I spent hours reviewing hot chocolate recipe videos on YouTube looking for quality recipes from hosts with a point of view or attitude and with acceptable production values.
I rejected hundreds and hundreds of videos that were either badly produced (lots of interesting ones that were literally made my brain hurt to watch), did not add anything new to other videos I had selected, incorporated commercial chocolate syrups, mixes, or Nutella as a part of the recipe (though one recipe uses Nutella as a garnish), or claimed to be “authentic” and were not actually authentic.
The selected recipes range from simple to complex, unflavored and flavored, traditional and non-traditional, and more. They are presented here in no particular order.
Some takeaways from the recipes are:
- The use of instant coffee as a flavor enhancer.
- The use of cornstarch as a thickener (a controversial practice I know). I rejected one recipe video that claimed to be cornstarch-free but replaced the cornstarch with regular AP flour. (Ick).
- The use of salt as a flavor enhancer. While many of the recipes add the salt to the liquid chocolate, I would encourage the exploration of garnishing the top of the chocolate in the glass or mug with different finishing salts.
Thoughts on Cocoa Powders
There is a huge difference between natural and alkalized cocoa powders, and most of the recipes here that include cocoa powder as an ingredient use an alkalized powder.
Two of my favorite alkalized (aka Dutch-processed) cocoa powders that are generally available are Guittard’s Cocoa Rouge and Valrhona’s Poudre de Cacao. [These are Amazon affiliate links.] Not available on Amazon (yet) is the new Bensdorp Natural Dark cocoa powder [link to my review], which should be available in professional distribution.
Natural (un-alkalized) cocoa powders will have a higher acidity level and contain more complex flavors reminiscent of the cocoa beans the powder was made from – and will be more of an acquired taste, but well worth exploring how different origins and roasts lead to different flavor profiles.
1: Fresh Hot Chocolate Tea in Tobago
This is one of the least-well produced videos on this list – but one of the best produced videos on the topic of the Caribbean staple, cocoa “tea” using cocoa balls or using Phillipine tableya or similar products.
2: Hot Chocolate Using Sweetened Condensed Milk
This was a new approach for me, using water or skim milk and adding milk solids and sugar in the form of leche condensada. It is included here for that reason. A can see an interesting variation of this idea through creating a style of Brazilian brigadeiro made to be used like a cocoa ball.
3: Cocoa Tea – All Natural + Healthy Jamaican Hot Chocolate
This included here as a variation on the Trinidad & Tobago version. Also not well produced but certainly a style to explore.
4: Hot Chocolate Recipe (Emeril Lagasse)
In a word, Emeril. Two words: Emeril. Bam! Love him or hate him, he was a character who brought a certain je ne sais quois and lagniappe to his recipes. (I know I am using lagniappe imprecisely, but I am not going to change it.)
5: How To Make French Hot Chocolate At Home
A classic approach. I like the discussion of consuming this for breakfast, dunking fresh brioche into the bowl. I will take this version over Banania any day of the week.
6: Hot Chocolate In The 19th Century
I happen to be a huge fan of this channel and have watched dozens of videos covering food preparation in the 18th and 19th centuries.
7: How To Make Vegan Hot Chocolate – Only 5 Ingredients
There are dozens of healthy, vegan, vegetarian, and/or raw hot chocolate recipes on YouTube. This one is simple and easy and the host is not obnoxious, a sad aspect of many of the videos in this category.
8: How to Make Spanish Hot Chocolate Travel Vlog Valencia Part 1
This is one of the recipes that includes cornstarch, widely used in Spain, France, and Italy.
9: Binging with Babish: Flanders' Hot Chocolate from The Simpsons Movie
In the word of the Immortal Homer: Doh!
10: Creamy Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe
This recipe uses Nutella and grated chocolate as a rim garnish. Not entirely sure what I think about that, but it could be skipped without affecting the recipe itself. There are dozens of recipes that are “add Nutella to hot milk” and those I rejected.
11: Superfood Hot Chocolate | Model, Holistic Nutritionist | PMS, energy boost
A controversial choice, perhaps. As with the healthy hot chocolate category, the superfood/protein/keto hot chocolate category is vast and vapid, or the host is over the top obnoxious.
12: Hot Chocolate 3 Ways – The “You Suck at Cooking” channel
This video has even more attitude than Binging with Babish (#9), and it’s the only video that made me smile because of its approach to the topic.
13: Hot Chocolate ☁ | HANSE °C
This is perhaps the simplest recipe, coming from a Japanese channel with a wide range of really interesting food videos. I like the style and the recipes that are showcased on this channel.
14: Making BITTER Hot Chocolate, 18th-Century Style
This video has the most interesting, out-there, recipe concept mentioned as a throw-away: hot chocolate made with red wine. I gotta think about that ... could be genius!
15: How to Make The Best Hot Chocolate Of All Time (4 ways)
I am on the fence about Joshua Weissman as a host – he borders on the unwatchable at times. That said, he does produce a number of videos on topics I want to learn more about, such as lacto-fermentation.
What are your thoughts?
- Do you like this kind of video recipe roundup?
- Would you like to see more of them? (I could do one on brownies, another on mousse, even babka ... ) Do you have a topic you’d like me to research?
- Did you love a video or recipe – disagree with my comments and the inclusion of the video?
- Do you have a favorite YouTube hot chocolate video to share? Or a recipe you’re open to share with the community?
Let me know in a comment below.
File it under: #hotchocolate #youtube #recipe #recipes