Dear Misery Loves Cookery,
What is a good quality semi sweet chocolate to use in Parisian Hot Chocolate?
Oh, YUM. With winter’s chill now firmly upon us, what could be better than a warm cup of hot chocolate?
You ask a simple question, so I’ll first give you a simple answer: the best chocolate for you to use is the chocolate you like best.
Now, with that behind us, let me go a little deeper. Higher quality chocolate has at least 60% cacao content (this will be marked on the package); the more bittersweet the chocolate, the higher this content will be.
Lower quality chocolate will sometimes replace cocoa butter (natural fat from the cocoa bean) with cheaper fats. If you’ve ever bitten into a piece of chocolate and found it to be waxy, this may have been the culprit.
When you are using only a few simple ingredients—chocolate and milk, with maybe a smidge of sugar—you want to pick a chocolate without any filler fats. While I’m a bittersweet girl, myself, choosing a no-filler, cocoa-butter rich chocolate at the 60%-65% mark will make your drinking experience more semi-sweet.
My go-to chocolate, based on my personal preference, is Valhrona. Scharffen Berger also makes some lovely chocolates. If I don’t want to hunt down these two specialty brands, the bittersweet chocolate made by Ghiradelli (and available in morsels at most grocery stores) is tasty (Amazon Affiliate Link.)
Beyond these nationally available brands (as well as others), don’t forget to check out local chocolatiers. Our family fell in love with the bittersweet varieties at Whetstone Chocolates during our tour of the factory on our family trip to St. Augustine. The time and attention they put into their homemade product was apparent from our first bite—I bet you may also have a local chocolatier doing something similar.
All this having been said, if you try new options, but in the end, your favorite $1 chocolate bar makes you happy melted into milk, use that. Like I said in the beginning, the best chocolate to use is your favorite chocolate.
As for recipes, if you don’t already have one, give David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Chaud a try.
Hope this helps! Happy chocolate sipping.
(As always, if you click on my Amazon affiliate link and make a purchase, I may receive a small percentage of the sale as compensation. Thank you.)