My French Press Breakfast Chocolate recipe is an easy method for making a thick, rich, frothed hot chocolate just like the Europeans enjoy! Drinkable chocolate is a great mid afternoon pick me up, or a decadent after dinner treat.
Try my French Press Breakfast Chocolate instead of coffee!
I’m taking a break from my daily coffee routine. I’m fixing myself a classic European breakfast chocolate. It’s incredibly rich and sophisticated thanks to the high cacao bittersweet chocolate I’m using, and incredibly thick and frothy thanks to my French press.
This is the kind of hot chocolate so thick and rich that you’d swear it was made with pure heavy cream. But it’s not.
My oldest daughter and I have been on the quest for the secret to a thick homemade drinking chocolate for a couple of years now. If you’ve ever had drinking chocolate from one of those super fancy chocolate shops you’ll know what I’m talking about. Those drinks are chock full of fat and calories, but with this simple technique, you can even use low fat or skim milk!
The secret to thick rich hot chocolate
There are two keys to the puzzle.
- The first secret to getting the decadent chocolate flavor you crave is to use actual chocolate, not cocoa powder. I discovered this technique when I used my food processor to chop chocolate for truffles. I let the machine run a little longer than necessary and I ended up with a fine powder. With the chocolate ground so fine it melts easily into the hot milk—no need for a saucepan on the stove. This process also allows you to store the chocolate in a convenient jar all ready to go for your next batch.
- The second secret to the unbelievable thickness of this hot chocolate is the frothing. The French press makes the perfect easy frother. The milk almost doubles in volume as you pump the press up and down vigorously for about a minute. Your arm will get a good workout and you’ll get impossibly thick luxurious cocoa. Maybe that’s how the French stay so svelte.
You’ll get plenty of antioxidants from the dark chocolate, and calcium from the milk.
No added sugar, whipped cream, or marshmallows necessary. This is what Europeans have been drinking for breakfast for generations. It’s truly a wonderful way to start a January morning.
Grinding 10 oz of good quality dark chocolate will yield you a nice jar of ready to use instant hot chocolate mix. I layer mine with leftover vanilla bean pods for extra flavor. If you can’t quite give up your morning coffee, add a little espresso powder to the hot milk. If you want an even more decadent chocolate drink, add more chocolate.
Love hot chocolate? Check out these other recipes on the blog:
- DRINKABLE NUTELLA ~ a decadent sippable version of your favorite chocolate hazelnut spread.
- THE ULTIMATE HOT CHOCOLATE ~ the classic, stepped up a notch.
- HOMEMADE VANILLA BEAN MARSHMALLOWS ~ don’t forget the marshmallows!
tvfgi recommends: a French Press Coffee Pot
A French Press coffee pot is always good to have around. It has saved our mornings on numerous occasions. It not only makes coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, you can use it for making easy mulled or spiced cider as well. In fact you can use it to make all sorts of quick infusions.
French Press Breakfast Chocolate
- 10 oz good quality dark or bittersweet chocolate, cut in rough chunks
- leftover vanilla bean pods, optional
- 1 cup 8 oz milk
- 1/4 tsp espresso powder, optional
- Put the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor. Make sure the bowl is completely dry. Process until the chocolate is finely ground. You want a coarse granular texture. Stop if the chocolate starts to clump together and release its oil.
- Let the chocolate dry at room temperature for several hours. Then process again briefly. The chocolate will have lightened in color.
- Store the chocolate in a mason type jar with a tight fitting lid. If you are using the vanilla bean pods, layer them in as you fill the jar.
- Put 4 Tbsp of the chocolate powder in the bottom of the French press. Add in the espresso powder, if using.
- Put the milk in a quart sized Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, until it just comes to a boil. You can do this on the stove if you want to.
- Pour the scalding hot milk over the chocolate and put the plunger top on the pot, but don't depress it yet.
- Let the milk sit for 2 minutes.
- Then plunge vigorously for 1 minute to froth the hot chocolate. It will increase in volume. Do this on a steady surface.
- Pour into 1 large or 2 small cups and enjoy!
Questions and Reviews
I love the French press idea. I can almost taste the velvet chocolate.
You’ll need some of this with the weather you guys have been having—stay warm!
What a great idea, Sue! Lately I’ve been drinking my Turkish coffees, so the French press hasn’t been getting much of a workout. Until now!
So, of course you realize you’ve now inspired a new version of this, with some cardamom pods and a bit of Turkish coffee in with the chocolate! Can’t wait to try that.
Wow, I would never have thought to use our French press for chocolate! What an interesting idea–and obviously one with a more-than-worthwhile result. 🙂
I can hardly wait to get to Trader Joe’s for the ingredients tomorrow morning…do you have a specific brand that you like? This looks so good I had to pin it to two boards.
Your photos…GORGEOUS! Love the one as you are pouring it into the cup!
Thanks Annie. I use different chocolates, I like trying new brands when I see them. This time I had a bar of Scharffen Berger, which was a splurge, but I think truly any dark chocolate would be fine. I know so many people who won’t use anything but TJs brand.
Oh, this sounds so decadent. Reminds me of the amazing hot chocolate I had in Paris several years ago. And your croissants in the background are the perfect accompaniment. Thanks for bringing back good memories and sharing a great recipe.
The French sure do know what they’re doing when it comes to food.
Best idea ever to dust off a french press for! I love hot chocolate and try to take a break from coffee and this would be a welcome break! And that froth…YES! love frothy drinks so much! The taste improves hugely on any drink with some foam and froth, I’m convinced! 🙂
It looks a lot lighter than it actually is due to all the froth. When you get down to the bottom of the cup you can see more of a deep rich chocolate. Yum, now I want another cup!
I have just added a French press to my list of things I must have!!!
I just recently got one myself because our beloved Keurig coffee maker bit the dust and we still haven’t decided on our next coffee machine (these important decisions take time!)
I have a french press just for frothing milk too. It works beautifully. I can’t believe that you drink this without any sugar at all. I’m going to give it a shot. I didn’t realize you could make reduce regular chocolate into a powder like that. I missed that in your truffle post!
Well, don’t forget that the dark chocolate has some sugar in it. It’s just not super sweet. I love what happens to the chocolate in the processor, it’s not quite a powder, but like little granules. Very cool. I’m going to let it go even further next time and see what happens…
I have a recipe for a super thick hot chocolate on my blog that you practically have to eat with a spoon. It’s AMAZING…but yours sounds a wee but healthier ;)Now if only I had a french press or milk frother! 🙁
I’ll check yours out, I dream of drinking (eating) hot chocolate so thick you need a spoon!
Oh, I have to try this! It sounds so easy. And I love the idea of adding espresso powder. This just may be my new morning wake-up drink. Who wouldn’t look forward to a cup of chocolate to start the day!
And if you make it with low fat milk and use good dark chocolate it should be a very healthy way to start the day too.