Italian Hot Chocolate

When I lived in London my friends and I found a little Italian cafe in Soho that served the most amazing hot chocolate.  It was really rich and thick – almost like a chocolate pudding before it sets up all the way.  I think about that hot chocolate all the time, so you can imagine how excited I was when I came across this recipe for “Cioccolata Calda” (Hot Chocolate Italian-Style).

It was drizzling and chilly here yesterday – the perfect excuse to make a nice hot drink.  I whipped this up last night, and while it wasn’t exactly the same as that super thick drink that I remember, it was still some of the best hot chocolate I’ve had in a long time.

There were some comments on the original recipe that a bit more sugar and some vanilla extract might improve the flavor, so I added both and was happy with the results.  I’m not sure if using non-dairy milk might have affected the thickness of the finished product, so I might experiment and add a little more cornstarch next time to see I can get closer to the texture that I remember.  That being said though, I think that for most people the texture of the following recipe will be just right.

Italian Hot Chocolate
makes 2 small servings

3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons organic granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons vanilla soy milk, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
splash vanilla extract

Mix the cocoa powder and sugar together in a small saucepan.  Stir the 1 1/2 cups milk into the saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.  Place over low heat; slowly bring the mixture to a low simmer.

Whisk 2 tablespoons of soy milk together with the cornstarch in a small cup; slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the cocoa mixture.  Continue cooking, whisking continually, until the hot chocolate reaches a pudding-like thickness, 2 to 3 minutes.

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6 Responses to “Italian Hot Chocolate”

  1. Oh yum, I’m not a fan of hot chocolate but my husband loves it, I’ll definitely be making this for him some time soon.

  2. I drink hot chocolate everyday…twice a day. They’re too good..can’t resist. Comfort my soul…

  3. oh my goodness I think you’re officially my favorite person!!! I just came back from living half a year in spain and this is also a traditional version of spanish hot chocolate. It’s definitely been missed!!!!

  4. Hi, Colleen! I hope you like it – since you’re used to a thicker version you might want to try some more cornstarch. It was also be really yummy with a little cinnamon thrown in!

  5. Carine, you’re a woman after my own heart!

  6. I live in Italy and have been searching high and low for an authentic recipe. This recipe misses in a few spots, the taste is a little off, but I’m not sure how. Perhaps more sweetness is needed. However, most noticeable is the thickness. This is thick for sure, but it’s not pudding, which is what I’m used to. It will work for now, but the search continues…