Haute hot chocolate – 5 recipes to drive you cocoa loco

There’s nowt like a steaming hot choc to warm your cockles when you’re chilling out at home in the colder months – especially when the stuff you’re sipping is a delicious doppelganger of the haute chocolate you’d choose when you’re out and about. So without further ado, I present to you a roundup of recipes from some brilliant boutiques, and divulge details of where to get your fix when you’re on the go.

Hotel Chocolat’s Classic Dark Hot Chocolate

Hotel Chocolat London cafe classic-dark-hot-chocolate-1

The menus at Hotel Chocolat’s Cocoa Bar Cafes offer something indulgent for any and every occasion; from bits to break one’s morning fast to teatime treats and decadent drinks – the latter including cacao shell tea, chocolate coffee, and this dark and brooding delight.

Classic Dark Hot Chocolate

Serves 2



  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. When hot, gradually add the drinking chocolate to the milk, stirring continuously.
  3. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 1 minute.
  4. Serve.

Recipe from Hotel Chocolat

What to order instore…

Classic hot chocolate, Hotel Chocolat’s Cocoa Bar Cafes nationwide, £3,50

Rococo’s Hot Chocolate à l’Ancienne

Rococo hot chocolate

As you digest the wise words in Chantal Coady’s cracking cookbook, you could do worse than sup a cup of the Hot Chocolate à l’Ancienne whose recipe she prepares in its pages. Although this precise drink isn’t on the menu in Rococo’s cafes, you’ll find a length list of equally-decadent hot chocs on offer.

Hot Chocolate à l’Ancienne by Chantal Coady

Fancy and refined, this recipe is attributed to Rosa Cannabich, a pupil of Mozart. Mozart himself was reputed to have tasted the chocolate at Mannheim in 1778. It is wonderfully unctuous, almost a meal in itself.

Serves 4


For the chocolate:

  • 160g good quality dark chocolate (61% cocoa solids, broken into pieces, plus a little extra for grating)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 50ml water
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 50ml espresso coffee, or instant espresso made with 1 tsp powder and 50ml water

For the whipped cream topping:

  • 50ml crème fraiche or double cream
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1.5 tsp caster sugar


  1. First make the whipped cream topping. Chill the bowl in which you are going to whip the cream, then add the crème fraiche or double cream, milk and sugar. Beat with an electric hand whisk until stiff, but do not overbeat of it will turn into a batter. Chill until you are ready to serve the hot chocolate.
  2. Place the chocolate in a heavy-based saucepan with the salt and water. Melt the chocolate mixture over a low heat, stirring constantly and taking great care that it does not burn. When the chocolate is smooth and shiny, stir in the milk and the sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Be very careful because the chocolate bubbles up and thickens rapidly. Stir in the rum and coffee and boil for 2 minutes. Beat the mixture with a whisk to lighten it. When ready to serve, pour the hot chocolate into 4 serving cups, add a spoonful of the whipped cream to each portion, and top with grated chocolate.

Recipe from ‘Rococo: Mastering The Art of Chocolate‘ by Chantal Coady, published by W&N RRP £35

What to order instore…

Academy of Chocolate Award-winning 70% Classic Hot Chocolate, Rococo cafes, £3

Artisan du Chocolat’s Dark Hot Chocolate

Artisan du Chocolat hot chocolate London

Dark, handsome, rich and thick – apart from the latter, the words which so aptly describe Artisan du Chocolat’s single-origin hot chocolate could also be ascribed to the ideal man. If you get it poured instore, it comes bearing truffles, like all particularly charming chaps should. Having it at home? Have a box of chocs to hand for the full experience.

Dark Hot Chocolate

The best hot chocolate – we’ve been serving this at Borough Market since 2000. It is very important to cool and reheat the mixture instead of serving immediately. When allowed to cool, the chocolate will crystallise and serve to thicken the hot chocolate.

Serves 4

  1. Set a saucepan over medium heat and bring the milk, cream, sugar, salt and vanilla (if using) to 80°C.
  2. Put chocolate flakes in a bowl.
  3. Carefully mix a little of the hot milk with the chocolate from the centre outwards until it forms a shiny emulsion.
  4. Mix this paste back into the remaining hot milk and set aside to cool, uncovered.
  5. Sieve, and reserve until required. Reheat to serve.

Recipe from Artisan du Chocolate

What to order instore…

Dark hot chocolate, Artisan du Chocolat Notting Hill,  £3

Paul a. Young’s Aztec Hot Chocolate

Paul A Young Aztec Hot Chocolate Adventures with Chocolate cookbook

Press your nose to the window of one of Paul’s boutiques and you’ll see a cauldron of chocolate all a-bubble; the thick liquid ready to be ladled into cups and seasoned with sugar, spice and all things nice according to palate and whim. The Aztec Hotel Chocolate recipe in his ‘Adventures in Chocolate’ cookbook yields a similarly-spicy brew for two.

Aztec Hot Chocolate

This warming and utterly delicious Aztec-style hot chocolate is the perfect way to warm yourself in the cold winter months

Serves 2


  • 500ml water
  • 25g light muscovado sugar (more if you like it sweet)
  • 20g dark cocoa powder
  • 10g Caribbean 66% dark chocolate
  • spice of your choice, e.g. chilli, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom or ginger, to taste


  1. Heat the water, sugar and cocoa powder in a pan and simmer for 3 minutes. Break the chocolate into pieces and add to the pan.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer, blend for 1 minute, adding any spices that you are using at this point. Bring the hot chocolate back to a simmer for 2 minutes, and serve.
Recipe from ‘Adventures With Chocolate’ by Paul A Young, published by Kyle Books RRP £14.99

What to order instore…

Hot chocolate, Paul a Young boutiques in Camden Passage, Soho and Royal Exchange, £3.95

William Curley’s Spiced Hot Chocolate

William Curley hot chocolate recipe cocoa London

If you’re aiming emulate the full-on William Curley experience at home, make this brilliant beverage and serve steaming cups up alongside five fine pieces of patisserie a la the Belgravia Dessert Bar. Should you lack the skills of a master patissier, simply stick to the drink and leave the fancy fancies to the experts next time you’re instore.

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Serves 2


  • 500ml milk
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of chilli (optional)
  • 100g hot chocolate flakes


  1. Boil the milk with the cinnamon and chilli (if using).
  2. Place the chocolate flakes in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add a third of the milk. Beat until very smooth.
  4. Add the remaining milk, mix well, and serve.

Recipe from William Curley

What to order instore…

Chilli or Mayan Hot Chocolate with Amedei Toscano 70%, William Curley boutiques in Belgravia and Richmond, £3

  • To read my interview with Chantal Coady for Good Things magazine, click here
  • To read a review of Chantal Coady’s ‘Rococo: Mastering The Art of Chocolate’, click here
  • To read about more great hot chocolate in London, click here
  • To read more about spice and chocolate, click here
  • To read about Hotel Chocolat’s new Supermilk products, click here

Image credit: Paul a. Young Aztec Hot Chocolate by Anders Schonnemann

3 responses to “Haute hot chocolate – 5 recipes to drive you cocoa loco

  1. Pingback: Guitar Mancer — Episode 7: Home | Teagan's Books·

  2. Pingback: Christmas 2016’s best chocolate advent calendars | Culinary Adventures of The Cocoa Nut·

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