Picture credit: Bon Appetit
1. Powder vs Chocolate bar
There is no wrong or right when it comes to this as it’s purely based on preference. The only rule to keep in mind is that you’re using really good quality ingredients because what is a good hot chocolate without good chocolate?
2. Nothing less than 60% or over 80%
The percentage symbol that you find on most chocolate labels signifies the total percentage of ingredients by weight which includes cocoa and cocoa butter. This means that a higher percentage cacao contains lesser sugar and has a more intense flavour than chocolates with a lower percentage. Generally, a good hot chocolate is best made using higher percentage chocolate to produce a richer, more flavourful cup. However, if you prefer yours sweeter and don’t feel like adding extra sugar, swap the dark chocolate with milk instead.
3. Boil the milk twice
This method is crucial according to James Beard award-winning pastry chef, Jacques Torres. According to him, simply boiling the milk, adding the chocolate and stirring it isn’t enough. You have to boil the milk once, add in the chocolate while whisking and boil again. This results in a smooth, well developed cup of hot chocolate.
4. Whipped cream is a MUST
Dominique Ansel serves his with a dollop of cooled whipped cream which we can’t help but think would taste brilliant. Instead of using canned whipped cream, go ahead and make your own. It is an extra step, but one that is worth it. Pour the cream into a bowl and let it sit in the freezer for a few minutes, it will be much easier to whip. Once whipped, add a spoonful of it onto your steaming hot chocolate and enjoy the mixture of the cold cream and hot chocolate together.