Hot Chocolate v. Hot Cocoa

Hot chocolate.  Hot cocoa.  There’s a difference?  I had used the term interchangeably until I found out they were not the same.

hot chocolateHot chocolate (a.k.a. drinking chocolate) is made with actual chocolate, preferably dark, and hot milk.  I have a couple of these in my cupboard and the instructions say it can be done with milk or water, but I have found the chocolate does not mix very well with water –> most likely because of the cocoa butter.  I would stick with hot milk or milk substitute.

Hot cocoa, on the other hand, is made with cocoa powder and can be mixed with either hot water or milk.  Since the cocoa powder has no cocoa butter it mixes much easier with water.

What is the difference in taste?  Well, hot chocolate is a decadent drink.  It is usually thick and chocolaty…mmmmm!  The perfect ending to a nice meal on a cold night.  Hot cocoa on the other hand is not a dessert.  It is a drink with a hint of chocolate flavor.  Great to have a mug as you sit curled up on the couch, watching a movie right before bedtime.

Here are some fantastic chocolate bars that make wonderfully delicious hot chocolate:

Do you prefer hot chocolate or hot cocoa?  Tell me your favorites!

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