5 ways to amp up your hot chocolate recipe

Why pay for hot chocolate when you can make the perfect cuppa at home?
10 Jan, 2022

It might not get that cold in Karachi, but Karachiites love winter treats like hot chocolate. Come November and people start looking up places to find the best hot chocolate in the city. Most times, the craving outlasts the number of options available and this is where a good hot chocolate recipe comes in.

Like you, I have made several mugs of the delicious beverage ourselves and we present to you five ways you can amp up your hot chocolate recipe.

Tip 1: Use good quality chocolate

I know, ‘captain obvious’ much? But seriously, this would not be on the list if it didn't make a huge difference. And when I say good, I mean a good dark chocolate. Using your favourite milk chocolate is fine for a cup or two but somewhere down the line, it will start to taste a bit sickly sweet.

Dark chocolate has that richness without making you feel like you are drinking an over-the-top dessert.

Tip 2: A dash of cinnamon goes a long way

I am a big proponent of keeping things simple, especially recipes, but when you find that little trick that goes a long way in making something great, you have to hold on to it. For me, it is the trusted cinnamon. It helps with doing away the “milkiness” of the drink so it doesn’t feel like you are having those childhood milk-based drinks instead of hot chocolate. It also elevates the aroma of the beverage.

Tip 3: Cook it for longer

Yes, everyone is super into everything instant right now but taking your time with your hot chocolate has a great pay-off. The longer you cook it, the richer it will be. Don’t spend longer than six to seven minutes or you will be there all day but don’t skimp either!

Oh and keep stirring. One minute in, you will still be able to see that the texture is a bit grainy. As the chocolate and milk cook together on low heat, they will melt into a velvety drink and that is exactly what you want.

Tip 4: Experiment

Sure, you can hold on to one classic hot chocolate recipe but it’s always fun to experiment. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have discovered that mint chocolate actually makes a really good hot chocolate — if not the best. And then there is chilli chocolate and maybe even raspberry. Why limit yourself to one flavour?

Tip 5: The magic is in the mug

A good hot chocolate is as much about the beverage as it is about the mug it is poured in. Find one that speaks to you and make sure it is not made out of steel because it gets hot — and you can’t hold it. Just a nice cozy mug to wrap your hands around as you slurp up your favourite hot drink while imagining a fireplace and the next instalment of Harry Potter, but maybe not written by J.K. Rowling.

Here is a hot chocolate recipe that I stand by.


250 ml milk

A pinch of cinnamon

Half a teaspoon of cocoa

A teaspoon of brown sugar

80g or half a bar of dark chocolate, finely chopped


In a saucepan, pour in the cup of milk over medium heat. Add a pinch of cinnamon, cocoa and brown sugar and stir till everything gets mixed in.

The minute you start to see signs of it coming to a simmer, add your dark chocolate and bring the heat to low.

Keep stirring as it cooks. We recommend 6-7 minutes.

Once it reaches the density you like, pour it in your mug.


All photos by the author


Kulsoom Baloch Jan 10, 2022 03:54pm
It must be yummmmmmm
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Isthisreal Jan 10, 2022 07:10pm
Dark chocolate good. Hot chocolate recipes for bad for a nation full of diabetes..
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Pak Pashtun Jan 10, 2022 10:58pm
Too much of a good thing is terrible. Cut down on sweets, Pakistan has 4th highest diabetes rate in the world.
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Laila Jan 11, 2022 02:05am
None of the products or ingredients are available here. The milk we buy isn't real milk unless you have a great farmer connection. Chocolate is expensive. Lindt and Mark and Spencer's can be found in the UK. You are lucky to find any good quality chocolate in Pakistan let alone dark chocolate. Sounds delicious but not really relatable unless you belong to the more affluent upper classes, which I don't
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pa99 Jan 11, 2022 06:49am
Dear Riffat, Wonderful! Wii try it tonite. Thanx for sharing. Best wishes from Sydney, Australia.
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R Jan 12, 2022 12:00am
@Laila These are available at Springs and Naheed's. Also we have local manufacturers as well. Try Raco Chocolate. They are local and they make dark chocolate.
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