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Italian Hot Chocolate in a white ceramic mug

Italian Hot Chocolate or Cioccolata Calda

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This homemade Italian Hot Chocolate AKA Cioccolata Calda will rival any you’ve tasted from Angelina’s Parisian version to those lack-luster packet mixes!

This dreamy liquid chocolate is perfect for post sledding or skiing, or anytime you need to warm up from the inside out.

A mug of Italian Hot Chocolate topped with mini marshmallows

Italian Hot Chocolate or Cioccolata Calda

It was a sad day in our house. There were NO homemade desserts and Bill was scrounging in the pantry for some Mega-Stuf Oreos.

I’m more likely to bake up some Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups than ordinary hot chocolate, but I had been wanting to share this Cioccolata Calda, or Italian Hot Chocolate, for the past couple months. It was finally cold enough to feel right. When I offered this up for dessert, there were no objections, especially when garnished with a mound of mini marshmallows!

Two mugs of Italian Hot Chocolate on a white tray

European Hot Chocolate

My family got their first taste of European hot chocolate while in Paris. We didn’t try the world renowned version from Angelina’s, but instead followed my friend, and fellow blogger, Jill of Mad About Macarons, to an exquisite pastry shop and restaurant nestled in a narrow lane off of the Boulevard Saint-Germain.

It was at Une Diamanche à Paris where my family gorged on sweets and ordered their thick and luscious hot chocolate to wash those down. It was definitely a chocolate overload for my generally bottomless pit sons! Now we need to get back to Italy and enjoy the real deal, Italian Hot Chocolate.  Cioccolata Calda here we come!!

This dreamy beverage was almost like drinking thick, hot, melted chocolate ice cream. Totally decadent. Totally divine. I don’t think there were any regrets.

Luscious, thick Italian Hot Chocolate in a white ceramic mug with mini marshmallows and chocolate candies

Perfect After Dinner Treat!

I’ve been known to use those hot chocolate packets or mix a generous scoop of Nestles’ Quik into some hot milk for a treat after sledding or snow blowing. If you want to up the ante, serve this decadent Italian Hot Chocolate.

Topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, it’s even suitable for dessert!

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Italian Hot Chocolate - This Cioccolata Calda is the BEST hot chocolate you'll ever make!

Italian Hot Chocolate or Cioccolata Calda

A rich and delectable Italian hot chocolate!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 8 servings


  • 1 3/4 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot (I found at Whole Foods and Fresh Market)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whipped cream or mini marshmallows, to garnish, optional


  1. Mix 1/4 cup of the half and half with the arrowroot in small cup till well blended and smooth. Set aside.
  2. Put the remaining half and half and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When bubbles begin forming around the edges of the pan, add the arrowroot mixture and whisk until blended and slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate and vanilla and continue to whisk until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Serve in demitasse cups with whipped cream or mini marshmallows.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 35mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g


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Luscious, thick Italian Hot Chocolate | This Cioccolata Calda is the BEST hot chocolate you'll ever make!

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26 comments on “Italian Hot Chocolate or Cioccolata Calda”

  1. Now this is the way to do hot chocolate! I could go for a big mug this evening!

  2. This looks like the perfect cup of hot chocolate, Liz 🙂 So decadent and delicious just what I need to warm up with on a cold day.

  3. While it is warm here in Florida, I know if I served this up to my grandchildren they would be asking for seconds. 😀

  4. Such an adorable idea. We will drink hot chocolate no matter what the weather! 🙂

  5. Arrowroot- interesting! What does it taste like? I love hot chocolate and trying different chocolate recipes! I’ll have to try this one asap!! I just posted a yummy chocolate recipe on my blog too 🙂 Thanks for sharing this one!

    How was your trip in Europe? What was your favorite part?

  6. It certainly is the weather for this decadent ItaliN Hot Chocolate. Absolutely delicious and thick enough to hold lots of topping. Fantastic recipe, thank you for sharing. Sammie.

  7. So glad winter is not over yet so I can enjoy a cup of this!

  8. What a sad day in your house. You should have sent them around here as I had half a raspberry pie leftover that no one would eat because we’d run out of ice cream. First world problems??? I had a hot chocolate at the airport this morning and I’m telling you now, it was nothing like the one you described in Paris. Two sips and it was binned xx

  9. No homemade treats! That’s a crime 😉 But this awesome drink would make up for it – yum!

  10. I would love a cup of this hot chocolate. It looks so rich and chocolatey.

  11. Hot chocolate seems to be making the rounds and I am so happy about that! This looks great Liz and would make my daughter very happy. She still orders “hot choco” from Starbucks whenever she visits!

  12. Do believe Bill would be quite comfortable in our guest apartment should he ever be called for business…I always have a stash of double cream Oreos! And dark chocolate bars…If you ever decided to accompany him, I promise Liz, I’d buy a stash of caramels for your comfort,too =) Speaking of comfort, Mon Dieu! Jill instructed you well as you have inspired me to try this delectable chocolate drink…I should say gorgeous and delectable looking drink!

  13. We’re supposed to be getting lots of snow today so this is perfect!!!! love the arrowroot!!! Wow, great add! Beautiful hot chocolate!!!!

  14. This is my kind of hot chocolate! Bring happiness in every sip

  15. I’ve never had arrowroot, thanks for the inspiration!

  16. What a treat Liz, and so pretty all garnished up! If shovelling snow after dinner a dash of bailey’s might be lovely too!

  17. What? No dessert at your place? Nothing beats a homemade hot chocolate. Will have to try this, interesting with the arrowroot! Looks great.

  18. OMG, this hot chocolate sounds and looks fabulous Liz…and yes, I think I can have this for dessert!
    Thanks for the recipe…have a great week 🙂

  19. Glad you get to serve this homemade hot chocolate so there is now dessert at home! I love the topping, it’s so cute!

  20. I think your hot chocolate is even better that Angelina’s one ! It looks terrific and I love marshmallows!

  21. I wish I was warming up with a mug of this hot chocolate right now!

  22. I love your presentation, the chocolate on top really seals the deal. Lackluster this isn’t!

  23. Lizzy,
    Winter finally arrived here and this hot chocolate would hit the spot. It’s supposed to be -8 tonight.

  24. mmmm this is precisely the way I like my hot chocolate! thick and chocolatey!

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