London, with its blend of tradition and modernity, has a way of infusing aesthetics into every aspect of life. That’s why its my favourite place to go, especially during Christmas time. London, every year, at this time has become a tradition and I am not complaining! Every time I travel, my goal is to try new desserts and food but there are certain restaurants that I keep going back to. One place that I go to every year for the best hot chocolate is Italian Bear.
The place is Instagram famous and worth all the hype. Today, I’ve tried to recreate my version of their infamous hot chocolate and I hope you love it! Whether you’re a Londoner missing your favourite local haunt or an international enthusiast eager to bring a piece of London into your home, this recipe is an opportunity to create memories. It’s about savouring the aroma, relishing the taste, and, most importantly, crafting a moment of joy in every mug.
INGREDIENTS USED IN ITALIAN BEAR HOT CHOCOLATE
The primary role of sugar in hot chocolate is to provide sweetness. This sweetness counteracts the bitterness of cocoa, creating a well-balanced and palatable flavor profile. The level of sweetness is subjective and can be adjusted according to individual preferences. Without sugar, hot chocolate may taste overly bitter or one-dimensional.
Milk is responsible for the luxurious and creamy texture of hot chocolate. The fats and proteins in milk add a smooth and velvety consistency, creating a more indulgent drinking experience. Whole milk, with its higher fat content, tends to yield a creamier result. Cocoa and chocolate can be intense and concentrated in flavour. Milk acts as a diluting agent, mellowing the intensity and making the hot chocolate more approachable. Whether using whole milk, skim milk, almond milk, soy milk, or any other alternative, individuals can tailor their hot chocolate to their liking.
The primary roles of cornflour in hot chocolate is to act as a thickening agent. Cornflour has a high starch content, and when heated, it absorbs liquid and swells, resulting in a thicker consistency. This helps give hot chocolate a more velvety and substantial mouthfeel.
Cocoa powder is a source of rich chocolate flavour in the hot chocolate. It imparts a deep, decadent taste that elevates the overall enjoyment of the Italian Bear Hot Chocolate.
Chocolate is the flavour foundation of hot chocolate. The cocoa solids and cocoa butter in chocolate contribute a complex blend of bitter, sweet, and sometimes fruity or nutty notes. This depth of flavour sets hot chocolate apart from other cocoa-based beverages. As the chocolate melts into the hot liquid, it imparts a smooth and velvety mouthfeel, enhancing the overall indulgence of the beverage. The aromatic compounds in chocolate contribute to the beverage’s fragrance.
Melted chocolate in hot chocolate contributes to its visual appeal. The deep, glossy sheen of well-melted chocolate adds a touch of elegance, making hot chocolate not only a treat for the taste buds but also a feast for the eyes.
EQUIPMENTS USED FOR MAKING ITALIAN BEAR HOT CHOCOLATE
The recipe doesn’t call for a lot of ingredients.
I used an induction plate and saucepan to make the hot chocolate.
I melted the chocolates in a microwave but you can melt it over a double boiler too.
TIPS TO MAKE ITALIAN BEAR HOT CHOCOLATE
- Experiment with different types of milk. Whole milk provides a creamier texture, while skim milk offers a lighter option. You can also use non-dairy alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk for a unique flavour profile.
- Depending on personal preferences, you can adjust the amount of sweetener.
- Whisk cocoa powder with a little bit of milk separately to avoid clumping the whole mixture.
- Melt the types of chocolate right before only to maintain the texture.
- Take the mixture off the heat before the desired consistency as it will thicken later as well.
- Use high quality ingredients for best experience.
- Experimenting with infusions such as peppermint, orange zest, or spices allows for a diverse range of hot chocolate creations.
OTHER RELATED RECIPES FROM THE BLOG
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp dark chocolate callets
- For extra chocolate
- ½ cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup milk chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup white chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp oil
- Set a saucepan on medium heat and add milk, sugar, cocoa powder and cornflour to it. Heat till the sugar is dissolved and no lumps of cocoa powder or cornflour are left.
- Add the chocolate callets to the milk mixture and keep on whisking till the chocolate melts and the mixture starts to thicken.
- It will thicken more during cooling so take it off the heat a little before your desired consistency.
- Take the finely chopped dark, milk and white chocolate in three bowls and add 1 tbsp each in each bowl of the chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave at 10 seconds bursts/intervals or on a double boiler set on medium heat. Make sure the bowl set above is not touching the water in the bottom saucepan. The chocolate should be flowy after melting. Add more oil if required, or heat the chocolate again if it hardens.
- Take the serving hot chocolate cup of your choice and pour the 3 types of chocolate on the outer rim of the cup using a ladle.
- Pour the hot chocolate into the cup and enjoy!
If you like my easy Italian Bear Hot Chocolate recipe and happen to make them in your kitchen, do tag me on Instagram and share pictures with me using #Bakewithshivesh. Happy Baking!