Rich and luxurious hot chocolate done the French way! Recipe via

Hot Chocolate French-Style (Chocolat Chaud)

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When the cold weather hits Paris, most people cozy up inside cafes with a warm cup of chocolat chaud, a.k.a. hot chocolate. While many tourists head straight to Angelina for a famous cup of hot chocolate, some of my favorite versions have been in little known cafes elsewhere in the city. 

Rich and luxurious hot chocolate done the French way! Recipe via

One of my go-to’s in Paris is a cozy little brasserie across from Saint-Sulpice Church. They make excellent hot chocolate and offer an excellent view to go with it.

Contrary to popular belief, not all hot chocolate in Paris is as thick as the famous Angelina version. If you’ve had that version, you’ve come to think of French-style hot chocolate as basically pure, melted chocolate.

While I’ve enjoyed my share of this rich delight, I tend to prefer a less viscous version on a consistent basis. Not only that, but the less viscous kind is also the kind of hot chocolate you’ll find more often in typical Parisian cafes and brasseries.

The consistency of hot chocolate in France is actually similar to the hot chocolate we drink in the States, but the difference lies in the quality of chocolate used. 

Rich and luxurious hot chocolate done the French way! Recipe via

The thing is, a lot of people think French hot chocolate is made with cream because it’s so rich. Most of the time, however, it’s just made with whole milk.

The richness actually comes from the use of [easyazon_link identifier=”B00KQ0X3NK” locale=”US” tag=”monpetitfour-20″]bittersweet[/easyazon_link] or dark chocolate, and the quality of that chocolate is also considered to be “the good stuff.”

Maybe that’s why a tasty cup of chocolat chaud can cost you around $6 to $7 a cup. But every penny is worth the taste of luxurious French hot chocolate on a cold day.

The following is my easy recipe for creating a similar hot chocolate at home. It’s made with just 2 ingredients, then topped with freshly whipped cream. It’s my little escape to Paris when I can’t physically be there!

Rich and luxurious hot chocolate done the French way! Recipe via

Hot Chocolate

Yield: 1
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Rich, French bistro-style hot chocolate.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1.5 oz . good quality bittersweet chocolate, 60% cocoa
  • crème Chantilly, sweetened, freshly whipped cream, to garnish


  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, until steam is rising from it and it's just beginning to simmer along the edges.
  2. Add the chocolate in and use a wooden spoon to stir the chocolate into the hot milk until it's completely melted and smooth.
  3. Use a ladle to pour the hot chocolate into your cup, then top with a scoop of the crème Chantilly.


To make a small batch of crème Chantilly, simply whisk 1/2 cup of heavy cream on high speed. Add a tablespoon (or two) of powdered sugar, and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427

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Rich and luxurious hot chocolate done the French way! Recipe via

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  1. I’ve only had the very thick version of French hot chocolate, but not in France. (Silly me!!) At a little restaurant in Seattle called Le Pichet (their roast chicken with chestnuts is to die for if you’re ever vacationing in Seattle). I love the idea of a lighter version that’s just as good with, as you put it, ‘the good stuff’ – bittersweet chocolate.

  2. My husband loves hot chocolate any which way he can get it, although I’m pretty sure he has never had a French Paris version! 😉 This looks just perfect, Beeta!! I obviously MUST make this fro Boy! <3 Cheers, dear!

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