Chocolat Chaud Recipe

Woman holding mug of hot chocolate with melted marshmallows, mid section, close-up

Annabelle Breakey / Digital Vision / Getty Images

Prep: 2 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 7 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Yield: 3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
385 Calories
20g Fat
50g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3
Amount per serving
Calories 385
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 12g 59%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 115mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 326mg 25%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 576mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Try this rich chocolat chaud recipe, also known as French hot chocolate, for an over-the-top treat. For centuries, chocolate has been purported to hold great health benefits—it enhances circulation, improves the libido, gives energy, and has been used as a tonic for infectious disease and digestive disorders.

In 1643, Princess Maria Theresa of Spain brought a gift of chocolate to France, a royal chocolate maker was employed, and chocolate has been a rage ever since.

The French use high-quality chocolate to get that smooth velvety and deliciously chocolaty taste that chocolat chaud is known for. There are a few variations out there for making French hot chocolate, and some include adding brown sugar and/or a pinch of sea salt, which are wonderful additions if desired. This hot chocolate recipe is a delicious warm-up that is perfect for those cold winter evenings with melted chocolate, water, milk, and whipped cream, then garnished with curls of chocolate for a decorative touch. It is also a good fix for those times when you're craving chocolate. 

If you need more than the three cups that this recipe makes, simply scale it up to make the amount you need. For a different flavor, use chopped bittersweet or white chocolate. Remember to choose premium chocolate for the best chocolat chaud.


  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons hot water, divided

  • 3 cups hot milk

  • Sugar, to taste

  • Whipped cream, chocolate curls, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Using a double boiler or a heat-safe glass bowl over simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate into 1/4 cup of the hot water.

  3. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of hot water and 3 cups of hot milk until the chocolate mixture is smooth.

  4. Pour the hot chocolate into cups and add sugar as desired.

  5. Garnish each cup with a spoonful of whipped cream and a few chocolate curls.

  6. Serve and enjoy!


While you can purchase whipped cream at the store, a homemade whipped cream is so very easy to make, and you know exactly what ingredients are in it. You can also add other flavors to the whipped cream, like peppermint for the holidays.

Recipe Variation

  • Instead of semisweet chocolate, try using bittersweet, or if you're a fan of white chocolate, give that a try.
  • Feel free to leave off the whipped cream and chocolate curls topping, although this addition is so very indulgent.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • Take a pinch of sea salt and add it into the mixture.

Where did hot chocolate originate?

A version of hot chocolate was first made in Mexico in early 500 B.C., where the Mayans used ground-up cocoa seeds that were mixed with water, cornmeal, chile peppers, and other ingredients. Not quite the same as what we make today.