[Musings] Hot Chocolate for the Busy

I used to think that the only way to heat milk properly for preparing hot chocolate was by using a saucepan. I eventually decided to experiment with a microwave oven.

(the latest version of this recipe is available here)

What you’ll need:

  • a microwave oven
  • two mugs
  • milk
  • your favorite hot chocolate powder — I’m partial myself to Poulain’s 1848 brand


  1. pour cold milk into one of the mugs, up to 3/4th capacity
  2. heat in your microwave oven at maximum power for 2 mins (at 900W) — it will boil, but not spill over
  3. in the meantime, put two generous spoons of your chocolate powder in the other mug
  4. add a little cold milk and stir vigorously — it should become barely liquid (if in doubt, add a little more cold milk)
  5. pour the hot milk in the mug containing the hot chocolate; no need to stir

Using mugs to prepare hot chocolate makes it a lot less messy compared to saucepans where the milk always seem to stick no matter how careful I am. Mixing cold chocolate with hot milk tend to produce pleasant-looking swirls in the resulting drink. Finally, mixing the powder with a little milk makes it a lot easier to mix with the rest of the milk.

I’ve put this recipe on GitHub. Feel free to fork.

About Eric Lefevre-Ardant

Independent technical consultant.
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1 Response to [Musings] Hot Chocolate for the Busy

  1. Eike Lang says:

    The mug idea is as brilliant as it is simple although when I tried it a little of the milk did spill over. But that was only because I forgot to do what grandma already knew, namely add a touch of butter around the inner rim of the cup which will kill the foam and keep it from boiling over. (Either that, or my idea of 3/4 is horribly flawed…)

    In place of hot chocolate powder I use cocoa powder (unsweetened) and add sugar to my own taste (most ready-made hot cocoa powder ist too sweet for my taste), so preparing the powder with some cold milk was second nature already.

    Tried and tested alternative, if you’re lucky like me and you have a milk-foam-enabled coffee maker at the office (or even luckier than me and have one at home): Prepare powder with cold milk as in step 3 and 4, top up with milk foam, enjoy.

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