Grown-Up Hot Chocolate

That powdered cocoa mix in your pantry? Leave it for the kiddos. It’s time for some decadence. It’s time for some richness.

It’s time for grown-up hot chocolate.

This stuff isn’t a big, huge, steaming mug of mildly flavored chocolate milk. And it’s not low-calorie. This is rich, thick, intensely-chocolatey, oh-I-wish-I-could-lick-the-coffee-cup hot chocolate. You don’t need much – this is why the serving size is on the small side. But let me tell you, this is the after-dinner treat you must make this winter. It’s that good.

The theme for this week’s Holiday Food Fest is Holiday Cocktails, Mocktails and Appetizers, hosted by Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free. I am not much of a cocktail person (I prefer the occasional glass or two of merlot or cabernet, a gluten-free beer, or if I’m feeling “fancy”, a glass of cognac), so my experience in the cocktail-making arena is rather limited. I know margaritas and mojitos, but that’s about it. (Since the temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark right now, neither of those drinks sound remotely appetizing!) I needed to venture outside of my comfort zone a bit. And then I thought – hot chocolate. Who doesn’t like hot chocolate? I had a bar of Valrhona in the fridge just begging to be used. Suddenly, I knew an over-the-top hot chocolate was just the thing.

But even I underestimated the silky, creamy, lushness of this treat. I opted to dip a spoon into mine, rather than sipping directly from the cup, just so I could savor every minute drop. I can envision this being the perfect treat to enjoy on Christmas Eve, relaxing, after the stockings are stuffed and all is quiet in the house.

Adapted from Ghirardelli

4 oz high-quality dark chocolate (I used Valrhona 68%)

1 1/2 c 2% milk

1/2 c heavy cream

2 T amaretto (almond liqueur – I used Disaronno)

1 t vanilla extract

1 c whipped cream

In a saucepan over low heat, bring chocolate, milk, and cream to a simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in liqueur and vanilla.

Pour into four small tea or coffee cups. Top each serving with whipped cream.

Serves 4.


  1. says

    Now this a little more of the sophisticated hot cocoa. I’m so glad the weather’s colder. It’s been putting me in a hot cocoa mood lately.

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Noelle – I bet it was amazing! REAL hot chocolate is so much better than those packages.

      Vegetable Matter – Sshh, let’s not say anything, but that might be a great idea!

      Cajun Chef Ryan – Thanks for the stumble!

      The Fun Foodie – I need to get my hands on their cocoa powder. I love the bar – nice and so perfectly flavored. And it’s rich enough that I can savor a single piece, and be happy.

      Rachel J, Emily, Jenn, My Man’s Belly, Natasha, Kristy, and Tasty Trix – Thank you!

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Joy – Yes I did, it was so beautiful! We rarely get such snow!

      Megan – Thanks for the stumble!

      Liz – It’s freezing here too (for us, anyway). The high is below 40 degrees today – for Dallas, that’s pretty cold!

      Miriam, Janice, Lauren, Simply Life, April, Marillyn, Cookin’ Canuck, Danielle, MaryMoh, Angie, and Divina – Thank you all so much! Do try it!

  2. says

    oh my goodness, this looks and sounds amazing. I’m definitely making it. tonight is decorate the christmas tree night for me and my husband – this would be the perfect treat!

  3. says

    I love your cup and saucer – beautiful!! I love the hot chocolate, too – I could make it with unsweetened chocolate then add stevia. It would be fabulous.

    I agree with you about powdered chocolate versus the real deal – I’ve been dumping powdered cocoa in my coffee as a mid-afternoon treat (yes, coffee at 3 pm) because it’s quick. But for a special, sit-back-and-relax treat this is the way to go. This is a great Holiday Food Fest drink!!

  4. says

    How rich and wonderful this treat must be on a chilly December night, waiting for Santa’s arrival. Will have to give it a try — love the teacup and saucer design, by the way.

  5. says

    I am totally digging the amaretto you used in the hot chocolate. I love hot chocolate during the holiday season, it’s so comforting and always seem to brighten my mood after drinking it

  6. says

    Oh this is such a decadent treat! I have a bar of 72% Valrhona in my fridge (left over from chocolate competition!), and was wondering what to do with it because I rarely eat sweets. So now I know – I’m going to make this!

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Megan – Sounds like the perfect tree-decorating treat to me!

      Amy – You definitely could do that with unsweetened chocolate. And you could even make it lighter in calories (I bet it would still be pretty rich-tasting) with hemp or almond milk. And that cup and saucer is a china set my mother gave me. Delicate, but pretty!

      Wasabi Prime – It is wonderful! And I love the teacup and saucer too!

      goodieswassa – Too funny!

      Shelly – Yes, you definitely do need to make it!

      Jessie and Ryan – Thanks!

  7. Shirley@gfe says

    I commented the other day, but my comment got lost again. Trying another account …

    This is just beautiful, Alta. I’m all for grown-up hot chocolate with Valhrona and Amaretto!


    • tastyeatsathome says

      Shirley – Weird that it got lost! Last time you said that, I found it in my spam folder, but this time, it’s not anywhere. :( Thank you!

      Thedallasceliac and Diana – Thank you!


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