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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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