French Hot Chocolate

Imagine wandering down cobbled streets in Paris on a cold December night. You enter a cafe, pull out a rustic chair and order the chocolat chaud. It comes to your table steaming and with a spoon to stir and sip the dense brew.

Now you can create the same creamy thick hot chocolate at home. One of our Christmas traditions is making (and drinking) “French Hot Chocolate.” Our dear friend Shelly taught us how to make it years ago while living in Baton Rouge and it’s been a family tradition ever since.

Chocolat Chaud (Hot Chocolate in French) is known for being rich and thick. We like to whip up a batch of the base and leave it in the fridge so we’re ready to serve at a moment’s notice. Once made, the fluffy chocolate base will stay fresh about a week in your refrigerator.

It’s an easy recipe with just a few steps. First you melt baking chocolate with water, add sugar and salt and bring it to a boil. Let it boil 4 minutes. Set the chocolate aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, whip cream until stiff.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture. Don’t put the cream in if the chocolate it still warm. It will melt!

Also, don’t let the chocolate get cold as it will be difficult to fold into the whipped cream.

As you fold these the whipped cream and chocolate together, try to keep the air in the cream by gently lifting your spoon or spatula up through the mixture and then softly back down again until everything is incorporated.

Now you have the base mixture which you can cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. When ready, heat milk. Pour about 6 ounces of milk in a cup and add 2 heaping tablespoons of the chocolate mousse mixture.

Let the chocolate melt into your milk — it’s like a pillow of chocolate. You can gently stir it and take sips or little spoon-fulls as you go.

This French Hot Chocolate is decedent. Once you’ve had it, it’s hard to turn back. Maybe it will become a tradition at your house too!




French Hot Chocolate

Yield: 16 cups


  • 8 (1 oz.) squares semi sweet baking chocolate (1 bar package)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • HOT MILK for later (1 gallon)


  1. Melt chocolate with water on low heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Add salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes.
  3. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, whip whipping cream until stiff and fold into cooled chocolate.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. To serve, put a cup of hot milk into mug. Add 2 heaping spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture and let it melt into milk.

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