This oat milk hot chocolate is thick, rich and indulgent. Cozy up with a mug full of steaming bittersweet chocolate mixed with creamy barista oat milk. Is there a quicker way to bring on nostalgic memories of Christmas and snow days off school than a big mug of hot chocolate? Plus, this recipe is dairy free and vegan!
Hot Cocoa Vs Hot Chocolate
What's the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate?
Hot cocoa is made using a combination of milk and cocoa powder, while hot chocolate's primary ingredient is melted chocolate. There's a noticeable difference in density and flavor.
Cocoa powder is made from fermented, dried and roasted cocoa beans. Most of the cocoa butter is pressed out, resulting in a powder that retains the taste of chocolate, but has less cocoa butter fat. That's why hot cocoa tends to be thinner; it lacks the cocoa butter of solid chocolate. So, if your hot chocolate comes from a powder, you're really drinking hot cocoa.
On the other hand, hot chocolate always includes....you guessed it...real chocolate! Hot chocolate is traditional in countries like Italy and France, where thick, creamy chocolate is more popular than the thinner varieties of hot cocoa found in North America.
This recipe is for a real vegan hot chocolate. I've swapped the traditional cow's milk for creamy oat milk, and voila - vegan hot chocolate to die for!
- Oat Milk: Choose barista oat milk. Barista plant based milks are mixed with a bit of fat that most plant based milks are missing. They yield a thicker, creamier vegan hot chocolate than non barista versions.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar dissolves quicker than granulated or caster sugar, leaving you with a much creamier hot chocolate.
- Cocoa Powder: We'll be using a combination of cocoa powder and dark dairy free chocolate.
- Espresso Powder: Espresso powder is optional, and if you're making oat milk hot chocolate for children, please leave it out. If you're making it for grown ups though, I highly recommend it. It really intensifies the chocolate flavor, making it deep and rich.
- Bittersweet Chocolate: Choose bittersweet or dark chocolate for this recipe. If you're wondering which chocolates are vegan, check out this article that will answer all your questions about which chocolate chips are vegan. The same rules apply for chocolate bars.
How To Make Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer your barista oat milk.
- Add your cocoa powder, powdered sugar and espresso powder (optional) to the oat milk, and stir until all the lumps are out.
- Now, add your bittersweet chocolate to the pan. Be sure that the heat is at its lowest setting. Stir for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat, and carry on stirring until all the chocolate is melted, and you have a smooth, creamy hot chocolate.
- Top with vegan marshmallows or coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!
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Frequently Asked Questions About This Recipe
Yes, the ingredients in this recipe are all gluten free. However, some companies do process ingredients on the same line with products that do include gluten, so please check the packet for details.
Of course you can! It won't be as creamy as it would be if you were to use oat milk, but it will still be delicious!
You can! In fact, Starbucks makes a popular hot chocolate using coconut milk. Pass on the whipped cream.
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Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups oat milk
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons powdered sugar
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder *optional, but can be omitted for children
- In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer the oat milk, cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Keep the heat low, and don't allow it to come to a boil.
- Add the bittersweet chocolate and stir until it's melted. *see note 1
- Serve with vegan marshmallows or vegan whipped cream.
- Only keep the pan on the heat enough to start the chocolate melting. As soon as it starts melting, remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring until you have a smooth, thick hot chocolate.