Melt Away the Cold With Hot Chocolate: 5 Globally Inspired Recipes

The weather may have you cooped up inside, but your cuisine choices do not need to be limited to home. Melt away the cold temperatures by taking a global hot chocolate tour with these five recipes.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. Italian hot chocolate

Italian-style hot chocolate, or ciccolata calda, uses cornstarch to help reach its thick, pudding-like consistency. Rich and decadent, Bell’alimento’s version of the drink comes together quickly, taking only about five minutes to prepare.


  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 percent or more)
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions: Into a saucepan over low heat, add chocolate and a smidge of milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted. Slowly add remaining milk until well combined. Add sugar. Mix to combine. Whisk in corn starch. Continue cooking over low heat until it becomes thick, creamy, and coats the back of the wooden spoon.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Parisian hot chocolate

Known as ”le chocolat chaud” in France, Parisians warm up to small cups of hot chocolate in the winter. Like the Italians, their version has a deep flavor and creamy texture. As with other sweet indulgences in France, the serving size is smaller than what would be expected in the United States. Indulge in a cup or two of your own with this recipe from Food and Friendship Santa Barbara.


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar (optional)

Directions: Heat the milk in a medium-size saucepan. Once the milk is warm, whisk in the chocolate, stirring until melted and steaming hot. For a thick hot chocolate, cook at a very low boil for about three minutes, whisking constantly. Be careful and keep an eye on the mixture, as it may boil up a bit in the first moments. Taste and add brown sugar if desired.

Serve warm in small demitasse or coffee cups. If you want to take the flavor up a notch, let it sit for a few hours and reheat before enjoying.

Hot Chocolate, pastries, cheese

Source: iStock

3. Colombian hot chocolate

Hot chocolate can be found in Colombia year round and is often served at breakfast. Go Backpacking explains that traditionally, the drink is paired with cheese, which you dunk into your cup for a salty-sweet combination. If you aren’t ready for that level of authenticity yet, you can still make chocolate caliente con agua (hot chocolate with water) or chocolate santafereño (hot chocolate with milk) thanks to My Columbian Recipes.

Chocolate caliente con agua ingredients:

  • 4 ounces Colombian chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or to your taste
  • 4 cups of water

Directions: Add all ingredients to a medium pot or chocolatera. Heat over medium heat until simmering, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Chocolate santafereño ingredients:

  • 4½ cups whole milk
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar or to your taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 ounces sweet chocolate, chopped

Directions: Heat the milk in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point; add the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, add the sugar and cinnamon. Whisk vigorously or transfer to a blender. Reheat gently and serve immediately.

Churros with chocolate

Source: iStock

4. Spanish hot chocolate

Whipping up’s wonderfully rich hot chocolate may have you craving churros, as well. Like the French and Italian versions, Spanish hot chocolate has a luxurious texture. Cornstarch is a thickening agent again, but the added sugar sets the Spanish version apart with its extra sweetness.


  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8-12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions: Pour 5½ cups milk into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Add the remaining ½ cup milk to form a smooth paste. Heat the milk over medium heat and add cocoa mixture just before the milk boils. Allow to boil, stirring constantly for one minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and 8 ounces of the chocolate. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and combined. Add more chocolate, little by little, to taste.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Mexican hot chocolate

If you’ve found all of the recipes so far to be too sweet, too thick, or just missing something — other than cheese, of course — Mexican hot chocolate might be the kick you are looking for. Follow this recipe from Food Republic and in five minutes’ time, you’ll be enjoying a drink inspired by the ancient Mayans.


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red chile powder
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate (up to 73 percent), chopped finely

Directions: Heat the milk in a small saucepan and when steaming, whisk in cocoa powder and the salt. Allow to come to a boil, then immediately remove from heat and whisk in chile powder and dark chocolate until smooth.

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