Italian Hot Chocolate or Cioccolata Calda
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. It’s the Best Hot Chocolate bar none!!
Why You Must Make
- It’s thicker and richer than American hot chocolate.
- In fact, it’s so thick and luscious you can eat it with a spoon!
- You only need a small cup to get your fix.
- Topped with marshmallows or whipped cream and chocolate shavings, it’s even suitable for dessert!
- Half and Half – Richer than whole milk but not as rich as heavy cream
- Arrowroot – A thickening agent like cornstarch. I found it at Whole Foods and Fresh Market locally.
- Sugar – Just a touch of additional sweetness
- Semisweet Chocolate – The quality will be reflected in the taste of your hot chocolate so use the best you can afford. I used the Ghirardelli brand.
- Real Vanilla Extract – Never use imitation vanilla. Check the label. I use the Nielsen-Massey brand.
- Whipped cream, candies and/or mini marshmallows – to garnish, optional
- Use good quality chocolate for the best results.
- Make sure to cook the hot chocolate for 3-4 minutes to remove any starchy flavor (when making the Italian version).
- Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or even marshmallows.
- Serve in demitasse cups as a little goes a long way.
- Offer spoons for those who’d like to eat rather than sip!
Frequently Asked Questions
Though the terms are often used interchangeably, there are differences between the two. Hot cocoa is typically made with cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. It’s sweeter and lighter than hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate has melted chocolate mixed into milk or cream. Since the chocolate is already sweet, little to no sugar is needed.
Italian hot chocolate is thicker, creamier, and richer than American and French hot chocolate. Traditionally, it has a thickening agent like cornstarch or arrowroot added along with some dark chocolate.
American hot chocolate is less dense, milkier, and made with cocoa powder instead of chocolate.
Since it’s so decadent, serve in small cups. Offer a spoon, but it’s also perfectly appropriate to sip from the cup.
Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate or even mini marshmallows for an American twist.
You May Also Like:
- White Chocolate Coconut Latte from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
- Easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- Mulled Apple Cider
- Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies
- More Beverage Recipes
Italian Hot Chocolate or Cioccolata Calda
A rich and delectable Italian hot chocolate!
- 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
- Mix 1/4 cup of the half and half with the arrowroot in a small cup till well blended and smooth. Set aside.
- 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.
- Serve in demitasse cups with whipped cream or mini marshmallows.
Use 2 teaspoons of arrowroot for extra thick hot chocolate!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 35mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g
33 Comments on “Italian Hot Chocolate or Cioccolata Calda”
Can you sub half and half with whole milk
That would definitely work. It won’t be as rich, but still delicious!!
This looks absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try this.
This looks absolutely decadent – that’s exactly how we love hot chocolate. Elegant presentation, too. Cheers to the season of hot chocolate and happy holidays! 🙂
Thicker than regular hot chocolate? My husband would love this. It looks so good and inviting. Perfect for the season.
YES! It’s almost like pudding. Hope you give it a try, Judee!
Looks luxurious! A perfect Christmas Eve treat too, I’m sure. Can’t believe it’s only a couple days away… Merry Christmas Liz-enjoy:@)
We loved this down to the very last sip! So good! Will make this again and again!
mmmm this is precisely the way I like my hot chocolate! thick and chocolatey!
Winter finally arrived here and this hot chocolate would hit the spot. It’s supposed to be -8 tonight.
I love your presentation, the chocolate on top really seals the deal. Lackluster this isn’t!
I wish I was warming up with a mug of this hot chocolate right now!
I think your hot chocolate is even better that Angelina’s one ! It looks terrific and I love marshmallows!