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Hot Chocolate

Since the first winter chill hit the air you’ve been asking for sugar-free Hot Chocolate to warm you up, and lest you thought I had forgotten you, I can assure you I most certainly have not.  It’s just been a busy time in Bookland since the week before Thanksgiving, and the last couple of weeks I’ve been busily catching up on life and seemingly never-ending to-do lists.  I’ve been on a bit of a purge around Marmalade HQ.  I almost called Goodwill ahead of time to warn them to clear a space.  I do love a good purge.

So I finally stopped long enough to reach for a pot, along with some dark chocolate, and got busy making you hot cocoa while there’s still some winter left to warm up.  Mind you, once you taste this I think you might be drinking it all year long – or at least whenever you get a chocolate craving – because boy oh boy is this stuff rich and chocolaty.  Then, just as I was about to sit here and write about it, I loped outside with the recycling and didn’t come back in for an hour because I was sitting on the patio sunning myself.  In Seattle!  In January!!  JANUARY!!!  As I sat there in the lawn chair I shut my eyes and it felt exactly like summer, except I was wearing too many clothes, but to my face it was slap bang in the middle of July; without the lawn mowers of course, because while it might look like summer today, there sure ain’t any grass growing yet.  I am thrilled to report, however, that I have pansies, sage, chives, and irises all poking their little heads through the soil and that makes me so happy I can barely stand it.

It was quite the ordeal, dragging myself back inside to write on here, but now I’m settled in at my desk, peppermint tea at hand, I’m ready.  I’ve missed you.  I’ve missed writing in this space.  I’m excited to get back to my non-book-writing routine of 3 posts a week.  I’m excited to create stuff and share it with you.  And although it feels a little odd writing about Hot Chocolate when I have just come inside from an hour’s sunbathing, I think it’s a good place to start.  Something easy, something instant, something so totally decadently scrumptious that you’ll wonder why you waited so long to go sugar-free.

SANE Hot Chocolate  |  Carrie Brown

I should likely warn you that this is some seriously rich, thick, creamy chocolate goodness.  If you’ve ever been to Paris and had Chocolat Chaud – think that – and you’ll know what to expect.  If you’re used to the watery, faintly-chocolate-tasting liquid that comes out of mixing a powdered mix with hot water, then you’re in for a real surprise, or shock, depending on how you look at it.  This sugar-free Hot Chocolate is not for the faint of heart.  It is also not for those of you who like a huge ol’ mug full of warm beverage.  This recipe makes enough for 4, because a small cup of this at one sitting is enough chocolate for the most die-hard chocolate fanatic.  There should be a law surrounding the chocolate-y-ness of hot chocolate, and I’ll leave you to guess which ones I would ban as unsuitable for human consumption.

It’s true that there’s nothing inventive about Hot Chocolate, but sometimes just making the classics healthy is enough; no wheel-reinvention required.  If you want you can make this whole recipe and then heat up just enough for 1 cup at a time, keeping the rest in the ‘fridge.  I like doing that {much} better than fiddling with saucepans and fractions of cans of coconut milk every day.  You could even just have a cup of this instead of dessert.  If you think hard enough you can taste a slight coconutty twang in this Hot Chocolate, so if you’re a anti-coconut-flavor type person, then add 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon to your cup and stir until it is dissolved.

Now then, off you go to chocolate nirvana.  You can find the same chocolate that I used here.


Hot Chocolate
Author: Carrie Brown |
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups / 1 pint water
  • 1 oz. / 30g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 can / 13 fl oz. thick coconut milk
  • 2 oz. / 55g 100% cocoa unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz. / 55g xylitol (or to taste)
  1. Place the water and cocoa powder in a pan over medium heat until it starts to steam.
  2. Whisk well until the cocoa is completely dissolved.
  3. Add the thick coconut milk and stir well.
  4. Heat until it starts to steam.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until completely melted and mixed through.
  6. Stir in the xylitol.
  7. Serve.





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  • NickMGreat to have you blogging again which is itself like a welcome mug of cocoa. Two questions:
    1) It seems almost impossible to get unsweetened cooking chocolate in the UK. Is this really more available in the US?
    2) Any reason not to use double-cream mixed with hot water rather than coconut milk, if you don’t want the coconut aroma?ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Nick – thanks for the warm welcome back! Time flies when you’re writing books – I can’t believe how long I’ve been gone! 100% chocolate is readily available in every grocery store in the US. As for cream – that would be an awful lot of double cream! While we like double cream as a healthy fat, we LOVE coconut milk a lot more – it has a lot of MCTs in it which double cream doesn’t, for a start. I would suggest switching out say half the coconut for heavy cream and see if you can still taste any coconut. For me the chocolate is so dark that it masks the coconut taste almost entirely so half double cream should do the trick. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Amy GI make something very similar, but I use unsweetened vanilla or plain almond milk rather than the coconut milk. It has a thinner, more liquidy consistency and a more neutral taste. I think I’ve just talked myself into some!! Thanks for taking up your blog again– I have missed it!ReplyCancel

  • AlvinWe were just saying that there was no hot chocolate recipe on here. Just in time! We’ll report back after the taste test.ReplyCancel

    • carrieHey Alvin – excited to hear what you think! Glad I squeaked this in just in time :-)ReplyCancel

  • PattyMay I ask why you use xylitol in your recipes? We have dogs that are always trying to lick dishes and I am worried about them getting into the xylitol. Can I substitute erythritol evenly?

  • NickMHi Patty. The nice thing about xylitol is that, spoon for spoon, it’s about as sweet as sugar. But I have found that yes, you can use erythritol instead. It is especially successful in hot drinks, because you don’t get its characteristic “cooling” effect with them! However, erythritol is only 60% to 70% as sweet as sugar, so you will need to use more of it. The good news is that it is even less able to be used by your body than xylitol is, and you basically just urinate most of it out! The bad news is it’s much more expensive than xylitol.

    Because most of erythritol thus never even reaches your guts, it doesn’t lead to some of the digestive issues that larger amounts of xylitol can cause some people. And, of course, it’s not poisonous to dogs.

    By the way, I thought you might find interesting to understand why xylitol is poisonous to dogs. A dog’s digestive system, unlike ours, is confused by it, and assumes it is sugar. So their pancreas pumps out lots of insulin to get rid of what it thinks is load of sugar. Unfortunately, it isn’t sugar, so any last drop of glucose that does happen to be in the blood is swept away by the over-secretion of insulin, and the dog goes into a low-blood-sugar coma. The fact that this doesn’t happen to us humans proves, paradoxically, that xylitol is healthy for us: it isn’t a sugar, and doesn’t need insulin, and our body isn’t fooled into treating it as such. Indeed, our body manufactures its own xylitol every day!ReplyCancel

    • carrieTHANKS, Nick!!!! You took the words right out of my typing :-) I use xylitol because I prefer the taste to erythritol.ReplyCancel

  • AlvinIt was a hit at the house!! The wife says it’s the best she’s ever had. The bottom of my cup had some coagulated chocolate which I didn’t care for, but the wife sopped it up with strawberries. Thanks again Carrie for all the hard work. We tried a couple times to make this ourselves and never quite got it right.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia Hamercan you please tell me what size is the can of coconut milk and does it need to be full fat?ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Patricia – it’s the large approx. 14 fl oz. can. It is also called Coconut Cream by some brands. You can use a lite version if you like. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • MarygraceBest hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Made it yesterday when I saw the recipe. OMG!! Yum……thank you for this taste of the Gods..ReplyCancel

  • ErikaThanks Carrie, this will really hit the spot on these cold NW nights! I’m not much of a chocoholic, but now I’m thinking about chocolate pudding. I’m going to check out your archives and see if you’ve created a SANE version yet or maybe I just add cocoa and sweetener to Greek yogurt? We shall see….ReplyCancel

  • Karen GWow, this is really chocolatey. It is a little too much for me so next cup I will add either a little more water or some coconut milk. My husband absolutely loves it.ReplyCancel

    • carrieYes! Depending on what you’re used to this Hot Chocolate is a serious kick in the pants! Thrilled hubby loves it and your plans to dilute to taste.ReplyCancel

  • BrendaOh this will be so yummy after playing in the snow tomorrow… if it’s still around the Portland PNW area!!!ReplyCancel

  • JulieHi Carrie, would you use coconut cream from TJ’s or the light coconut milk in a can for this? (and can I use the light coconut milk if your answer is cream for a lighter/thinner version?)

    • carrieI used the thick stuff, but yes you can use the light version if you want thinner and less rich.ReplyCancel

  • Amazing Music and Leisure to Increase Wellness | Inner Savvy Wellness Blog[…] Can you take 30 minutes to have a cup of hot cocoa and sit in the dark with candles or the Christmas tree lights on if you have it up already.  If you want your cocoa to be healthier try Carrie Brown’s SANE Hot Chocolate. […]ReplyCancel

  • Episode 10 - Chocolate - Ketovangelist Kitchen[…] Sugar Free Hot Chocolate recipe mentioned in this episode […]ReplyCancel

  • Best Hot Chocolate EVER! – My Healthy Keto Life[…] on this deliciousness that really is the best hot chocolate ever, then hustle your bustle over to the recipe on Carrie’s website to make your very own.  You can enjoy this heavenly deliciousness, […]ReplyCancel

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