Ultimate French hot chocolate recipe

Written by on December 19, 2020 in Gastronomy

Two glass cups of hot chocolate with cream on top

French style hot chocolate is decadent, it can’t be denied. Luxuriously rich, smooth, creamy and oh so chocolatey.

It was introduced to the court of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV but it was his grandson Louix XV who made it a feature of Versailles cuisine. During his reign, the popularity of hot chocolate soared – the King even took to making it himself, so enamoured was he of the rich drink. During his reign the first chocolate making machines were invented and specialist outlets were set up in Paris.

Marie-Antoinette even bought her personal chocolate-maker with her from Austria when she married Louis XVI in 1770.

It was expensive though, so didn’t really become popular with everyone until the 19th century when factories such as Menier opened to produce it en masse.

Hot chocolate fit for royalty

You could make it like King Louis XV whose recipe is as follows:

Place an equal number of bars of chocolate and cups of water in a cafetiere and boil on a low heat for a short while; when you are ready to serve, add one egg yolk for four cups and stir over a low heat without allowing to boil. It is better if prepared a day in advance. Those who drink it every day should leave a small amount as flavouring for those who prepare it the next day. Instead of an egg yolk one can add a beaten egg white after having removed the top layer of froth. Mix in a small amount of chocolate from the cafetiere then add to the cafetiere and finish as with the egg yolk.

Source: Dinners of the Court or the Art of working with all sorts of foods for serving the best tables following the four seasons, by Menon, 1755 (BnF, V.26995, volume IV, p.331)

Or you could make it like a Parisian! We asked Paris-based Ian Benton of La Chambre Paris luxury linen bedding to share his favourite recipe for hot chocolate the way the French make it, perfect for a lazy lie-in…

Ingredients for French hot chocolate

2 cups whole milk
6 ounces/170g top quality dark or bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%)
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional and according to taste)
Tiny pinch of sea salt
Whipped cream for serving (optional)
Powdered cinnamon if you want a bit of Christmas cheer

Instructions

Heat the milk in a pan until it’s hot and bubbles appear, but not boiling. Add the salt and the finely chopped dark chocolate and whisk until dissolved and smooth.

Heat it to a very low simmer, whisking continuously, but don’t let it boil. Simmer for about three minutes during which time it will thicken.

Stir in the brown sugar if you like your hot chocolate sweet, and whisk until smooth.

Pour into cups.

For extra decadence serve with a dollop of whipped cream. And for a little Christmas cheer, sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon powder over the cream.

And… relax.

Note:  For an even thicker result, make the hot chocolate ahead of time, let it cool and then reheat when ready to serve.

Related Articles

The history of coffee in France

The history of coffee in France

Written by on December 27, 2020 in Gastronomy

There’s a thriving coffee culture in France and for first time visitors it takes a bit of getting used to. Generally French cafés don’t have a menu of types of coffee. You’re expected to just know what to ask for (find a handy guide at the end of this article). But how did it get […]

Continue Reading

Recipe for French Cheese Soufflé

Le Soufflé is considered a culinary masterpiece in France. The word soufflé comes from souffler – to breathe or to puff, and this dish takes puffing to an art form! The first time the recipe for a cheese soufflé was recorded was 1742 in Le Cuisine Modern by Vincent La Chapelle (modern for those times […]

Continue Reading

How to host a dinner party in true French style

Julia Girard-Gervois of TripUSAFrance organises amazing tours of France. Though she now lives in the USA, she loves to bring a taste of French style to her table. We asked Julia for her top tips to create a French flavour at home… French table style Always make sure that the dinner table is dressed before […]

Continue Reading

Pastis Gascon | Gascon Apple Pie

I’d never heard of this apple pie until I visited the beautiful area of Gers, AKA Gascony. Deep in the hear of rural southern France, it’s like the land that time forgot. Rolling hills, vineyards, orchards and lakes, peppered with tiny villages and medieval towns. It’s a land of plenty and famous for its speciality […]

Continue Reading

Recipe for Pissaladière

This delicious Provencal version of pizza is a firm favourite in Nice and the French Riviera.  It’s easy to make at home, is great for a snack or light meal, very moreish and goes well with a green salad or on its own or with a glass of chilled rosé… Ingredients for a Pissaladière for […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top