This wonderfully rich and creamy French Hot Chocolate is made on the stovetop using only 4 ingredients and is ready for sipping in just 10 minutes!
Warm up with a mug of this thick, creamy, and rich French Hot Chocolate! This just happens to be one of my favorite indulgences during the holiday season and for good reason!
This luxury drinking chocolate recipe is super simple to make using minimal ingredients in no time! Yet yields such rich and creamy results that it tastes as if it came from a high-quality cafe!
French Hot Cocoa ingredients
French Hot Chocolate is known for its incredibly thick and creamy consistency and decadent flavor! It basically walks a fine line between liquid and pudding!
This is accomplished in this recipe by using heavy cream, whole milk, and melting down a chocolate bar. However, some recipes use other ingredients such as cornstarch.
Is There A Substitute For Heavy Cream?
Heavy cream can be substituted with half and half, more whole milk, or whatever percentage of milk you have on hand. Swapping out the heavy cream will result in a hot chocolate that’s not as thick and creamy though!
How to make French Hot Chocolate
- Whisk together the milk, cream, and sugar and heat in a medium saucepan over heat until bubbles start to form on the outer edge of the pot.
- While it heats, chop up the chocolate.
- Remove from heat and add in the chocolate and vanilla. Let the chocolate sit for 2 minutes without stirring. Then whisk until a rich chocolate color forms then let sit again for 5 minutes.
- Pour the French Hot Chocolate into mugs and top with whipped cream or marshmallows and chocolate shavings.
French Drinking Chocolate tips
- Heating – It’s important to heat the milk, cream, and sugar over medium-high heat ONLY until bubbles start to form on the outer edge. Don’t allow it to boil or it may burn!
- Chocolate Bar – Once you learn how to make hot chocolate with chocolate bars you’ll be hooked! For best results, you want to chop up the chocolate bar so it will melt more evenly.
- Melting – If you find that the chopped chocolate isn’t melting you can return it to the stovetop. Heat it over low heat while whisking only until the chocolate has finished melting. Again, don’t allow it to boil!
- Consistency – Remember, the consistency of this hot chocolate is THICK! Don’t let it trick you into thinking it needs to cook longer to thin out.
Delicious ways to enjoy French Style Hot Chocolate
- Hot Chocolate Bar – Hot chocolate bars are super fun for everyone! Start with making a large batch of this hot chocolate. Afterward, set it out with some mugs that are big enough to add toppings! Then arrange a variety of toppings for friends and family to choose from as they make their cup of hot chocolate! Sprinkles, crushed peppermint, marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate stirrers, candy canes, and even Homemade Chocolate Syrup for drizzling!
- Homemade Marshmallows – Add a few of these thick, fluffy marshmallows to your mug! They taste way better than storebought and are really fun to make!
- Homemade Whipped Cream – Made with only 3 ingredients in 5 minutes! French Hot Chocolate with whipped cream is a heavenly treat!
- Add A Spin Of Flavor – Add a tablespoon of light brown sugar! You’ll love the flavor depth that it adds to this drink.
- Spike It – Give this hot chocolate a splash of Irish cream for a boozy kick!
Warm drinks like this Homemade French Hot Chocolate make the chilly winter season a lot more bearable! On really cold mornings, I even start my day with hot chocolate by making up a cup of Hot Chocolate Coffee!
As for my kids, they prefer a fun spin on their hot cocoa! So, for them, my go-to is Hot Chocolate Bombs! These White Hot Chocolate Bombs are filled with lucky charms marshmallows and are always a win with them!
How many drinks does this French Hot Chocolate Recipe make?
This mostly depends on the size of the mugs that you use. However, I can comfortably serve 2 drinks when I make this recipe.
If you need more servings simply double or triple the recipe!
French hot cocoa storing instructions
Yes, you can store any leftover French Hot Chocolate in an airtight container or a jar with a tight lid. Place it in the refrigerator and enjoy it within 2 to 3 days.
Hot Chocolate French FAQs
These have the same heavy cream and chocolate base, but Italian Hot Chocolate is also made with cornstarch which thickens it even more making it closer to a pudding texture (but still pourable).
Regular hot chocolate like we drink here in the States is generally thinner and sweeter than European-style hot chocolates.
Belgian Hot Chocolate in particular is made with dark chocolate between 53-72% cocoa. It’s also made by melting the chocolate first which yields an ultra smooth texture.
Belgian hot chocolate is also typically made with all half & half or all heavy cream.
Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder and hot chocolate is made with chopped and melted chocolate. There are some recipes though, like my Crockpot Hot Chocolate, that use both.
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This recipe was originally published in October 2017 and was updated in November 2022 with fresh photos and content.
Hot Chocolate (French Style)
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the milk, cream, and sugar and heat until bubbles start to form on the outer edge. DO NOT BOIL.1½ cups whole milk, ½ cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Remove from heat and add in the chopped chocolate and vanilla and let sit for 2 minutes. Then whisk until a rich chocolate color forms then let sit for about 5 minutes.8 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and finish off with whipped cream or marshmallows and chocolate shavings.homemade whipped cream, homemade marshmallows, chocolate curls
- If the chocolate is not melting, return to low heat and whisk until it does.