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Rich Espresso Hot Chocolate Recipe

Two cups with espresso hot chocolate, whipped cream, and shaved chocolate on top
Two cups with espresso hot chocolate, whipped cream, and shaved chocolate on top - Milena Manolova/Mashed

This rich, indulgent drink, made by recipe developer Milena Manolova, is the perfect marriage of two beloved flavors: smooth, creamy chocolate and bold, aromatic espresso. It's a match made in heaven for anyone who loves coffee and chocolate, and a perfect twist on a classic winter warmer. The sweet, creamy hot chocolate provides the perfect base for the robust, slightly bitter espresso, creating a complex and satisfying drink that's both comforting and delicious. The creamy, light whipped cream is like a cloud floating on top of your mug!

If you've never tried espresso hot chocolate before, you're in for a real treat. It's the perfect hot drink to cozy up on a cold winter night or serve as a festive treat at a holiday party. It's also a great pick-me-up on a busy afternoon or a delicious way to start the day on a chilly morning.

This espresso hot chocolate is easy to make. All you need are six simple ingredients. Whip up some heavy cream, then heat the milk with the chocolate, sugar, and vanilla, add the espresso, and voila! You've got a delicious, decadent drink in just a few minutes. If you want to get really fancy, sprinkle some shaved chocolate or cocoa powder on top.

Read more: How To Get More Flavor From Your Coffee Pods & Other Keurig Hacks

Gather All The Ingredients For The Rich Espresso Hot Chocolate

Ingredients for espresso hot chocolate recipe
Ingredients for espresso hot chocolate recipe - Milena Manolova/Mashed

You need 6 simple ingredients to make this super delicious espresso hot chocolate: milk, heavy whipping cream, espresso, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and semi-sweet chocolate.

Step 1: Whip The Cream

Whipping cream with a hand mixer
Whipping cream with a hand mixer - Milena Manolova/Mashed

In a bowl, whip the heavy cream for about 1 to 2 minutes or until thick using a hand mixer or a whisk. Be careful not to overwhip the cream.

Step 2: Heat The Ingredients

Saucepan with milk and chopped chocolate
Saucepan with milk and chopped chocolate - Milena Manolova/Mashed

In a saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, chocolate, and vanilla. Cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the chocolate is melted.

Step 3: Add The Espresso

Adding espresso to a saucepan with hot chocolate
Adding espresso to a saucepan with hot chocolate - Milena Manolova/Mashed

Remove from heat and add the espresso.

Step 4: Pour Into Mugs

Pouring hot chocolate into a mug
Pouring hot chocolate into a mug - Milena Manolova/Mashed

Pour the espresso hot chocolate into mugs.

Step 5: Add The Whipped Cream On Top

Two cups with hot chocolate and whipped cream on top
Two cups with hot chocolate and whipped cream on top - Milena Manolova/Mashed

Top with whipped cream.

Step 6: Garnish With Shaved Chocolаte Or Cacao Powder

Two cups of espresso hot chocolate with garnishes
Two cups of espresso hot chocolate with garnishes - Milena Manolova/Mashed

Garnish with shaved chocolate or cacao powder, if desired.

How Do I Avoid Overwhipping Cream?

Scooping the foamy top off a cup with hot chocolate
Scooping the foamy top off a cup with hot chocolate - Milena Manolova/Mashed

Here are some simple tips on how to avoid overwhipped cream. Make sure your heavy cream is well-chilled before you start whipping. Cold cream whips up faster and holds its shape better than warm cream. Whip the cream on medium speed until it just starts to thicken, then increase the speed to medium-high until soft peaks form. Don't walk away from your mixer while it's whipping the cream. Stop beating as soon as the peaks hold their shape; if you keep going, you risk overwhipping the cream. Another option is, once the cream starts to thicken, to finish whipping by hand using a whisk. This way you have more control and can avoid overwhipping the cream.

If the whipped cream is just starting to look grainy or lumpy, you may be able to save it by adding a little more cream. This will help to smooth out the texture and bring the cream back to a softer consistency. If you're sweetening your whipped cream, add the sugar gradually as you whip rather than all at once. This will help the cream maintain its structure and prevent it from deflating.

What Kinds Of Chocolate Can I Use In Hot Chocolate?

Two cups with espresso hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate
Two cups with espresso hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate - Milena Manolova/Mashed

For the best flavor and texture, use high-quality chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate is my personal favorite, striking a nice balance between sweet and bitter. If you prefer a more intense, slightly bitter flavor, use dark chocolate with a high cacao percentage (70% or higher). This will give your hot chocolate a deep, complex flavor.

For a sweeter, creamier hot chocolate, go for milk chocolate. Though you might want to omit adding sugar, as milk chocolate is much sweeter than semi-sweet. If you're feeling adventurous, try using a spicy chocolate bar with chile peppers or other spices. This will give the hot chocolate a warm, spicy kick perfect for a cold day.

You can use either chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in the hot chocolate, but there are a few reasons why chopped gives a better result. Chopped chocolate melts more evenly for a smoother texture. Chopping up a chocolate bar allows you to control the quality of the chocolate, whereas chocolate chips can vary in quality and may contain stabilizers that affect the texture and flavor of the hot chocolate. A chocolate bar can be shaved or grated on top of your hot chocolate for a beautiful, decorative touch not possible with chocolate chips, but you can sprinkle chips as-is on top. While chocolate chips will still work in a pinch if that's all you have on hand, using chopped chocolate will give you a more luxurious, higher-quality hot chocolate.

Rich Espresso Hot Chocolate Recipe

Espresso hot chocolate with whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top
Espresso hot chocolate with whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top - Milena Manolova/Mashed

Prep Time: 5mCook Time: 5mYield: 2 cupsIngredients

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 cups milk

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 3 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 ounces espresso

Optional Ingredients

  • Shaved chocolate, for garnish

  • Cacao powder, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a bowl, whip the heavy cream for about 1 to 2 minutes or until thick using a hand mixer or a whisk. Be careful not to overwhip the cream.

  2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, chocolate, and vanilla. Cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the chocolate is melted.

  3. Remove from heat and add the espresso.

  4. Pour the espresso hot chocolate into mugs.

  5. Top with whipped cream.

  6. Garnish with shaved chocolate or cacao powder, if desired.

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