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I've been trying to make a thicker hot chocolate and I'm not sure what to add without taking away from the flavor of the chocolate. Usually what I do is boil the milk, and then I add chocolate baking powder and shaved chocolate.

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if you're trying to recreate a thick hot chocolate you've had elsewhere, perhaps a higher-fat milk (or add cream to it) would help? –  Kate Gregory Dec 2 '11 at 21:35
    
You can also try flavored coffee creamers, if you have those around but not plain cream. –  Chad Dec 5 '11 at 1:58
    
What is "chocolate baking powder"? –  Mien Nov 12 '13 at 21:44
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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Spanish hot chocolate and Italian cioccolata fiorentina both use cornstarch as a thickening agent. Both are used more for dipping or sipping (churros in the former case), however you could easily just use less cornstarch to make it more 'drinkable'.

Try a teaspoon of cornstarch, mixed with a little cold water, added to the milk when you boil it.

As Kate Gregory suggests, you could also use full-fat milk, or loads of shaved chocolate.

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The hot chocolate you find at an Italian cafe is thick, even without being cioccolata fiorentina. :-) –  kiamlaluno Dec 3 '11 at 0:27
    
Good to know. My knowledge of Italian cafes is sadly lacking unfortunately; I've had cioccolata fiorentina in a Carluccio's. Sponsorship for a fact-finding mission to Italy greatly appreciated. :) –  ElendilTheTall Dec 3 '11 at 9:37
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I would agree with Kate to add higher-fat milk or cream to it and I would avoid putting in thickening agent if possible.

One thing I have tried at a cafe before that instead of boiling the milk, they used the espresso machine steamer to mix milk and drinking chocolate powder together. The hot chocolate turned out really nice and thick.

The other way of making thick chocolate I discovered was to melt cooking chocolate in a bowl on top of a pot of boiling hot water (just like hot you making chocolate cake, but no butter). While you are melting the chocolate, you may add in some sugar and cream or milk. Therefore, you will get a very thick chocolate drink and you are always in control of the thickness.

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If you're looking for a flavorless thickener which you cannot even tell is there, Guar Gum is your man. You can get it in your cooking store or specialty grocery for an inflated price, or go to an arab or indian grocer (trust me, there's one around you) and get it for cheap. This is also good to have around because it is especially good at thickening acidic liquids, like some chocolates.

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Or xanthan gum. –  derobert Dec 6 '11 at 23:16
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See if Ciobar is available in your country. This is what you find in Italian grocery stores, cafés and homes. If you can't find it at the local shop I'm sure you can buy it online.

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Can you provide more info on what Ciobar is? –  rfusca Dec 6 '11 at 14:54
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