm

There’s nothing better than homemade chocolat chaud! Someday I’ll sip this in Paris!


K and S November 21, 2008 at 3:54 am

love this post!


Diana November 21, 2008 at 10:53 am

Oh my, I must go home and sip a bit of Paris, France.


april November 21, 2008 at 11:20 am

What a great blog!


CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta November 21, 2008 at 5:33 pm

It has been an unseasonably 30 degrees in the evenings here in Central Florida so my beau and I made some hot chocolate off the top of our heads. I think I may surprise him with your recipe because its going to be another chilly night in FL. Grazie! Ciao! Mangia!


Misha November 22, 2008 at 12:12 am

I’m having a VT get together at my house and this looks like the perfect beverage to serve! Especially with all that snow outside my door… :-)


Melanie Gray Augustin November 22, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Yep! I’m going to have to try this one soon!


stephan November 24, 2008 at 2:00 pm

On my first trip to Paris, I had chocolat chaud at Dalloyau. With the first sip, I had two thoughts.
1. I could live here.
2. God wears a beret.
There is nothing like a hot, steaming cup of chocolat chaud. Try sweetening it with a cube a raw sugar. WOW!


Joie de vivre November 29, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Mmmmm. Great post. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I can’t wait to try it.


Fuji Mama November 30, 2008 at 1:30 am

I couldn’t agree more with all of you! And yes, Stephan, God MUST wear a beret! :-)


Ms Cupcake February 25, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Great photo. The Eiffel Tower added the perfect touch of whimsy and cultural flavor to your recipe.

By the way, my Grandmere made this with fine bittersweet chocolate (64-66% cocoa.) Heavenly!

Thanks for your warm and fuzzy post.

Zen Cupcake

Reply April 16, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Hey I tried your Hot Chocolate now. Just having it. Really its heavenly. Thanx.


Michelle February 1, 2010 at 11:08 am

Oh wow, this looks fantastic! I’m going to have to try it soon!


Laduree Parisian November 11, 2011 at 4:15 am

Good faux recipe. If you prefer:
(1) a thicker texture, use less water (just enoughto aid in dissolving).
(2) a stronger coco flavor add high-quality (e.g. organic) cocoa powder, ~ 1 tsp/cup of milk, and sugar to balance the cocoa, ~ 1-2 tsp cup of milk.
(3) sweeter flavor, use darker cane sugar (never white processed).

I did all of the above for favorable results.

as a variation try adding a hint of high-quality cinnamon. Hand whipped cream is an obvious favorite addition (pre-chilled copper bowl helps alot)

Bon Appétit


Anouska Wilde December 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Your post has inspired me to create a fractal based on your elixir divine.
Go here to view:


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