The BEST Hot Chocolate {Slow Cooker or Stove Top}

January 9, 2020
Whether you whip it up on the stove top or in the slow cooker, this combination of chocolate, milk, and 1/2-&-1/2 makes the BEST Hot Chocolate ... tried, taste-tested and family approved.
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Mug of The BEST Hot Chocolate {made in the Slow Cooker or on the Stove Top} Image

A while back, I shared my recipe for Slow Cooker Caramel Hot Chocolate.  And what a mug of total deliciousness that stuff is.

Well making that batch of caramel-infused hot chocolate inspired our daughter and me to wonder, just what does make up the BEST mug of hot chocolate?  Is it the good-old packets of powdered mix you buy in the box at the grocery store?  Or homemade hot chocolate mix?  

Or, is it truly  homemade hot chocolate made with melted chocolate and milk? 

Now while we certainly wouldn't turn any of the mugs of hot chocolate down, the simmered-on-the-stove, made-with-melted-chocolate mug was the clear hands-down winner. 

And if it is the truly homemade hot chocolate from scratch that's best, does the type of chocolate make a difference?  What about the milk ~ should it be all milk, or all cream?  Or a combination of the two?

So with all these questions in mind, Little Miss H. and I set about doing some testing and tasting.

First we mixed up mugs of hot chocolate made with store-bought powdered mix, our own homemade hot chocolate mix, and hot chocolate with simmered milk and melted semi-sweet chocolate.

Now while we certainly wouldn't turn any of the mugs of hot chocolate down, the simmered-on-the-stove, made-with-melted-chocolate mug was the clear hands-down winner.  It had a much richer, much "clearer" chocolate flavor than those made with powdered mixes.

The BEST Hot Chocolate Made on the Stovetop Image

So once we had determined making your own hot chocolate from scratch with milk and actual chocolate was the best route to go, we set out to see if the type of milk and the type of chocolate make a difference.

The short answer to this question?  YES ... the type of milk and the type of chocolate do indeed make a big difference.

Again, while we certainly wouldn't turn down any of the mugs we tried, here are our findings on what we tested and what makes the best hot chocolate:

Type of Milk
What we tested: whole milk, 1/2-&-1/2, heavy cream, and different combinations of each
Best result:  a combination of about half whole milk and about half 1/2-&-1/2

Our findings:  Whole milk alone was certainly good, but was made even better by mixing it in combination with 1/2-&-1/2.  Heavy cream was a bit too thick and rich, both alone and in combination.  We liked the whole milk and 1/2-&-1/2 together best!

Does the type of milk and the type of chocolate make a difference? The short answer to this question?  YES.

Type of Chocolate
What we tested: all milk chocolate, all semi-sweet chocolate, and a mixture of milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate together
Best result:  all milk chocolate

Our findings:  We liked the version made with all milk chocolate the best. For a more dark chocolate taste, a mix of 1 cup milk chocolate chips + 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips can be used ... which we did like, just not as well as the all-milk-chocolate.  While you can certainly make this with semi-sweet chocolate chips alone if you'd like, we weren't fond of the flavor.

The BEST Hot Chocolate Made in the Slow Cooker Image

Besides the great taste, another beauty of making hot chocolate from scratch is the flexibility to make it both on the stove top or in a slow cooker.  Simmer it up quickly on the stove top, or pop it in the slow cooker and step away to let it do its thing.

Either way, you'll soon have a delicious pot of hot chocolate goodness at the ready for enjoying.

For us, a small touch of confectioners' sugar, a tad of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt round out the flavor nicely.

So in our humble opinion?

The BEST hot chocolate ... whether you whip it up on the stove top or in a slow cooker ... is made from scratch with a combination of whole milk and 1/2-&-1/2 with real MILK chocolate melted in.  For us, a small touch of confectioners' sugar, a tad of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt round out the flavor nicely.

But for me, experimentation is what food and cooking is all about! ... I encourage you to use this recipe as a base and try out different combinations to see what your  BEST hot chocolate is.

Happy sipping!

Mug of The BEST Hot Chocolate Made from Scratch Image
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hot chocolate recipe, slow cooker hot chocolate recipe, stovetop hot chocolate recipe, hot chocolate made with real chocolate
Beverages
American
Yield: about 5 cups
Author:

The BEST Hot Chocolate {Slow Cooker or Stove Top}

Whether you whip it up on the stove top or in the slow cooker, this combination of chocolate, milk, and 1/2-&-1/2 makes the BEST Hot Chocolate ... tried, taste-tested and family approved.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 20 M

ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 2 c. 1/2 & 1/2
  • 8 oz. (1 1/2 c.) milk chocolate chips*
  • 1 T. confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • mini marshmallows or whipped cream for garnish

instructions:

How to make The BEST Hot Chocolate {Slow Cooker or Stove Top}

Stove Top Directions:
  1. Place milk and 1/2 & 1/2 in a saucepan or Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat until simmering.
  2. Remove pot from the heat and add the milk chocolate chips, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Reduce heat to low, return pot to the heat, and whisk until the chocolate is fully melted.
  3. Spoon into mugs and top each mug with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired.
Slow Cooker Directions:
  1. Place milk, 1/2 & 1/2, milk chocolate chips, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt in a slow cooker. Cook on LOW setting for 2 - 3 hours until creamy and all chocolate chips are melted, stirring about every 30 minutes.
  2. Spoon into mugs and top each mug with marshmallows or whipped cream, as desired.
  3. Keep warm for several hours with the slow cooker on the WARM or LOW setting. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated later on the stove top or in the microwave.
TRACEY'S NOTES
  1. *We tested with milk chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and a combination of the two. We like milk chocolate chips the best. If you'd like a more dark chocolate taste, use 1 c. milk chocolate chips + 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips. While you can certainly make this with semi-sweet chocolate chips alone if you'd like, we weren't fond of the flavor.
Created using The Recipes Generator

You might also like these other hot chocolate drink recipes:

Slow Cooker Caramel Hot Chocolate

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Peppermint Patty Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate Martini
The BEST Hot Chocolate ~ Made with real chocolate in the slow cooker or on the stovetop ... tried, taste-tested, & family approved! www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


5 comments

  1. A great cup of hot chocolate! Happy Valentine Day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome talent with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

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