Creamy and rich white hot chocolate that isn't cloyingly sweet. It will surely keep you nice and warm as you snuggle in this season!
Why it works
Most white hot chocolate recipes have a reputation of being cloyingly sweet and lacking any depth. This is not the case at all here.
This cozy hot chocolate is made with quality white chocolate and balances the sweetness of the chocolate so it is pleasant and not overbearing.
We also add a touch of vanilla to amplify the flavors within the white chocolate. A tiny pinch of salt enhances everything - and further tempers the sweetness of the chocolate.
White hot chocolate requires only a few key ingredients, a lot of them are kitchen staples.
- White chocolate - Okay, so this is important. You must use high quality white chocolate here. Not the chocolate chips either. We want a nice bar of white chocolate.
- Heavy cream - A bit of richness helps to infuse the flavors of the white chocolate, and make it easier to melt whether you are using the stovetop or the microwave.
- Milk - I always like using whole milk for hot chocolate, but you can use any milk that you enjoy.
- Vanilla - Vanilla amplifies the flavor of the white chocolate. You can use extract, or go fancy with vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste.
- Salt - To keep the white chocolate from being too sweet and to enhance the flavors, a pinch of salt goes a long way.
How to make - 3 ways
There are a couple of different ways you can make white hot chocolate. The microwave, the stove, and the slow cooker if you are making a larger batch for a crowd.
My personal favorite way is the microwave because it is quick and there are fewer dishes to wash afterward. I'll give a brief overview of each one.
- Microwave: Add the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe mug. Heat for a few seconds, then stir to melt the chocolate. Add remaining ingredients, then microwave again until steaming hot.
- Stovetop: Add the cream and white chocolate to a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low, stirring to melt the chocolate. Add the remaining ingredients, then stir until steaming hot. Serve in a mug.
- Slow cooker: Add all ingredients (multiplied to serve at least 6 - 8) to the slow cooker, and heat on low for about 30 minutes. Stir well to melt the chocolate, heat for an additional 30 minutes, or as needed until it is steaming hot. Serve in mugs.
Why I use cream
There is a good reason I use cream in my white hot chocolate.
Cream has a high fat content and lower water content, making it perfect for the chocolate to incorporate into and give it a buffer from the direct heat of your saucepan or microwave and mug.
Chocolate has a stable balance of fat and sugar. Water interacts differently with each. Fat and water do not like to interact and prefer to separate (think oil sitting on top off water), while water and sugar love to interact. Water makes sugar want to clump together, while making the fat want to get as far away as possible. This creates separation and clumping in the chocolate (aka, it seizes).
You can of course create an inverted emulsion with the chocolate by adding more water, but we don't want a watery hot chocolate. Hot chocolate should be rich, thick and creamy.
So, we start by introducing a liquid with a higher fat content.
White chocolate benefits greatly with having a fat paired with it when melting because it is more prone to seizing and burning compared to all other types of chocolate. The last thing we want to have to deal with is burnt chocolate when we are making hot chocolate.
Heat the chocolate and the cream just until it starts to get very warm and nearly steamy. Stir it well to finish melting the chocolate, then add the remaining milk.
You can make yourself a white chocolate ganache and store it so you can add what you want to make hot chocolate in the future. The chocolate and cream we heat is basically like making a quick ganache, so this is something you can do in big batches and grab when you want to make another white hot chocolate.
You can keep the ganache in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature for about 3 - 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. When you are ready to make a mug, take out about ¼ cup of the ganache and add it to hot milk and stir!
Storage and batch making
You can store any left over hot white chocolate in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Gently reheat it using the microwave or stovetop.
The best part about this recipe is that you can multiply the recipe as much as you need to serve a crowd.
If you are as in love with hot chocolate as I am, you will need to check out my detailed guide on homemade hot chocolate (explaining how you can make it your own with different ingredients to use so you can get it as chocolaty or creamy as you prefer),
My black forest hot chocolate, tiramisu hot chocolate, and Nutella hot chocolate are also very popular. My salted caramel mocha hot chocolate on a stick make great holiday gifts, and everyone loves to try out my spicy hot chocolate and chai hot chocolate recipes!.
The type of white chocolate you use is very important for the best drink. You should look for bars of white chocolate, preferably one that lists cocoa butter as an ingredient.
White chocolate has a delicate sweet and creamy flavor with delicious vanilla notes throughout. The hot chocolate version tastes just like that, only amplified with the addition of vanilla extract.
Absolutely! You can get as creative as you want. Add a touch of peppermint, or even add a hint of coffee for a white chocolate mocha flavor. Add in spices for a warming twist.
White Hot Chocolate
- 4.5 ounces white chocolate
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Chop the white chocolate and add it to a microwave-safe mug. Add in the heavy cream.
- Heat in the microwave for 30-seconds.
- Stir well, until the chocolate is melted, then add the milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Heat for about 90 second. Stir again and test the temperature, add another 30 seconds, if necessary.
- Serve with your favorite toppings.