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Do you carry dark chocolate in your purse in case of emergencies? Do you fall for the chocolate that’s placed so dangerously beside the register every time you check out at Trader Joe’s? Is your hand rooting through your top desk drawer for a piece as you read this? If yes, I made this French Hot Chocolate just for you. Also, we are kindred spirits.

2 mugs of French Hot Chocolate. Classic dark European-style hot chocolate, garnished with whipped cream and shaved chocolate

Packets of store-bought hot chocolate mix were a fixture in our home growing up and eventually followed me to college, where I “cooked” steaming mugs for friends by boiling water in my fire hazard of a hotpot.

It didn’t matter which hot chocolate brands I tried. My hot chocolate attempts always ended the same way: me, poking at stubborn lumps of sugary cocoa floating on top of milky water, attempting to get the mix to dissolve smoothly. If you’ve used a hot chocolate powder, you know the struggle.

While those instant packets still hold a nostalgic place in my heart, it wasn’t until I visited Paris that I understood the true meaning of the words hot chocolate—emphasis on the chocolate, please.

Forget the powders, the mixes, the annoying little clumps.

What we have in our mugs today is something else entirely. This is a thick drinking chocolate recipe that will make you feel as if you have been transported to a French café!

What Is French Hot Chocolate?

French hot chocolate is not for the casual chocolate dabbler, the chocolate shy, or anyone with an aversion to heavy cream. It’s made with rich, dark European chocolate. This hot chocolate recipe is for true chocolate lovers! It’s rich and creamy and will transport your taste buds to a French bistro.

French hot chocolate is deep, dark, and utterly magnificent. I will never forget my first sip. I was 16 and in Europe for the first time, visiting my Uncle R.D. He took me to the celebrated Café Angelina in Paris, famous world wide for its decadent hot chocolate. My chocolate-loving heart never quite recovered, and I’ve been lovestruck since.

chopped dark chocolate

I ordered Cafe Angelina’s le chocolat chaud, expecting something similar to the hot chocolate packets of my youth. Oh my, I could not have been more mistaken. What arrived was not a milky brown, mildly chocolatey broth but a thick, gloriously rich mug of steaming chocolate velvet. It was bittersweet and so thick, I suspected the chef had simply melted a bar of the finest quality Parisian chocolate directly into my mug.
After developing this recipe, I’m reasonably certain he did.

bistro mugs of the best French Hot Chocolate

I miss and think of France—where I eventually went on to study abroad and later returned for a month—often, but some days are more nostalgic than others. I was having a particularly sentimental afternoon on a chilly day, and since I didn’t think it appropriate to fix myself an entire batch of Slow Cooker Spiced Wine, a mug of steaming French hot chocolate proved to be the perfect remedy to take me back to Paris.

French Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream

I searched the web for Café Angelina’s hot chocolate recipe, combined what I read with my own memories of it, and I must say, I think this French hot chocolate recipe is pretty darn close.

My search for how to make the perfect European hot chocolate recipe lead me down some interesting Wiki rabbit holes as well. Here’s what I learned:

How to Make Real Hot Chocolate

  • You must use real, good-quality chocolate bars. Homemade hot chocolate recipes contain very few ingredients, and the largest ingredient is chocolate, so be picky.
    Use dark or bittersweet chocolate. Milk chocolate will be too sweet, at least for most European tastebuds.
  •  ^^That said, this is YOUR hot chocolate. If you prefer sweet and want to go with milk, I say, cheers!
  • I have the most success with a blend of whole milk and cream. Some recipes call for almost entirely cream, but that was a bit much for me. I recommend a blend of the two.
  • Do not use water. This might be OK for a packet mix in a pinch, but we are in the business of REAL hot chocolate today, and real hot chocolate needs milk.
  • Need dairy-free hot chocolate? I recommend full-fat coconut milk for a similar experience. I haven’t tried this recipe with dairy-free chocolate bars yet, so I’m afraid I can’t say how that would work out. (But if you do try, I’d love to hear how it goes!)

How to Thicken Hot Chocolate

  • This one is easy. WITH MORE CHOCOLATE. This recipe will feel like you are using a ridiculous amount of chopped chocolate, but trust me and go with it. You will not be sorry.

How Hot Chocolate Was Invented + A Brief French Hot Chocolate History

Not directly related, but I stumbled upon it and found it interesting, so here you go! This is a super abbreviated version, but hopefully it gives you an idea.

  • As early as 500 BC, Mayans in Mexico were drinking chocolate made from ground-up cocoa seeds mixed with water, cornmeal, and chili peppers. It was cold, bitter, and very different from the French hot chocolate we are making today.
    In the early 1500s, the Spanish explorer Cortez brought cocoa beans and chocolate drink-making gear to Europe, where it was adopted by the Spanish upper class. (Yep. It was Spanish hot chocolate before it was French hot chocolate.)
  • People started to like drinking chocolate better when served hot, sweetened, and without the chili peppers.
    In the early 1600s, Louis XIII’s wife brings hot chocolate to France, where it eventually became quite the hit at Versailles. The kings and queens were INTO IT. Can you blame them?
  • Enter: Industrial Revolution. The drink becomes more accessible and chocolate more affordable. Hot chocolate for all!
  • A 16-year-old girl goes to Paris. She falls in love with le chocolat chaud (<—French hot chocolate translation). Years later, she posts a French hot chocolate recipe on an American food blog.

And here we are today.

This French hot chocolate recipe has the richness and consistency of Angelina’s chocolat chaud, though I remember Angelina’s being even more intensely chocolate flavored, to the extent that it almost wasn’t sweet, a situation the restaurant resolved by serving its hot chocolate with a giant pot of sweetened whipped cream to stir into it.

I find that American chocolate in general is sweeter than many of its European counterparts, so to balance it out, I added a touch of instant espresso powder to my version of the recipe. If you prefer a sweeter hot chocolate, feel free to omit it.

overhead image of French Hot Chocolate garnished with whipped cream and grated dark chocolate

This French hot chocolate recipe will yield two aggressively sized mugs of the deepest, darkest drinking chocolate for two voracious chocolate lovers or smaller mugs for a group of three or four.

For a larger batch, check out my Crockpot Hot Chocolate.

If you are looking for a single serving of hot chocolate my 2-Ingredient Hot Chocolate hits the spot or for something on the lighter side, try this Healthy Hot Chocolate.

But for the darkest drinking chocolate in all its luscious, unabashed, truffle-like glory, this French Hot Chocolate has no equal.


French Hot Chocolate

4.85 from 88 votes
The most decadent dark hot chocolate recipe that tastes just like the French hot chocolate found in Paris cafés. Intense, rich, and absolute heaven for any chocolate lover. Recipe based off of the famous Café Angelina in Paris.

Prep: 3 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 8 minutes

Servings: 2 large, intense cups or 4 smaller ones



  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the whole milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and espresso powder until small bubbles appear around the edges. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  • Remove from saucepan from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted, returning the sauce to low heat if needed for the chocolate to melt completely. Serve warm, topped with lots of whipped cream.



  • *Choose the best quality chocolate you can, as the flavor really carries the drink. I love Guittard for a splurge, Ghirardelli, or Godiva, but the Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% bar is quite good too. I do not recommend chocolate chips, as they contain stabilizers and do not melt as well.
  • Leftover French hot chocolate can be cooled to room temperature, then refrigerated in an airtight container (empty mason or jam jars work particularly well). Reheat gently the in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat.


Serving: 1(of 4), without additional whipped creamCalories: 290kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 7gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 75mgFiber: 3gSugar: 17g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. This look devilishly decadent, Erin! I love real hot chocolate like this. It is such a treat. Perfect to enjoy while relaxing after Christmas. Hope you had a wonderful day!

  2. OMG! I am drooling at that rich chocolatey goodness! You’re right, it’s the perfect thing to enjoy during the rest of the season!

    1. Angelina is truly special, isn’t it Susan? I’m so glad that you found this recipe! You’ll have to let me know how close I got :-)

  3. I love this Erin especially after spending a few weeks in Paris this summer myself! Any little memory is a good one. This looks delicious!

  4. That looks like absolutely decadent hot chocolate! Wow! You just added more reasons to my list for why I need to go to France someday! :)

  5. Wow. I thought I was jaded about the hot chocolate here, but now I see this and I just want it. Such an amazing (and really, the best) way to do this beverage!

  6. Talk about decadence! I must indulge….but in a few days after the effects of the Christmas goodies wear off, lol.

  7. Hey !! I’d just like to had a little something, the truth behind Angelina’s flawless hot cocoa. You need to bring the saucepan to boil, take it off the heat to whisk it, and repeat this 5 to 10 times (10 if you are really brave) and this is what give the characteristic texture of this hot chocolat, like a chocolat cream !!

    1. Hi Lou, interesting! Thanks so much for letting me know. I’m going to have to try this method for my next batch. Maybe I’ll shoot for 8 reps :)

    2. Hi Lou,
      I want to make this, and I want to try your method. Do you boil with the chocolate already added or before it is added?
      Thank you, Erin and Lou!

  8. This looks soo delicious and decadent! I’d love me a cup of this french hot chocolate right now. :) I hope you had a great holiday!

  9. Oh my, Erin! This speaks to my heart (or perhaps stomach?)! Will make this tonight! Can’t wait.
    Oh, and as I plan my trip to Paris next year, I will make sure to visit Cafe Angelina. Until then, I will enjoy this! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Gosh, this looks glorious! I love my Swiss Miss cocoa, but this hot chocolate is a different level treat. I recently made a hot chocolate recipe that was terribly sweet. I think this would be much more up my alley!

  11. From a calorie standpoint, this would do me in. However, I may have to make this, since I love really dark chocolate.

  12. This is so perfectly suited to the leftover ingredients I have hanging out in the fridge and pantry just now. I know what I’m having with breakfast in the morning.


  13. I definitely feel like hot chocolate should be creamy and decadent!
    Those mugs of slightly brown liquid never do it for me, I need indulgence!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  14. I gotta be honest here. Ho hum hot chocolate. DANG, Girl. I had to pin this.
    You are sooooo right. What did I know? Zip obviously. What a marvelous
    drink. You got me! And I love being ‘got’.

  15. Oh my goodness, that looks like heaven in a cup. I don’t have purse chocolate, but I do have desk/office chocolate :)

  16. Hot damn!!! Now THIS is hot cocoa!! BTW Love the espresso powder addition. Happy almost New Year friend!

  17. I lost a purse to a stashed dark chocolate bar that melted out of its wrapper once and had to give up that wonderful habit :) This looks amazing!

    1. I have done the same thing Anna, which is why I now put mine in a Ziploc baggie. Where there is a will, there is a way

  18. You completely read my mind! I always bring dark chocolate everywhere, especially on vacations. I don’t know if the places I’m going will have it readily available in grocery stores, so I always need to be prepared! ;) But somehow, I still haven’t tried true French hot chocolate. That definitely needs to change! Pinned!

  19. This looks AMAZING!! Your photographs are so pretty! Thanks for linking to my Hot Toddy recipe, so sweet of you! I saw you on the list for Eat Write Retreat, we will have to meet in person! Have a Happy New Year :)

  20. oh my god!! this looks awesome.. i love the experience you’ve share here. you have inspired me to make this.. i am thinking of adding some cinnamon and mixed spices in it..what do say?

    1. I’m so glad you like the look of this decadent drink :) I’ve never tried it with cinnamon and spices, but feel free to experiment! If you are a fan of cinnamon hot chocolate, I think they would be lovely.

  21. Just made this – so decadent and delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe. I used Green & Black’s 70% and it was great!5 stars

    1. Courtney, I am now excited to hear that, and a little jealous! A cup sounds perfect right now :-) Thanks so much for trying me and letting me know!

  22. Tried this recipe..REALLY good. I didn’t add the whipped cream though. I did try another batch with Ghirardelli milk choc chips..just as good, and no probs with melting.5 stars

    1. Hi Dean! I am so happy that you tried and enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for taking time to comment, and great to know the chocolate chips worked well for you too!

  23. Can’t wait to try this. I am obsessed with Angelina’s hot chocolate. I have a friend who is a flight attendant and when he is in Paris he brings me back a bag. Doesn’t happen often enough. Now I can feed my craving any time!

    1. I had no idea you could get an Angelina’s mix! I’m glad you’ll be able to have it on demand now. It’s a dangerous, wonderful ability :)

    1. Thanks Rebecca! They were actually a gift a few years ago, but I’ve seen similar sets at World Market.

  24. I have been waiting to try this for a couple of weeks and am finally sitting here enjoying it. I used 100% Ghirardelli. The flavor is unlike anything I have ever tried. Very, very rich and delightful. Made my night! Thank you.5 stars

  25. OMG I died when I saw this! I’m hoping this will be the answer to some prayers I’ve had. Over Christmas I visited a Ghiradelli shop and got a cup of hot chocolate and haven’t been able to settled for anything else since. I thought that seemed like a thick, creamy bar of chocolate with a teaspoon of milk… I can’t wait to try your recipe!

    1. YAY! I’m so happy you found this recipe Cia, and I hope it makes your hot chocolate dreams come true :) If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think!

  26. Wow, this looks so decadent and absolutely delicious! I’m salivating unattractively over the keyboard!

  27. Oh yeah! Found you Hot Choc via pinterest and you are so right. Parisian Hot Chocolate is so different to others. Ok here in germany we’ll get simply the same thik chocolate and I absolutely adore it. But Angelina and Laduree add a bit of water and cook the chocolate until its a viscid texture :)

    Lovely Inspo :)
    Love, Patricia

  28. Oh wow! Found this via pinterest and will be trying it for sure as soon as I have been to the city a purchased some quality chocolate! Where did you get the gorgeous cups too? I love to have the ‘right’ cup for all my drinks. Hubby laughs because I have a particular cup for my morning tea, another for my coffee and yet another for my night time tea! It just doesn’t taste quite right if it isn’t in the correct cup! And as for those cheap ‘builders’ mugs…won’t have a single one in the house haha! Like drinking from a bucket! Am I a cup snob? lol!

    1. Rona, I feel the same way about having just the right cup—it makes the whole drink more enjoyable! The mugs were actually a gift from a friend, but I’ve seen similar sets from World Market. So glad you found the recipe and hope you love it!

  29. MERCI for posting this! I studied abroad in Italy, and one week there was a big chocolate festival in my little city. I ordered a cup of cioccolata calda on my way to class on a chilly morning and couldn’t have been more smitten. I’ve been looking for a good recipe ever since… this looks just perfect! Why don’t people make this in America?! 

    1. I could not agree more Sarga! I’m so happy to have a way to enjoy rich hot chocolate like this at home, because I miss it from abroad too. Cheers!

  30. this recipe is very good when i go home i make this for my family thanks a lot…..i love chocolte……

  31. This looks decadently delicious, reminds me of when I travelled to Switzerland and tasted chocolate (felt like it was for the first time). Haven’t found anything so amazingly soft and delicious since.

    Enough of my own stories, I’m admin for a Facebook page called Chasseur AUNZ. We would love to share your image and link it back here of course. If you’d rather we don’t just drop me an email. – S

    1. Sam, I bet the chocolate in Switzerland was incredible! And yes, I’d love for you to share a link to this post, thank you! As long as the recipe isn’t reprinted, it’s fine for you to use an image (with a direct link to the post). Thanks for asking and for your kind words too!

  32. Wow! Thank you for posting this! I will try this recipe. Is it possible to have a thick consistency without adding heavy cream? 

    1. Hi Jen! I’m afraid not. While decadent, heavy cream is one of those things where there really isn’t a direct substitute, especially since the recipe has so few ingredients. You could use all milk or even half and half, and the hot chocolate will still taste lovely, but it will never be as thick and rich. It’s definitely a special indulgence (but soooo good !)

  33. Hey Erin! Made then French Hot Chocolate recently and it was really delicious. It didn’t have the thickness like it did in your picture. Was wondering if you have any tips how to get it to look that way4 stars

    1. Ozzie, I’m not sure why this would be. Did you use whole milk and heavy cream as called for in the recipe, along with the full amount of chocolate? If you used a lower fat dairy, such as skim milk or half-and-half, that would definitely affect the texture, as would less chocolate. Otherwise, I photographed the recipe exactly as it was written here. Regardless, I’m glad it was delicious, which is definitely the most important thing!

    1. Jenna can you let me know what didn’t work out?  I can then help you troubleshoot.  It may be that you are heating the cream up too much, perhaps?  Also, using good-quality chocolate is really important  so that it melts nicely and has the best possible taste. 

  34. Like ozzie above, it cam out tasting very good but nothing like the thickness in your picture? How fast am I to whisk? I’ve been heating up the cream until I see the small bubbles on the edges and I used guittard 61%. But it’s still very liquidy and the chocolate seperates like with swiss miss.

    1. That helps to know! In terms the thickness, the hot chocolate definitely thickens as it cools, and it wasn’t piping hot when I took the picture, so that is part of it. It still should be plenty thick and rich though. Are you sure that you’re using a full 8 ounces of chocolate? Standard baking bars are usually 4 ounces. if you want it even thicker, you can always add more too :-) In terms of the separation, this is likely because the cream is a bit too hot when you’re adding the chocolate. Try letting it cool a bit more, melt in half of the chocolate, then add the rest of the chocolate and let the residual heat melt it the rest of the way. I hope that helps! I’m glad to hear it still tastes delicious :-)

  35. I am a chocoholic and this hot chocolate looks incredible! I can’t wait to try it, thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I have a feeling that it is going to become a go to this winter. ;)

    Leighton Michele

  36. This looks delicious and reminds me of a trip to Mexico City where we had a similar hot chocolate and churros! = D Totally saving this for a later date! 

  37. Looking at this recipe and thinking it would be a great gift for Christmas among my homemade cookies and candies. How long do you think this would save in the fridge for?

    1. Hi Drea! To be honest with you, this isn’t really designed to be reheated, but I think it could work. Try cooling it to room temperature, putting it in an airtight container such as a mason jar, then refrigerating it. It will become somewhat solid in the fridge (and needs to stay refrigerated). Your recipients could reheat it gently on the stove. Hope you (and they!) enjoy it :)

  38. Oh my goodness this hot chocolate is amazing!!  I now love our Polar Express hot chocolate family movie night because I’ve found this decadent treasure!!!  So yummy and you’re right about only needing a little!! Thank you!5 stars

  39. I just made this following this recipe and even though I’m a hardcore chocolate lover I couldn’t finish a small cup. This is way too rich for me. Tried to dilute with milk after having some but it turned out to be a flop. It was worth a try though so thanks for sharing! 

    1. Hi Alex! This chocolate is definitely the very definition of decadent. Thinning it out with milk slowly over medium/low heat would be the best bet to tame its richness, so I’m sorry/surprised that didn’t work. Although I would have loved for you to have enjoyed this recipe more, I’m glad you were at least happy to have tried it!

  40. i’m savoring a cup of this hot chocolate on an overcast day and making noises that can’t be captured in print. i used scharffen berger 70% chocolate and it tastes perfect. i’ve never been to france, but i’ll put that cafe on my bucket list! thanks for recreating this!5 stars

    1. CB, that sounds absolutely dreamy! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and letting me know how it turned out. Enjoy every sip!

    1. Hi Jane! The taste will not be as intensely chocolatey with a lesser % dark chocolate, because it will have less cocoa over. That said, if you like a more milk chocolate flavor, I’m sure you would still love the hot chocolate made this way. I would do less sugar as you mentioned, add your chocolate, then taste and add more sugar as desired.

  41. I had the same “chocolate” experience last year in Italy! Have been looking for a similar recipe ever since. I think this will do the trick! Merci or Grazie!

  42. Most ladylike looking cup of coffee in existence. I bet it tastes like class as well. Thank you, miss! :)

    1. Hi Ella, I wouldn’t recommend cocoa powder. And I hesitate to recommend baking chocolate (especially unsweetened) because it could be too bitter, but you could experiment by adding more powdered sugar to taste if you’d like!

  43. Would you think halving this recipe would work? I’d like to make some list for me and 1 mug full would be sufficient?

  44. I just drove the adults crazy as a kid with the said miss. For one cup of chocolate I’d fill have way with water and most of the box of packets to make it thick and run off with all the marshmallows. My aunt drove me crazy as a fan of what I (still) call “muddy water” that’s a Styrofoam cup one of the big ones filled with hot water and ONE package… it’s literally boiling hot water with a hint of chocolate and dust. Now I have proof of my superior chocolate sensibilities. Justice! XD5 stars

    1. That’s an excellent childhood story, Oriana! The packets definitely can’t compare to this type of hot chocolate! :)

  45. Hi Erin Clarke

    Have a beautiful day.
    French Hot Chocolate is straightforward recipes, but truly delicious, I will try it. Thanks a lot5 stars

  46. Just finished my first batch. Used 70% Ghirardelli. To be honest, it’s a bit sharp. May use closer to 60% next time. However, real rich, luxurious texture. Love it. 4 stars

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the hot chocolate, Erin! Thanks for reporting back—I hope you enjoy it even more next time you give it a try!

  47. I had Angelina’s hot chocolate while visiting Versailles a couple weeks ago, and it was so perfect on a rainy autumn day. I’ve been missing France, so I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Cheyenne, thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review! I’m so glad you enjoyed the hot chocolate. :)

  48. Hi Erin!

    I found this recipe last year for my sister. She spent a summer in Paris and had hot chocolate every morning. When she came home she told me all about how wonderful it was and how she missed it. I went on the hunt and found this amazing recipe. She swears it’s spot on! The only difference she said was that when she had it they served it with warm half and half to thin it. She thinks that was just the place she ordered its preference. She prefers the whipped cream.I too visited Paris years before and sadly did not get the chance to have hot chocolate. ☹
    Thank you again for posting this!4 stars

    1. Sarah, I’m so glad to hear this was spot on for your sister too! Thanks for sharing about the warm half and half to thin it! If you go to Paris again, you will definitely have to have some—but at least there’s this recipe for now! :)

  49. This looks fabulous!! It looks just like the hot chocolate as seen in the movie Chocolat. Lol….it looks darn near ganache consistency — yum!

  50. This hot chocolate was amazing! And your pictures are so beautiful. I used the 72% bar from Trader Joes and left out the optional espresso powder (and blogged about it here: It was so rich that my husband and I couldn’t finish it in one night, so we saved some for the next day and personally I thought the leftover hot chocolate warmed up in the microwave was even thicker and richer than the day before. But both times we loved it :)5 stars

    1. I am so so happy to hear that you loved this Jill! And that dark chocolate is SO GOOD. Thanks for taking time to let me know and leave this lovely review!

  51. I used dark chocolate with sea salt bar added a pinch of Saigon cinnamon and it was amazing great for all your senses! Thank you for posting!5 stars

  52. Erin, the first place we head, on our infrequent trips to Trader Joe’s, is those end caps at the register to get the Belgian chocolate in the red wrapper – we’ve only bought the pound plus bar once. (We go to Trader Joe’s infrequently because the most convenient one is more than five hundred mile from where we live.)  If I made two servings of this, my husband would probably manage to drink both, he’s such a chocoholic.

  53. Oh my goodness, the memories this brings back of hot chocolate we’ve had in Italy and in York, England. Italy’s had regular and light. The regular was as thick as pudding; the light was like chocolate syrup. And it was filling for breakfast.
    And you add expresso?!!! Be still my heart! How delightful!
    Thank you for this wonderful Xmas gift, Erin!

    1. Hi Chloe, I wouldn’t recommend doing this in the slow cooker. It comes together fairly quickly and you need to carefully monitor the temperature carefully so that the milk/cream doesn’t get too hot and start to boil and the chocolate doesn’t burn.

  54. i haven’t been to France but this sounded amazing:). We enjoyed this and will make again!  It seems over the top and special for any chocolate lover;)☕️☕️5 stars

  55. Hi Erin,

    European hot chocolate is my favorite! The first time I tried it was in Europe and I fell in love with it. I always wanted to make it but I didn’t know how. Today I decided to try your recipe and it turned out delicious! Thank you for the recipe!!!5 stars

  56. This recipe is spot on. I have literally made this at least a dozen times since finding out with in the last few months. I was able to find the Trader Joe’s giant bar of chocolate which are use which gets great results. I also use low-fat milk. Taste exactly like drinkable chocolate in France. Even when it’s chilled in the fridge it’s almost like pôt de creme. Super easy to make And most likely you have all the ingredients on hand already5 stars

  57. Doesn’t anyone realize it’s basically ganache? I’ve made it this way for years without thinking twice. No cheapo crappy Swiss Miss for us!

    1. It’s definitely luxurious, Valerie! I’m glad to hear you’ve enjoyed a similar way for years too!

  58. Thank you for this recipe. I tried this and love it to the point I would like to share this as gifts during the holidays. Now, if I used ultra pasteurized milk and creamer, will this stay as long in the refrigerator based on the expiration date of the milk/creamer?

    1. Hi Thessa, usually ultra pasteurized milk has the same shelf life as regular milk once the container has been opened, so to be safe, I’d stick with the guidelines on the carton for after it’s been opened.

  59. Hi, do you know a great quality chocolate that is made in a factory where NO NUTS ARE USED…..EVER. ???? thank you. I can’t stand that so many great things can’t be eaten by some people i know because it is made on SHARED equipment….. or the ‘nut dust” is in the air.

  60. Does anyone know of a great quality chocolate, that is made in a factory that DOES NOT CROSS CONTAMINATE VIA NUTS??? so often, chocolate is made on shared equipment with nuts. and on some specialty items, they “forget” to mention that. thanks

    1. Hi Nancy, I’m not familiar with any myself, but an online search may be helpful for you! This brand popped up: Good luck!

  61. Could I keep it in the crockpot on the warm setting? I have family Christmas coming up and I would love to bring a big batch of this.

    1. Hi Laci, I think you could try that and stir it often. I’d use a small crock pot and increase the batch yield so it covers the bottom by at least a few inches or you’ll only have a thin layer that might burn. I’d love to hear how it goes!

  62. I made this with the addition of a small bit of pure vanilla extract added. It was delicious an rich. I used 70% dark Green & Blacks chocolate. One thing that happened is that it was a bit grainy. I was expecting very smooth, and was careful not to let the milk boil, so I’m not sure of the cause of that. 5 stars

    1. Seth, I am so happy you enjoyed this (and I love Green and Blacks!) It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly what caused it to be grainy without being in the kitchen with you. I know this can sometimes happen if drops of water (including steam) get into the chocolate OR if the chocolate gets too hot. Next time, you could try heating the milk more slowly and letting it cool longer before adding the chocolate. Regardless, I’m glad you loved the flavor!

  63. Gorgeous texture, taste and smell but there is a bit too much chocolate IMHO haha!!! I reckon 200g of chocolate would be THE perfect amount for this with the same amount of milk and heavy cream. All the best and Merry Xmas!4 stars

  64. Hi Erin,
    I haven’t made this yet, but I can’t wait. I want to comment on a couple of things you wrote. First, you said you hadn’t tried using dairy-free chocolate, but most chocolate above 75% is dairy free. Milk is specifically used to make lighter chocolate, so higher cocoa solids content signals a dairy-free product. Second, what happened to the butter? I thought all French hot chocolate contained about 1 tablespoon butter/cup. Third, to get a deeper chocolate taste, experiement with single origin chocolate from various parts of the world. You’ll be amazed at how different they taste. There’s a good chance that your first Chocolate Chaud was made with chocolate from an exotic country like Madagascar. Some of the single origin I’ve tasted is nearly black, nearly bitter, and still delicious. Finally, here’s how to avoid lumps when making hot chocolate using cocoa powder. You can use the methd for packaged mixes too. Use your cup to measure the milk/cream. Dump the milk/cream into a saucepan. While milk/cream is heating, put cocoa powder and sugar in cup. (2 heaping tsp cocoa to 4 tsp sugar–I use even less sugar) Put a few DROPS of water or milk in the cup.  Stir, stir, stir into a paste. You might need a couple more drops of liquid. Stir again to make the paste. Add a couple of teaspoons of hot milk. Stir.  Dump in the rest of the hot milk. (Add butter if desired) NO LUMPS, I promise! -Amy5 stars

    1. Hi Amy, thanks for the tip about avoiding lumps. I hope you enjoy this version of hot chocolate if you give it a try!

  65. Hi! I made this recipe for a casual get together with a friend, and it was a HIT! After chopping the chocolate, we decided to use only half the chocolate the recipe called for, as we were wanting, and achieved, a chocolate milk consistency. So yummy! Definitely agree that the quality of the chocolate matters. Thanks for recommending the Trader Joe’s dark chocolate! Will make again :-) 5 stars

  66. Cafe Angelina’s chocolat chaud is the epitome of amazing decadent Parisienne vacation to me!  So excited to find this blog post and I cannot wait time try it at home.  (Also worth noting, the hot chocolate sold at Williams Sonoma was inspired by Cafe Angelina, so it’s a good alternative for a beginner ?) 

  67. I love Angelina’s! When in Paris, I have a cup every day. It’s such a treat. Thank you for this recipe can’t wait to try it. BUT … where did you get those absolutely perfect cups and saucers? I need them. :-)

    1. It is such a delicious treat, Kimberlee! Unfortunately, the cups were a gift from many years ago, so I’m not sure where they’re from. I hope you love this recipe if you try it!

    2. They were from a company called Kiss That Frog and were available on Amazon. They’re now sold out and unavailable. Occasionally I see them on ebay at outrageous prices.

  68. Simply fantastic. Recommend using more chocolate, and increase the cream to milk percentage to 50/50.

    Because this is such a rich drink, recommend suggesting serving from an espresso cup. A nice serving touch would be to have small finger cups of shaved chocolate, cinnamon, crushed candy cane, large granular sugar, etc., to tweak to the taster’s choice.5 stars

    1. Thanks for sharing this kind review and your suggestions, Rick! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed it!

      1. This was such a fun recipe to try! I used 2% milk with a little half and half because I cannot tolerate more than that and it was still extremely rich. I should have poured myself an espresso sized cup as someone commented. I would say this recipe could make maybe 6 small cups, enough for the whole family 😊5 stars

    1. Hi Nina! Unfortunately, I don’t have the information for this recipe in grams. You should be able to find some charts online that will help you convert the ingredient amounts into grams. I hope this helps!

  69. Can’t wait to try this! A couple questions:

    1. Would using a double boiler instead of a plain saucepan make it easier?
    2. Is there any way to add coffee to the recipe for a mocha?

    1. Hi Laina! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so you’d be experimenting. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  70. Been wanting to try and make this but I was wondering if 2% Milk would be fine instead of whole milk? We normally don’t drink whole milk!

    1. Hi Gursimran! I haven’t tried the recipe that way myself, but another reader has reported success with it. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  71. Hi!
    Regarding “drinking” chocolate, do you think (or have used)Half & Half? I know your proportions of milk and cream aren’t equal, but thought this might work. And how might it effect the “richness” of the drink.

    Thanks so much,

    1. Hi Mark! You could use half and half, and the hot chocolate will still taste lovely, but it definitely won’t be as thick and rich. I hope this helps!

  72. This is spot on to the cocoa we had in France during Christmas time when we used to live in Europe! My husband loves this type of cocoa, and he was excited to try, and drink your recipe (twice!). So much so, we bought a bunch of chocolate as gifts with your recipe included so our family can enjoy it too. Thank you!5 stars

  73. Hi, Erin! I am really excited to try this recipe. I am wondering how many ounces your cute cups hold. Is it a 4 oz cappuccino cup? My daughter has been searching for the perfect cup of cocoa. She like a rich chocolate taste that is not overly sweet. I think this may fit the bill. I’ll let you know how she rates it. Thank you.

    1. Hi Len! While I can’t say for certain, I *believe* they’re 12-ounce cups. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  74. After going to Angelina’s I got hooked on this real hot chocolate recipe. Now, I make it every winter and my family has ordered me to make a triple batch to tide us over until the next time I make it. I can’t drink anything else since having tried this hot chocolate!!!5 stars

  75. Wonderful silky chocolate taste. I added corn starch to thicken it for a church dinner. I imagine someone will most likely drink it while others will pour it over their ice cream. Thank you for sharing your recipe.5 stars

  76. So glad I found this recipe so I could try out French hot chocolate from home! It’s definitely a sipper and the kind of rich drink that you have when you want chocolate to become part of your soul. Literally drinking liquid chocolate.5 stars

  77. While walking thru a small totally off the tourist track village in Italy, in an off the track province, we had some hot chocolate. Yes, it took me a lot of searching to recreate it, but this recipe is spot on. Oh my god, it was glorious and out of the meals I’ve had in Europe (granted, I was traveling low budget), this hot chocolate stands out, 15 years later.
    While in France I developed the habit of adding chestnut spread to my hot chocolate. Unhappily, it is virtually impossible to find in the US, particularly without glucose syrup. If you have some though, try it, you won’t be disappointed.5 stars

        1. Hi Emma! It definitely could have a more bitter taste since it’s such a high percentage. Did you enjoy the taste of the chocolate before using it in the hot chocolate?

  78. Last night on a typical “California” evening of bliss, I somehow found my way to your brain-child recipe. I became fixated on treating myself to a different style of mid-day snack. Normally, we’re talking a 200 calorie small handful of nuts, or some form of salty chip. I refuse to count the calories in 1/4 of your recipe. There is no turning back, calories be damned. I’ve just luxuriated, sipping your French Hot Chocolate while doing a Sudoku puzzle, and all feels right in the world. Normally I only say this in the evening :). Sincere thanks Erin, for doing the legwork of creating this.5 stars

  79. Love this! Will never go back to American style powder hot chocolate. I made it with oat vanilla milk instead of whole milk/powdered sugar and full fat canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream. I also had instant coffee mix instead of espresso powder. I also used Aldi’s Belgian 56% dark chocolate chips for the chocolate. It was great!!! Reheated it was great too.

    Then I made a batch with the same subs but was short on the coconut milk so used what I had. It was good but not as great as the first.

    Then I made a batch without the coffee powder but same subs as above. It really tasted kind of bland.

    Next I Reheated a serving of the bland batch and added some peppermint extract. It was great!!

    I’ll keep trying new things. I absolutely love this recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Julia! I’m sorry to hear that! This will definitely not taste like American hot chocolate, which most of my readers are used to. I gave a few tips in the post to counteract any bitterness. Since you were already enjoying it, adding a little more sugar should have done the trick.

  80. I saw this recipe, and it reminded me of my aunt making home made hot chocolate back home when I was a child! I made it a couple of weeks ago…all I can say is, that it’s a keeper! Simply delicious!5 stars

  81. Hi Erin, for an even more intense chocolate flavour, have you tried adding some Dutch processed cocoa powder to the mix you have suggested?

    1. Hi Rev! I’ve only tested the recipe as written so it would be hard to advise. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi Jen! I’ve only tested this with espresso powder so can’t advise on how much of an espresso shot to put into this. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  82. While it tasted delicious, my final product was not as thick and glossy as the photos. It did look quite like the final product in the pot, before the cut tin the video just before ladling4 stars

    1. Hi Mary, In terms the thickness, the hot chocolate definitely thickens as it cools, and it wasn’t piping hot when I took the picture, so that is part of what you are seeing. It still should be plenty thick and rich though.

  83. Had European hot chocolate at San Francisco and been craving it since. It’s too far to go for just hot chocolate so I started searching and came to this recipe. Gotta say this came really close. Thank you for sharing! For my personal taste, next time I’ll adjust the milk to be a bit less (maybe half of what’s here) and heat up the mixture a bit more.5 stars

  84. Five stars just for the post content! Hilarious and right on the nose for chocolate lovers! I made a variation using a half recipe, 3.4oz 100% cacao (2 Lindt bars), 40g Milk chocolate (Lindt), seeds of one vanilla bean, brown sugar, 1/8 tsp espresso powder, and 2% milk (and a little extra heavy cream). Delicious!!5 stars

  85. Hi Erin – your recipe sounds fabulous. I wonder if it can be turned into a mix as a gift? Any thoughts on grinding up the chocolate and adding it to the espresso powder and powdered sugar and then packaging that in dry form? Or is melting the chocolate after the milk comes off the stove a key step? Thanks for your insights! Lou
    ps – your sweet potato and brussels sprout recipe is still our all time fav. :)

    1. Hi Lou! While that sounds like it could work, I just haven’t tried it myself. The way I’ve tested it, is how I can guarantee the results. Hope that makes sense! If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi Lauren, I haven’t tried this myself. It’s rather thick and a little different than your typical hot chocolate. If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes!

  86. Divine! 🥰 it’s snowing today and this was a perfect pick me up. My 5 year needed all the whip cream to get through but my 6 year old was completely into the deep rich flavor.5 stars

  87. Excellent sipping chocolate! Thank you for the recipe! My daughter and I are enjoying it right now by the Christmas Tree while watching It’s a Wonderful Life! Perfect!5 stars

  88. Thank you for the education Erin, and the yummy recipe.
    The simplicity and flavor of the drinking chocolate was exactly what is was seeking. Sure it takes a wee bit of time to make. The recipe is not billed at being a convenient on-the-go instant mix. This is where, in my quest, the education came in and one can start to see the bloggers who are just getting content out there and those who are teaching.
    In all this I’ve learned there are two types of hot chocolate/cocoa beverages. Maybe it stood out for all your readers, but it took me awhile to catch on. I think I read too fast and miss stuff
    HOT CHOCOLATE: chocolate bar & milk.
    HOT COCOA: cocoa powder, milk powder, sugar
    Per consumer’s taste, add ins can make the final recipe cut.
    *espresso powder
    *type of milk to use
    *cayenne pepper
    Since my quest was to eliminate the chemicals of those instant hot cocoa packets, I now have my own homemade “instant” hot cocoa mix that includes whole organic powdered milk and Dutch process cocoa that I just add hot water to for a fast cup. Plus from your site I have the luxurious real stuff, the French Hot Chocolate. Made one or two cups at a time. On the cook top or with a French Press (about a minuet’s worth of plunging produces some frothiness). Such indulgent pleasures. Slows life down some. All is well.
    Please keep researching, exploring and teaching us the why’s behind the food. Great work Erin!!

  89. Ooh this was amazing! We recently came back from a trip to Paris and I was regretting not getting drinking chocolate so I looked up recipe and came across this one- I’ve used your recipe twice so far and it’s been a hit both times. I saw a previous comment ask about adding cocoa powder, and I did add about a tablespoon of guittard red Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Also added some vanilla extract and a tiny bit of salt (since I was adding that to my whipped cream already) and it was delicious, both hot and cold (deliciously thick) the day after. Thank you for the recipe so we can enjoy this drinking chocolate at home :)5 stars

  90. I love this recipe. I made it for friends and they loved it. Dairy free version works well with full fat oatly. I also cut the chocolate in half.

  91. I’ve never been to France but this is the sort of hot chocolate they serve in eastern Europe too. The first time I had it was in Budapest and the last time was a few weeks ago in Wroclaw, Poland. This hot chocolate and real croissants are my favorite things about Europe — super excited to be able to make it myself!!

  92. Thank you Erin for this wonderful recipe. Angelina’s was my favorite place in the winter in Paris. I loved watching the women in their beautiful dresses and their little dogs next to them.

    Thank you for the memories.

  93. Would a cup of half and half and one cup of milk work, instead of 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 1/2 cup milk?

    1. Hi Lyn, you could use half and half, and the hot chocolate will still taste lovely, but it definitely won’t be as thick and rich. I hope this helps!

  94. Absolutely delicious. I recently travelled to Prague and was amazed by the hot chocolate there. I decided to find something sweet and rich and amazing to try and recreate it. The hot chocolate I ordered had a little bit of Masala spice added to it, not a lot just maybe half a teaspoon and then an additional 2 teaspoons of masala spice served next to the cup which I added a little at a time. It was unbelievably good. Today, I was out of masala, so I used a tikka spice mix and was just as happy with the results. It doesn’t overwhelm the flavour but adds to it in a wonderful way.5 stars