Cioccolata Calda (Italian Hot Chocolate)

Cioccolata Calda, or Italian Hot Chocolate, is a rich and decadent beverage that’s thick and creamy, almost like drinking a warm chocolate pudding. Here’s how you can make this delightful treat at home.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (70-74%), chopped small
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups milk (2% preferred)
  • Chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, mix the chopped dark chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
  2. Make a Slurry: In another small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth.
  3. Warm the Milk: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the remaining 1 3/4 cups of milk to a simmer, watching for bubbles around the edges.
  4. Add Dry Ingredients to Milk: Add the dry mixture to the simmering milk. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth, about 4 minutes.
  5. Thicken the Mixture: Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue stirring until the hot chocolate thickens to your desired consistency, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Cool Slightly and Serve: Remove the saucepan from heat and let the hot chocolate cool for about 5 minutes. Pour into small heat-proof cups and garnish with chocolate shavings or whipped cream if desired. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Traditional: Serve in small teacups or espresso cups rather than large coffee mugs due to its richness.
  • Dessert: Enjoy as a luxurious dessert on a cold evening.

Cooking Tips:

  • Consistency: Italian hot chocolate thickens as it cools. Reheat gently on low heat if needed, or enjoy it cold like a chocolate pudding.
  • Chocolate Quality: Use high-quality dark chocolate for the best flavor. Brands like Ghirardelli or Valrhona are recommended.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 226.7 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 21.3 g
  • Protein: 5.5 g
  • Fat: 14.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.2 g
  • Sugar: 12.2 g

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Rich and Decadent: Perfect for chocolate lovers, this hot chocolate is incredibly thick and creamy.
  • Quick and Easy: Ready in just 15 minutes, it’s a quick way to indulge in a comforting treat.
  • Versatile: Can be served warm as a drink or cooled and eaten with a spoon as a pudding-like dessert.


Cioccolata Calda is a delightful and indulgent beverage that brings a taste of Italy into your home. Perfect for cozying up on a chilly day, this Italian hot chocolate is sure to become a favorite.

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