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How to Make Hot Chocolate Without Cocoa Powder

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Finding a reliable way to make hot chocolate without cocoa powder is hard work! Over the years I’ve perfected mine using my chosen coconut milk base, but feel free to use any type of milk and chocolate you’d like, from full-fat to fat-free & any level of sugar.

To make this Hot Chocolate Without Cocoa Powder recipe, in addition to some delicious craft chocolate, you’ll need access to a small saucepan & stove top burner, or a microwave.

About this recipe

Trick to Hot Cocoa Without Cocoa Powder: use chocolate! Unlike a typical powdered hot cocoa mix from a packet, or even a homemade version made with cocoa powder, this recipe calls for just 2 common pantry ingredients. A pinch of salt always helps to enhance a chocolate drink, but this can be easily incorporated by using a salted chocolate for your base.

Delicious DIY: not only can you adjust the sweetness of your hot cocoa depending on the type of chocolate you use, but you can also adjust the flavor. Since this recipe only calls for two ingredients, it’s not much more trouble to grab a couple more hot chocolate add-ins to dress up your cup.

Quick & Thick: with just five minutes and 2 ingredients, you can make this simple, thick hot chocolate without cocoa powder or a long wait. Plus, it’s easily made vegan-friendly!

Ingredients

Milk of Choice: whatever your chosen milk, make sure it’s got a bit of fat in it. I’d recommend coconut milk, if you don’t tolerate dairy, though oat milk is another good pick.

Chopped Chocolate: vegan or not, you can use any chocolate you’d like, but to increase the nutrition of your hot chocolate, I recommend using a craft chocolate with at least 70% cacao.

How to make hot chocolate without cocoa powder: step-by-step instructions

Step 1. This is the real trick to perfect hot chocolate without using cocoa powder: chop your chocolate very small, and heat the milk only. So first chop up your chosen chocolate, whether it comes in bar or chip form, until it’s in little slivers.

Step 2. Then take your milk of choice and heat it in a saucepan over the stove (or nuke it in the microwave), warming it with either method until it’s just a bit too hot to touch.

Step 3. Turn off the heat and move the pan to a different surface. Add in all of your chosen chocolate, and let the pan or mug sit alone for two minutes. Don’t touch it. This rest allows the chocolate to melt naturally, and if you over-heat your milk, it could burn the chocolate or even separate the cacao solids from the cocoa butter, so stick to a low heat.

Step 4. After a couple of minutes, slowly stir or whisk your drink together, combining the milk and chocolate from the bottom of the container up. If the fat and solids in the chocolate do separate, never fear. Just use a high-powered whisk or an immersion blender to re-combine everything; this will also make for a frothier drink. This is when I usually add a pinch of salt to contrast the sweetness, but serve your cocoa however you’d like and enjoy!

Recipe notes & tips

Which Chocolate to Use: Remember to use a high-percentage craft chocolate in your hot cocoa! Otherwise your chocolate will end up flatter-tasting rather than complex.

Picking a Milk: When you’re using a non-dairy milk in hot cocoa, I’d recommend using a creamier option, like macadamia or coconut milk, rather than the more common finds like oat or almond milk. If regular dairy is your preference, then that’s even easier.

Hot Chocolate Without Cocoa Powder Recipe Card

As always, if you like the recipe, I really appreciate a review or comment!

Yield: 1 serving

Hot Chocolate Without Cocoa Powder (Microwave Method)

Hot Chocolate Without Cocoa Powder (Microwave Method)

The simplest hot chocolate without cocoa powder, easily customized to your own tolerances and preferences!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6-8 oz. of milk of your choice
  • 2 oz. of chopped chocolate (white, milk, or dark, but make sure it's sweet enough for your taste)
  • Optional: a pinch of salt or pure monk fruit extract

Instructions

  1. This is the real trick to perfect vegan hot chocolate: chop your chocolate very small, and heat the milk only. First, chop up your chosen chocolate, whether it comes in bar or chip form, until it's in little slivers.
  2. Then take your milk of choice and heat it in a saucepan over the stove (or nuke it in the microwave), warming it with either method until it's just a bit too hot to touch.
  3. Turn off the heat and move the pan to a different surface. Add in all of your chosen chocolate, and let the pan or mug sit alone for two minutes. Don't touch it. This rest allows the chocolate to melt naturally, and if you over-heat your milk, it could burn the chocolate or even separate the cacao solids from the cocoa butter, so stick to a low heat.
  4. After a couple of minutes, slowly stir or whisk your drinks together, combining the milk and chocolate from the bottom of the container up. If the fat and solids in the chocolate do separate, never fear. Just use a high-powered whisk or an immersion blender to re-combine everything; this will also make for a frothier drink. This is when I usually add a pinch of salt to contrast the sweetness, but serve your cocoa however you'd like and enjoy!

Notes

Which Chocolate to Use: Remember to use a high-percentage craft chocolate in your hot cocoa without cocoa powder! Otherwise your chocolate drink will end up flatter-tasting rather than complex.

Picking a Milk: When you're using a non-dairy milk in hot cocoa, I'd recommend using a creamier option, like macadamia or coconut milk, rather than the more common finds like oat or almond milk. If you can tolerate dairy, however, full steam ahead!

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