Dutch Hot Chocolate is the Cadillac of hot cocoa. You’ll want to keep this simple recipe handy all winter long. Plus, a quick guide to understanding Dutch coca powder vs. natural cocoa.
You're gonna need some Dutch cocoa powder:
Let’s start with the basics: you can’t make Dutch Hot Chocolate without Dutch-processed cocoa powder, that’s rather key. The Dutch are serious about their chocolate.
For those of you who maybe haven’t been quite so serious about cocoa powder to this point (I’m assuming you will be in the future), here’s the scoop:
Dutch Cocoa Powder vs. Natural Cocoa Powder: what's the difference?
- Cocoa powder is made from fermented, dried, and roasted cacao beans. The beans are first cracked into cocoa nibs, which contain both the cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Then the nibs are ground into paste and the processor removes the cocoa butter, leaving the raw cocoa behind. Finally, the raw cocoa is refined into powder, which holds the concentrated flavor of the bean. That’s natural cocoa powder, which has a pH level of roughly 5-6, giving the cocoa a slightly acidic taste with some bitter flavor notes.
- Raw cacao or raw cocoa is the same as natural cocoa powder, just not roasted.
- Dutch-processed cocoa, which is also called Dutched-chocolate, is made by treating the natural cocoa powder with an alkalizing agent to bring the pH to 7, which is neutral. This gives the cocoa a smoother flavor and darker color, ideal for drinking.
So, why is it "Dutch" cocoa?
Why is it Dutch, you ask? The chemist who developed the process, Coenraad van Houten, was Dutch. He pretty much pioneered the world’s ability to make simple chocolate drinks and all the chocolate we eat. How does he not have a holiday?!?
I prefer Droste dutch-processed cocoa, which comes highly recommended by Dutch foodies, and has been the hands-down favorite in my testing. I top mine with corn-free marshmallows or coconut whipped cream, depending on my mood.
Real Deal Real Easy Dutch Hot Chocolate
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa (we used Droste)
- ¼ cup 50 g sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 ⅔ cups 400 mL Milk (if you’re dairy-free, we recommend coconut, cashew or rice milk)
- Whipped cream or marshmallows for serving
- Mix the cocoa, sugar, vanilla and a splash of the milk into a smooth paste in a bowl. Pour the remaining milk into a saucepan and place over low heat until it just begins to boil. Whisk the hot milk into the chocolate mixture. Ladle the cocoa into serving cups.
- Top with dollops of whipped cream or marshmallows and serve immediately.
photo credit: Katie Roletto
OK, you've mastered Dutch Hot Chocolate. Now try these:
A wine cocktail that doubles as dessert? Yes please. This recipe was the most fun to create! Make it on the stovetop or in a slow cooker, with a fruit forward wine like Merlot or Zinfandel. We tested it with whole dairy, coconut and almond milk too - so everyone (of drinking age) can enjoy a mugful. Toasted marshmallows and whipped cream are optional,
Perfectly fudgy, chocolatey and best of all, easy. This gluten-free brownie recipe gets its incredible flavor from high quality cocoa, and you can make it dairy-free too!
We are perfectly comfortable calling these brownies the best. Try them out for yourself.
Delicious Chocolate Martini:
This delicious Chocolate Martini recipe is one of our all-time favorites. It's gluten-free of course, and it's easy to make it dairy-free too. You can double the recipe in a standard cocktail shaker, and you probably should, because you'll want to share it with someone you like a whole lot. Or you'll want another one for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dutch Hot Chocolate:
Dutch cocoa has a stronger, truer "chocolatey" flavor than natural cocoa powder. The Dutch cocoa powder makes Dutch hot chocolate smoother and more intensely chocolate-flavored. Dutch hot chocolate could also be considered "richer," but the mouthfeel of the drink is also affected by the amount and type of milk and/or cream used.
Dutch chocolate or Dutched-chocolate is made by alkalizing natural cocoa power to to bring the pH to neutral. This gives the Dutch cocoa a smoother flavor and darker color, giving Dutch chocolate a richer, deeper chocolate flavor and a smoother finish than candy or drinks made with natural cocoa.
Dutch chocolate is smoother and has richer flavor than natural chocolate. The the pH of Dutch chocolate is neutral, which is achieved by alkalizing natural cocoa, removing bitter and astringent flavors from the chocolate. The amount of sweetness in Dutch candy or drinks is determined by the amount of sugar added when the chocolate is made.
Dutch chocolate milk and hot cocoa are made with Dutch cocoa powder, which is made by alkalizing natural cocoa. That process removes bitter and astringent flavors from the chocolate, making the flavor of the Dutch chocolate milk smoother, purer and richer than drinks made with natural cocoa.
To understand if cocoa powder is Dutch processed, look for the words "Dutch," "Dutched," "Processed with Alkali," "Alkalized," "Dutch Style" or "European Style" on the label.
Dutch chocolate is made by alkalizing natural cocoa power to to bring the pH to neutral. This gives the chocolate smoother flavor and deeper color.
Our favorite wildly available brand is Droste.