Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Laduree's Chocolat Chaud...Hot Chocolate

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One of the great pleasures of visiting Paris in winter is sipping a cup of hot chocolate in one of its famous cafes.  Better yet,  if you are in a maison de the or one of the great patissseries for which Paris is known, you might be in for a memorable surprise.  Contrary to what most people think,  French hot chocolate is made with milk and not cream.  It gets its richness and creaminess from good quality chocolate and by stirring it on low heat for three to five minutes.

I don't know if the hot chocolate at Laduree is the best in Paris or not, but it's pretty damned good.  It is definitely nothing like the one served here in the States.  Like Spanish hot chocolate, it is strong and very rich and will fill you up for hours.  I never feel the need to order anything else to go with it since it feels like a meal in itself.  Laduree has shops all over Paris.  My favorite, though, is the one on Rue Bonaparte on the Left Bank...smaller and less crowded than the ones on the Champs Elysees or the Rue Royal. 

Laduree Champs Elysees

If you happen to be in the Right Bank near the Place de la Concorde on a cold afternoon,  stop at the Hotel de Crillon and order a pot of hot chocolate.  I had a memorable cup there one afternoon after rushing in during a violent rain storm.  Completely unplanned and a nice surprise.  Those are the best.

I have included in Laduree's recipe amounts to serve 4/or 2 people.  Keep it handy for the next cold spell.

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to skip the blending step. It helps to incorporate the chocolate and makes the texture velvety-smooth.  Hopes this keeps you toasty warm!
Photo here
 Hot Chocolate / Chocolate Chaud Recipe

Adapted from Laduree via
Dorie Greenspan Paris Sweets


3 cups whole milk /1 1/2 cups
1/3 cup water / 2 1/2 TBS
1/3 cup sugar 2 1/2 TBS
6 ounces bittersweet/ 3 ounces
chocolate, finely chopped*

Bring the milk, water and sugar just to the boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. At this point the hot chocolate needs to be blended. At Laduree this is done with a hand-held blender, if you have one leave the hot chocolate in the saucepan whip it with the hand-held blender of one minute. If you do not have a hand-held blender transfer the hot chocolate to a traditional blender and whip on high speed for one minute. The chocolate should be served immediately, while still hot and frothy.

If you want to store the hot chocolate leave it to cool before putting it in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to two days. Re-heat and re-whip before serving.  Serves 4/ Serves 2

*Use best quality 70% Cacao chocolate
Photos Google


  1. My favorite way to start the day in Paris, no matter the season!! Yes, you are right, very filling. Thanks you for sharing this, will send on to my daughter who is a fan as well.

  2. Oh, I can't wait to try this recipe. I still dream about the hot chocolate "a l'africanne" at Angelina! I think this will be the perfect treat during the cold upcoming weekend. Thank you!


  3. Maybe the weather here in South Florida will turn cold enough for a hot chocolate but between the sunshine and the warm goodwill of my beloved friends who come and sit with me on the terrace we'll stick with cold drinks for now!

  4. One of my favorite places for hot chocolate in NYC is Sant Ambroeus on Madison Av bet 77 & 78th. They take a heaping fudgey spoonful, add it to a pot with cold milk and steam it with the expresso machine, served with whipped cream. But I can hardly wait to try your recipe!


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