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Choc-full of Yum: How to make real hot chocolate, 4 different ways!

Posted 18 December 2020
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Everyone drinks 'hot chocolate' all the time, right? Well, technically, yes, but that sweet powder mixed with water is nowhere near the real thing. *This* is real hot chocolate, and this is how to make it!

It's actually very simple to create real hot chocolate at home: simply take good quality, high cocoa content chocolate and heat gently with whole fat milk, whisking regularly. It's something that everyone should experience – probably not that regularly as it is so very decadent; maybe just on special occasions.

Kids will love creating their own hot chocolate with a range of toppings

There are so many fun family scenarios to be had with real hot chocolate. One idea is to do as we did, and set up a hot chocolate making station, with several variations to make – and everything laid out in advance.

Another idea is to make it quietly in the kitchen yourself (it's less messy) and then bring it in when everyone is settled in front of a movie one cold Sunday afternoon.

Real hot chocolate is a great treat to enjoy whilst watching films with the kids

Or how about making the simple, basic recipe (no toppings required) and pop it in a flask, then go out for a frosty walk (or maybe even star spotting in the garden after dark) and whip out your flask of heavenly goodness as a surprise. The kids will be very happy, I promise...

I made 3 variations: mint choc, orange choc, and a vanilla ice cream float, using a ratio of ½ pint whole milk to 100g chocolate (which is very luxurious; feel free to lessen the chocolate used).

Basic real hot chocolate recipe

Makes enough for 3-4 people

What you'll need:

  • 300g dark chocolate (I like Green & Black's 75%
  • 1 ½ pints (approx 850ml) whole milk


  1. Gently heat the milk in a pan
  2. Add the chocolate, broken into pieces, whisking gently
  3. Eventually it will all melt. That's it! 
  4. Pour into your favourite mugs, leaving room for toppings if you want them

Full recipe for how to make the ultimate hot chocolate


  • Have a couple of adults on hand to assist.
  • Get everything ready in advance if making a hot chocolate station – even have the hot chocolate waiting in mugs before you get them all in!
  • Don't have the hot chocolate too hot, in case of spillages.
  • Be prepared for a potential sugar rush situation – they may want to go crazy afterwards! (Another reason to only make this as a very special treat!)
  • Experiment! Try other flavour chocolates; top with different flavour ice cream; crush up Maltesers or Oreos and sprinkle those on!
  • If you want to have this on hand to make whenever you feel like it, simply blitz loads of chocolate in a blender and store in a large jar, ready to sprinkle into simmering milk and whisk when the occasion arises.
  • Adults only: add a shot of coffee or alcohol (rum, vodka or Bailey's would work).

This hot chocolate recipe for kids is great topped with squirty cream

How to make mint hot chocolate

  1. Make real hot chocolate as above
  2. Grate some mint chocolate, adding a spoonful to the hot chocolate
  3. Add a drop of peppermint extract to the hot chocolate
  4. Squirt cream on top - be careful not to overfill your mug or this could get messy!
  5. Top with more grated mint chocolate. Plus anything else you fancy!

Mint hot chocolate recipe using real chocolate

How to make orange hot chocolate

  1. Make real hot chocolate as above
  2. Grate some orange chocolate. Add a spoonful to the hot chocolate
  3. Add a drop of orange extract to the hot chocolate
  4. Squirt cream on top
  5. Top with more grated orange chocolate and anything else you like!

How to make tasty orange hot chocolate

How to make vanilla ice cream float hot chocolate

  1. Make hot chocolate as above
  2. Add a drop of vanilla extract to the hot chocolate
  3. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the hot chocolate also
  4. Squirt cream on top
  5. Top with whatever you want. Go crazy!

How to make real hot chocolate with a vanilla ice cream float

What are your favourite hot chocolate recipes? Let us know in a comment below, or tag us in your photos on Instagram

For more yummy ideas check these out:

Easy pancakes recipe | 5 tips for baking with kids | Rainbow cupcakes recipe | Easter nest fairy cakes Picnic hacks for parents | Best places to eat out with kids in the UK | Healthy snacks for kids | 100 indoor activities