Discover how to make hot chocolate without cocoa powder with this traditional French hot chocolate. This recipe is extremely easy and simple. And this hot chocolate will warm you up and comfort you whenever needed!
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In case you didn't already know that, I'm French and a born and bred Parisian, still currently living in Paris. So I love sharing with you some traditional French recipes. And more specifically today, this traditional French hot chocolate recipe that I indulge in during the coldest days of winter.
💭 What is chocolat chaud à l'ancienne?
The French name of this hot chocolate without cocoa powder is "chocolat chaud à l'ancienne" (hot chocolate like in the old times). Unlike what I see sometimes on other websites, traditional French hot chocolate is very simple. You won't get whipped cream on top of your hot chocolate or any other fancy toppings. Chocolat chaud à l'ancienne is not made with cocoa powder but with dark chocolate bars or chips. It is thick and creamy.
If you are at a café in Paris (or anywhere else in France) and you want whipped cream on top of your hot chocolate, you will need to ask for a "chocolat Viennois" (Viennese chocolate). As you might have guessed, chocolat Viennois is originally from Austria, not from France.
⭐ Why you'll love this recipe
- This hot chocolate is made without cocoa powder.
- It is super easy and quick to prepare.
- While drinking this hot chocolate, you will feel like a Parisian.
- Only 3 ingredients.
📖 Ingredient notes
- Dark chocolate chips or bars. Make sure to use good quality chocolate. If you like it strong, use at least 70% dark chocolate. If you like it sweeter, 55% - 60% dark chocolate will be good for you.
- Cinnamon stick. You can also use cinnamon powder or vanilla bean instead of a cinnamon stick if you prefer.
- Water. Yes, water! This is how "chocolat chaud à l'ancienne" is made by famous French chefs. And believe me, you won't notice that it's made with water instead of milk. It won't make it less rich and creamy. How? Because this hot chocolate is not made with cocoa powder but with chocolate chips (or bars) that contain cocoa butter.
- Unrefined sugar (optional). Whether or not you will need to add some sugar will completely depend on your own taste and how dark the chocolate you're using is.
For the quantities for this hot chocolate without cocoa powder, please see the recipe card below.
🥣 Step by step instructions
- Put the chocolate, cinnamon stick and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it cook while stirring regularly until the chocolate is completely melted and your beverage is hot.
- Fish the cinnamon stick out of the saucepan. Taste the hot chocolate and, if necessary, add the optional unrefined sugar and serve in 2 mugs.Voilà!
- You can easily adjust the thickness of your hot chocolate by adding more or less water. If you want an extra thick hot chocolate: use less water. On the other hand, if you want it more watery, add more water.
- To make this hot chocolate foamy, blend it for 2 minutes with an immersion blender.
- Add a pinch of fleur de sel to your saucepan, at the beginning of the cooking process, to enhance the flavors and give it a luxury touch. (Yes, Michelin star chefs love to say that their recipe has been made with fleur de sel). If you are not familiar with fleur de sel, you can read my article What is Fleur de Sel.
💬 Recipe FAQs
If you prefer, feel free to use dairy or non dairy milk instead of water to make this traditional French hot chocolate.
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📋 Recipe / Recette
French Hot Chocolate without cocoa powder
- Pinch of unrefined sugar according to taste and depending on how dark the chocolate you're using is.
- Pinch of fleur de sel
- Put the chocolate, cinnamon stick and water in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Optional step: add a pinch of fleur de sel to your saucepan, at the beginning of the cooking process, to enhance the flavors and give it a luxury touch.
- Let it cook while stirring regularly until the chocolate is completely melted and your beverage is hot.
- Fish the cinnamon stick out of the saucepan. Taste the hot chocolate and, if necessary, add the optional unrefined sugar and serve in 2 mugs.Voilà!Bon appétit!