The weather has turned cold, many places getting snow - a sure sign that it is definitely hot chocolate season! Nothing warms the body and soul like a perfect cup of hot chocolate. I'm thrilled to partner with my friends at New Seasons Market once again to bring you an exclusive and delicious recipe that will sure to warm your heart this season.
A rich and thick French Style Hot Chocolate made with Dark Peppermint Chocolate exclusive to New Seasons made in partnership with Moonstruck Chocolate, a premier chocolatier here in Portland, OR. This is a perfect drink for holiday get togethers, cozying up by the fire and on Christmas morning for a special treat.
- What is Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)?
- Ingredients for Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)
- How to Make Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)
- Types of Chocolate
- Substitutions for Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)
- Variations for Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)
- Can Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate) be Made Ahead?
- Can Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate) be Reheated?
- What to Enjoy with Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)?
- Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Peppermint Hot Chocolate)
What is Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)?
The French were onto something when they made their hot chocolate, unlike many versions here in the United States, they use rich pure chocolate, typically something darker and more bittersweet versus coilingly sweet milk chocolate. This blend of rich chocolate, milk, a bit of heavy cream creates a rich and delightful drinking chocolate that is unmatched by any hot cocoa.
Ingredients for Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)
This recipe is so simple that using highest quality of ingredients is crucial. I've picked up everything I need from New Seasons Market. I know their signature products are made with an attention to quality.
- Chocolate - The most important ingredient in our drink - CHOCOLATE! Using a darker chocolate is ideal, something around 70%. We'll be making a Peppermint Hot Chocolate using New Season's Dark Chocolate with Peppermint 70% Cacao Bars that are made in partnership with Moonstruck Chocolate. If you want your hot chocolate to be a little sweeter, you can always do half dark and half milk chocolate.
- Whole Milk - Rich hot chocolate is best made with whole milk for the richest and most decadent flavor, I'm using New Seasons Whole Milk.
- Heavy Cream - A touch of heavy cream brings out the full richness of this delicious drinking chocolate.
- Sugar - Since we are using a fairly dark chocolate, we'll be adding a touch of sugar, you can certainly adjust to your personal preference and needs.
- Instant Coffee - Nothing goes better together than chocolate and coffee! If you aren't making for the kiddos, I definitely suggest adding a touch of instant coffee powder. That hint of coffee gives the hot chocolate a boost in flavor.
- Whipped Cream or Marshmallows - The choice is really yours, top with fresh whipped cream or chewy marshmallows!
How to Make Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)
This recipe doesn't require much effort or cooking skill - simply heating, chopping and waiting for something luxurious to happen!
I like to begin by chopping my chocolate so it's ready - it's best to chop into smaller, finer pieces, the smaller they are the easier and faster they will melt into your cream mixture.
Once your chocolate is ready begin heating your milk and cream. You'll want to do this on a medium setting on your stove. Be sure not to let your milk/cream mixture boil, I keep a good watch and stir as I'm heating. You want to heat just to the point where it *almost* boils. You'll start to see some small bubbles on the edges. The temperature should read about 180 degrees Fahrenheit, you can pickup a simple thermometer here.
Once the milk/cream mixture has been heated thoroughly - turn your heat down and add your chocolate, sugar and instant coffee (if using). Begin to whisk vigorously until the chocolate is fully melted and combined.
Continue to whisk and allow the hot chocolate to heat for about 5-8 minutes, keep hot chocolate on the burner on medium-low.
Once your hot chocolate has thickened, remove from heat, pour into mugs and top with fresh whipped cream or marshmallows! Feel free to add a little extra milk if you'd like to enjoy a bit thinner in consistency.
Types of Chocolate
For this hot chocolate, chocolate is the STAR of the drink. You want to use the best quality chocolate you can. I’m using New Seasons Dark Chocolate Bars with Peppermint in partnership with Moonstruck Chocolate. These are 70% cacao which means they are not extremely sweet, but rather have a nice chocolatey flavor.
Using a chocolate with a higher percentage (60-75%) is ideal, this allows the chocolate flavor to shine through without becoming too sweet. You can adjust the sweetness with your preferred sweetener (sugar). Anything higher than 75% may be a little too dark and bitter but the choice is definitely up to you and your taste buds.
One rule of thumb is to avoid using chocolate chips for this recipe – chocolate chips typically contain stabilizers. These stabilizers will not allow your chocolate to melt as well as pure chocolate.
Choose a good, high quality chocolate bar and chop it yourself. This will make a world of difference. This is also a good rule of thumb for making cookies! Chopping your own chocolate gives you those melty pools of chocolate we know and love.
Substitutions for Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)
Here are a few substitutions to consider when making Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate).
- Dairy Free - If you are unable to have dairy, I recommend using full-fat coconut cream for the heavy cream and coconut milk for the traditional milk. This will definitely give the hot chocolate a different flavor but it will be the closest in thickness. Another option is oat milk for the traditional milk and coconut cream for the heavy cream.
- Peppermint - If you can't find New Season Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Bars, I recommend adding 1-2 drops of peppermint extract to your hot chocolate to get that peppermint flavor. You can also stick with plain dark chocolate if you don't want a peppermint flavor.
- Sugar - Any sugar will work here, I'm using turbinado sugar but traditional granulated sugar or another sweetener that you are familiar using will work as well. Try brown sugar for a molasses-y flavor!
Variations for Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)
The beauty of this hot chocolate is the ability to make it customizable to your liking! Here are a few ideas on varying this decadent drink.
- Spices - If you're thinking about making this into a Mexican Hot Chocolate, add in 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon nutmeg. The warm flavors are a perfect flavor enhancer.
- Mocha - We're already adding a bit of coffee powder to our hot chocolate, but to make it heavier mocha, double your instant coffee!
- Make it Boozy- The holidays are a time to indulge, make this a festive cocktail - add a shot of bourbon to each mug to make this an adult beverage. Or a shot of Grand Marnier for a boozy chocolate orange flavor.
Can Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate) be Made Ahead?
As with most things, enjoying your hot chocolate immediately is best. However, you can absolutely store any leftover hot chocolate in the fridge for up to a week. Heat on the stovetop when ready to enjoy, you can thin out a little with extra milk.
Can Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate) be Reheated?
Yes! If you have leftover hot chocolate, you can simply pour into a small saucepot and heat until warmed once again. I like to whisk once more as I reheat to get some thickness and air back into the chocolate.
What to Enjoy with Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)?
These cups of chocolate are rich on their own but a few cookies alongside won’t hurt anyone! Here are a few of my favorite cookies on the site to give a try this holiday season. I also love the little peppermint pretzels pictured that I picked up at New Seasons.
As always, I love seeing your creations! This is the perfect holiday drink!!!
I hope you enjoy this Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate) as much my family does! If you make Peppermint Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate), please let me know by leaving a rating and review below! Don’t forget to stop by your local New Seasons Market to pickup all the ingredients for this dish. Or check them out on Instacart and have groceries delivered to your doorstep.
As always, I love seeing your creations. Please leave a review or share your dish with me on social media #cosetteskitchen which lets me know what is working for you! You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter , Tiktok and Pinterest. For more delicious recipes to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
*This post was sponsored by New Seasons Market. All opinions are my own. I only support and promote brands that I believe in and use in my own kitchen.
A rich and chocolatey hot chocolate, made with real chocolate, heavy cream and milk for a luxurious and decadent treat. This post was sponsored by New Seasons Market. All opinions are my own. I only support and promote brands that I believe in and use in my own kitchen.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 oz New Seasons Dark Chocolate with Peppermint - (4) 2 oz bars
- 3 teaspoons turbinado sugar (or your sweetener choice)
- pinch of instant coffee (optional)
- Begin by chopping your chocolate into fine pieces, I like to use a large chef's knife and almost scrape along the edge of each chocolate bar until you have fine shards.
- Next, in a small pot add your milk + heavy cream and heat on medium. Keep a watchful eye on your milk, you don't want it to boil or bubble over. You are just heating enough for the chocolate to melt. Little bubbles will begin to form around the edges. If you have a thermometer, 180 degrees Fahrenheit is where you want the temperature to be.
- Once your milk/cream mixture has been heated, turn your heat down to low and add your chocolate, sugar and instant coffee (if using). Begin to whisk vigorously until the chocolate is fully melted and combined.
- Continue to whisk and allow the hot chocolate to heat for about 5-8 minutes until thickened.
- Once your hot chocolate has thickened, remove from heat, pour into mugs and top with fresh whipped cream or marshmallows.
- If you feel it is too thick, you can always add a splash of extra milk while whisking.
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