Some people use the words “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa” interchangeably. But did you know that there is actually a marked difference between the two?
Here is everything you need to know about these 2 popular and tasty treats…
What is hot cocoa?
Hot cocoa has been around for many years and has always been a popular, sweet drink in the wintertime.
Because of its main ingredients (cocoa powder, milk powder and sugar), hot cocoa tends to be quite light, sweet and aromatic in taste. When boiling water and milk is added to cocoa powder, the consistency remains thin and doesn’t thicken.
Depending on the brand of hot cocoa you choose, it can also contain added ingredients, such as ground cinnamon, vanilla or caramel flavoring.
Generally speaking, hot cocoa is not as sweet as hot chocolate, making it ideal if you are diabetic or you don’t like treats that taste too sweet.
What is hot chocolate?
The original form of hot chocolate refers to melted bits of chocolate. The kind of melted chocolate that it contains varies from rich milk chocolate to dark or sweet white chocolate.
Due to its high content of melted chocolate, when you add boiling water, the chocolate shavings melt quickly and give a thicker consistency than hot cocoa. When you add milk or cream, it becomes even thicker in consistency and this gives you a wonderfully decadent winter treat.
Sometimes, depending on how you make it, your hot chocolate can have the consistency of a pudding, which can be eaten with a spoon or sipped slowly.
This means that hot chocolate is definitely richer and more filling than hot cocoa and it can therefore be eaten or drunk as a standalone dessert.
Today, a more popular and much easier option is instant hot chocolate. Made from a range of high quality ingredients, all you have to do for the perfect cup of hot chocolate is add milk. No melting, no waiting, no mess.
What ingredients are in hot cocoa?
Hot cocoa normally consists of a mixture of cocoa powder, milk powder and sugar.
To make the perfect cup of hot cocoa, we recommend using 2 heaped tablespoons of your favorite cocoa powder.
You may want to add in some sugar to taste, depending on how sweet you like your cocoa. Most people add 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar for the perfect balance between chocolaty richness and sweetness.
Add in a little boiling water so that you can make a paste out of the cocoa and sugar combination. This will also make your cocoa frothy when you add in your milk or cream.
Once your paste has been made, add in a cup of hot, steaming milk and (if desired) some cream for additional richness.
Some people like to add in a quarter of a teaspoon of vanilla or caramel essence for some additional flavor, but this is entirely up to you.
How is hot chocolate made?
To make a gorgeously decadent cup of rich hot chocolate, you can start off by warming up some milk in a saucepan or in your microwave. Whole milk will obviously make your hot chocolate taste richer but you can also use semi-skimmed or skimmed milk if you don’t want the added calories.
As mentioned, original hot chocolate is made by using pieces of actual chocolate and not powder. This is a lengthier process and can often produce hot chocolate that is too rich for some tastes.
This is why we recommend using Instant Drinking Chocolate’s range of decadent hot chocolate mixes.
Once your milk has been gently heated, add in 4-6 teaspoons of your instant hot chocolate (per 250ml cup of milk), and stir it until it begins melting into the milk.
When the hot chocolate powder and milk has been combined well, your hot chocolate has been made!
Now you can add in some marshmallows, or whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles and enjoy.
Is hot chocolate or hot cocoa healthier?
It all depends on the ingredients in your hot cocoa or hot chocolate.
Cocoa contains a lot of antioxidants, which are great for inflammation, heart health, memory and more.
Our hot chocolate products are sourced from the highest quality ingredients, are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and lactose free.
Looking for the perfect hot chocolate mix? Browse our premium gourmet products below.