How to Make the Ultimate Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate

Staying warm has never tasted so sweet.

On a chilly winter day, nothing tastes better than a steaming mug of hot chocolate. And this genius slow-cooker recipe makes it easy to enjoy your favourite drink the second you come in from the cold.

How to make Crock-Pot hot chocolate:

This indulgent recipe features a rich, mocha taste and tons of chocolate flavour. Enjoy six tasty servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 6 ounces 70% cacao dark baking chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash salt

For the coffee whipped cream (optional):

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans, chopped

Directions:

Step 1: Make the hot chocolate

The beauty of slow-cooker hot chocolate? It’s so easy. For this recipe, simply combine all of the hot chocolate ingredients in a 1-1/2 quart slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low for two hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot and chocolate is melted.

Step 2: Whip, whip, whip!

While the hot chocolate is cooking, you can start preparing the garnishes. While it’s completely optional, this coffee whipped cream adds a sophisticated edge to the finished drink. To make, beat together the cream and espresso powder in a small bowl. Once the cream starts to thicken, add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form.

Step 3: Garnish and serve

Once your hot chocolate is, well, hot, it’s time to serve! Ladle servings into mugs and garnish with whipped cream and chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans.

(Psst: These incredible dessert recipes would be tasty on the side.)

Crock-Pot hot chocolate tips:

Will the milk curdle in the slow cooker?

There’s always a chance milk will curdle when exposed to heat, but by cooking this Crock-Pot hot chocolate on a low temperature and stirring frequently, it’s unlikely.

Why use chocolate and not just cocoa powder?

Chopped chocolate gives this recipe a luxe, truffle-like texture. The end result is smooth, creamy and oh-so-decadent. If you don’t have chocolate on hand, you can certainly substitute cocoa powder. But the end result will be a little less indulgent.

Can I flavour this hot chocolate with peppermint?

Sure! Feel free to swap out the espresso powder for a teaspoon of peppermint extract or a splash of peppermint liqueur. Garnish with crushed peppermint candies.

Can I make this dairy-free and vegan?

Yes—but you will need to make some substitutions. First, replace the milk with your favourite milk alternative. Then double-check that your baking chocolate is dairy-free. (Some brands may contain milk fat).

For the garnish, swap the heavy whipping cream for coconut cream, or pick up your favourite store-bought whipped cream alternative. If you’re vegan, you’ll also need to pay attention to the sugar you use and buy a brand that does not use bone char.

Can I add toppings while the hot chocolate is still in the Crock-Pot?

No. Adding the whipped cream or espresso bean pieces to the slow cooker will cause them to melt. Instead, top your drink immediately after pouring it into a mug. If you’re serving this recipe for a party, set out the garnishes in bowls next to the slow cooker and allow guests to help themselves.

Can I freeze homemade hot chocolate?

Yes, but it’s not advisable. There’s a risk that the hot chocolate will separate, and milk tends to get grainy when frozen for longer than a month.

After you’ve finished your sweet drink, try one of these slow-cooker recipes.

Originally Published on Taste of Home

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