I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but when I have the urge Nutella is pretty high on my list of favorites. So is chocolate–especially dark chocolate–which is why this Hazelnut Italian Hot Chocolate recipe called my name. I usually make my hot chocolate from a mix. I know, I know. Once in a while, I’ll use cocoa powder and milk to make the real thing. This recipe sounds like it will take that to the next level, and I have the feeling it will be a fun trip.
This Hazelnut Italian Hot Chocolate, or Cioccolata Calda alla Nocciola, is a seriously indulgent thick hot chocolate recipe made with real chocolate, hazelnut liqueur and Nutella.
Most everything was either in my pantry or super easy to find. The only exception was the hazelnut liqueur. It was easy to find, but I had to make a special trip the the liquor store to get it. I paid a little over $20 for a 750ml bottle. It wasn’t hugely expensive, but it was the most expansive ingredient.
The only thing I couldn’t find was a bar of milk chocolate. I was in the baking section, so maybe milk chocolate for baking isn’t a thing (I’m far from a baking expert). There was only dark chocolate on the shelf, so I improvised and grabbed a bag of milk chocolate chips. The chocolate had to be chopped anyway, so this gave me a little head start on that step.
This Italian hot chocolate recipe wasn’t difficult to make, but it did take me a lot longer than specified. I spent 23 minutes making it versus the 13 minutes listed on the recipe. That doesn’t include time to garnish and serve, but that was very fast.
I made the hot chocolate, then the Nutella sauce, and finally the whipped cream. That worked okay, but I would switch the order to whipped cream, hot chocolate, then Nutella sauce. The reason is the whipped cream took the longest of the three, and the sauce cooled very fast.
Hazelnut Whipped Cream
This step took the most time to prepare. I used a stand mixer to whip the cream, but you can use a hand mixer or food processor too. I have made whipped cream in my food processor in the past, and it’s faster than the other two methods. Just turn the processor on and pour in the whipping cream (mix in the hazelnut liqueur first so they blend together).
Italian Hot Chocolate
The hot chocolate took a few minutes, but it was very easy to make. I used milk chocolate chips and chopped them up before I added them to the pan. However, I still noticed some small chunks of chocolate that just wouldn’t dissolve no matter how much I whisked. If you can, buy a bar of milk chocolate and shave or grate it so it melts thoroughly.
This step was super fast since the ingredients just need to be microwaved for a few seconds in a small dish. Ten seconds melted the Nutella, and a quick stir blended it with the milk. It made a thick sauce, and I didn’t need to add any extra milk.
This Italian hot chocolate is very thick and rich, so either serve in a small mug or only fill a regular mug part way. Then spoon in some whipped cream, drizzle on the Nutella sauce, and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. I didn’t time this step, but I’d say it took 1-2 minutes.