Tasty Hot Chocolate that is so thick, you can almost eat it with a spoon! If you have been in Italy, you surely have tried the local cioccolata calda served in every cafeteria. But can you make your own thick and delicious Italian Hot Chocolate at home? It is actually pretty easy and you need only few inexpensive ingredients.
How do I know this recipe
In Italy Homemade Hot Chocolate is made with cocoa powder, sugar and potato starch. Every kid knows that. The grandma of my Italian partner used to make it in his childhood. He could even recall the exact ingredient brands she was using.
I made few experiments until reaching the exact proportions for perfect richness and here is the final recipe.
This recipe contains only cocoa powder and no chocolate. I find this better since it is cheaper and the result is equally great. You don’t really need the cocoa butter in order to have a drink with a perfect chocolate taste!
How do you make this recipe at home
It is pretty easy. First you heat the milk with the sugar and then you add the cornstarch and cocoa powder dissolved in more milk or water. Whisk until you reach the desired thickness and pour into cups. Done in 10 minutes.
🥣 Recipe tips
In order to make your homemade hot chocolate, great you need to follow few simple rules:
- Use quality cocoa powder and starch! Italians know it best: they always use top quality ingredients. For this recipe avoid instant sweetened cocoa. High quality unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder (or the one that has a darker colour) is the best. You can use any kind of unflavoured starch, if you don’t find the potato one.
- Dissolve the dry ingredients in water or milk, before adding them to the heated milk. Otherwise your hot chocolate will have unpleasant lumps.
- Don’t keep it long on the stove, after adding the starch, to avoid burning.
Typically in Italian cafeterias Hot Chocolate is served with whipped cream (panna) and cookies. At home you can skip the cream if you don’t have some fresh one. I don’t recommend you to use spray cream or the packaged kind: they are very unhealthy and will also ruin your Italian experience since their texture is not the same. Don’t forget the nice crispy cookies which will make a perfect addition to the Cioccolata Calda.
This recipe is so simple and yet decadently tasty! The perfect drink to have in a nice afternoon at any time of the year!
Homemade Hot Chocolate (Cioccolata Calda)
- 1 cup/ 250 ml milk
- 2,5 tbsp/ 20 g cocoa powder
- 2,5 tbsp potato starch or other unflavoured starch
- 1,5 tbsp sugar
- whipped cream optional
- In a mug or bowl combine cocoa powder with starch, sugar and about 1/5 part of the milk. Stir very well until the dry ingredients are dissolved.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat the rest of the milk.
- When the milk reaches its boiling point, remove from the stove and pour the cocoa mixture inside. Whisk very well.
- Lower the heat and return the saucepan to the stove for few seconds, whisking continuously to avoid burning. When the mixture becomes thicker, remove from heat and pour into cappuccino cups.
- Serve with cookies. Optionally top with some whipped cream.