Recipes Smoothies & Drinks

Hot Chili Chocolate

Hot chocolate and I have a long, albeit fickle history. As a child, I used to start my mornings with hot chocolate made with an instant powdered chocolate drink. Add a slice of bread smeared generously with Nutella, and I was good to go (talk about starting the day right, huh?!). This was my routine for what must have been years.

At the same time, I hated the taste of (cow’s) milk and could not drink anything where that taste would shine through. I would only use a certain brand of chocolate drink and the line from ‘yum’ to ‘urgh’ was rather thin. At some point, I stopped drinking hot cocoa altogether. Despite loving chocolate (who doesn’t?!), I didn’t give hot chocolate another try for years, thinking chocolate just wasn’t for me in its liquid form.

I only tried it again because my boyfriend felt like it. Instead of using instant powder, we made our own version using actual chocolate rather than cocoa powder. And that made all the difference, as it adds depth and flavor and makes it that bit more creamy.

This Hot Chili Chocolate is everything a hot chocolate should be: it’s velvety and rich, comforting and just sweet enough. Adding a pinch of salt and chili powder gives it that certain something that takes it to the next level.

For extra decadence, add a topping of plant-based cream, chocolate sprinkles or chocolate sauce. Of course, you could always add a shot of alcohol, too – a coffee liqueur like Kahlúa would be great, or nut liquor, or rum,… You get the idea.


Hot Chili Chocolate

makes 2 250 ml drinks

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 80 g chocolate of your choice (I used 70 percent dark chocolate), roughly chopped
  • 2 cups oat milk or other plant-based milk (hazelnut milk would be great, too!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • generous pinch of chili
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)


  1. In a small sauce-pan, dissolve the sugar in the 2 tablespoons of water over low to medium heat, stirring often.
  2. Once dissolved, add the chopped chocolate and a splash of the milk. Stir until the chocolate has melted.
  3. Add salt, chili, and cinnamon (if using) and the rest of the milk.
  4. Heat it up, stirring often until the last of the chocolate bits have melted and the texture is smooth.
  5. Serve as is or add whipped plant-based cream and other toppings like chocolate chunks, chili powder, cinnamon, or chocolate sauce.

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