Italian Hot Chocolate is a thick, decadent drink made from real chocolate. Instead of using only cocoa, this heavenly beverage is made with Lindt chocolate.
This Lindt hot chocolate recipe is similar to French Hot Chocolate, but the method is different. One thing's for sure, both are super delicious, warming drinks that are perfect for the winter!
My hot chocolate recipe collection is growing fast and furiously thanks to the awesome Hot Chocolate Extravaganza that I’m running on my blog these days. Whether it’s this Three-Ingredient Creamy Homemade White Hot Chocolate, or this citrusy Orange Hot Chocolate that you first choose to make, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
About this Recipe
What is hot chocolate called in Italy? Picture this: You're walking down a cobbled street in a small Italian town at dusk. The wind is cold and blustery. You come across a small cafe and ask for coffee, but your Italian is poor and the barista asks, “Cioccolata Calda?”
You have no idea what it is, but nod your head in agreement, hoping it's warm and comforting. The barista soon hands you a big, warm mug of liquid chocolate.
And then you take a sip, and you die and go to chocolate heaven.
Ciccolata Calda is the creamy, thick Italian hot chocolate made from real chocolate, cocoa, milk and sugar. If you’ve never tried to make hot chocolate this way before, well, your life is about to change!
Why this Recipe Works
- Real Chocolate: While using just cocoa powder yields a pretty good result, when we use high quality chocolate for this recipe, the results are simply amazing. The flavor is rich and you can taste the chocolate in each sip.
- Secret ingredient: For this recipe we use just a bit of cornstarch to make the consistency of the hot chocolate thick and decadent. This makes a big difference in how indulgent the drink turns out.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chocolate: Use high quality such as Lindt. For an intense flavor I recommend using dark chocolate, but you can also use milk chocolate for a sweeter result.
- Milk: For the best results, I recommend using whole milk. It makes the hot chocolate so luxurious and indulgent.
- Cocoa Powder: We need only a bit, to further intensify the chocolate flavor.
- Sugar: Adjust the amount according to your taste. You will need to use less if using milk chocolate, as that is already sweetened.
- Corn starch: This is the magic ingredient that helps thicken up the hot chocolate to give it an almost pudding-like consistency.
How to Make Italian Hot Chocolate
- In a saucepan, melt the chocolate with two tablespoons of milk, on low heat.
- Now add the remaining milk, and mix continuously, until well incorporated.
- Add the cocoa powder and sugar, and stir until combined.
- Mix the cornstarch with milk to create a slurry. Slowly pour it into the hot chocolate, while whisking continuously.
- Mix until the hot chocolate has thickened and it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, and enjoy!
You can enjoy this Lindt hot cocoa as is, or use as many toppings as you like! Here are some suggestions:
- Whipped cream
- Mini marshmallows
- Peppermint candies
- Sprinkles, for the little ones!
- A sprinkle of sea salt
- Candied ginger
Sift the cocoa: To ensure a lump free Italian hot chocolate, I recommend that you sift the cocoa powder before adding it.
Cornstarch: Also known as cornflour, be sure to mix it with a bit of milk to make a slurry. When you add this to the hot chocolate, keep whisking, for a smooth and silky texture.
Storage: As the hot chocolate cools down, it will thicken. You can store it in the fridge for 1-2 days, and slowly warm it in a saucepan on the stove. If it’s thickened too much, add a splash of milk and whisk to thin it out a bit.
Cook on low heat: It’s easy to scald milk, so I highly recommend that you make this recipe using medium-low heat.
Italian hot chocolate is thicker and creamier than the American version. It’s typically made with real chocolate, while American hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder and has a thinner consistency.
Yes, the process is the same. I suggest using dark chocolate chips.
You can either slowly reheat it on the stovetop or warm it in the slow cooker on the low heat setting.
Lindt Italian Hot Chocolate - Cioccolata Calda
- 4 oz milk or dark chocolate I used Lindt Milk Chocolate, but you can use your favorite brand
- 1 1/2 cups full fat milk 3 tablespoons of milk separated
- 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder See notes
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate with two tablespoons of milk on medium heat.
- Slowly add in the milk, continuously mixing with a wooden spoon.
- Add in the cocoa powder and sugar, mixing until fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl mix the corn starch with one tablespoon of milk, and pour this mixture to the saucepan and mix until the hot chocolate has become thick and coats the back of your spoon.
- Top with cocoa powder, mini marshmallows or even sea salt.
Recipe Inspired by Bell'Alimento