Oh, oh. Hot choco? Yes, please!
Making hot chocolate on your own is as easy as 1,2,3. How much more if you have an espresso machine? Yes, you heard it right. You can have authentic hot chocolate using an espresso machine.
Hot chocolate apart from coffee has been one of the most popular beverages that are consumed throughout the world. Kids love it too. It’s made from grated or chopped chocolate with milk and sugar. Another version is made with cocoa powder or ground cocoa that you can make using the steam wand of your espresso machine.
If you both love coffee and hot choco, it’s very easy to make the latter when you have an espresso machine at home. Let’s find out more about hot chocolate in this article.
What Is Hot Chocolate?
Just like coffee, hot chocolate is also a go-to drink for many people. It’s comfort food that gives that oh-so-delicious feeling to complete the day.
Also known as hot cocoa, this beverage gives less sweetness with a thicker texture, and its history is just as interesting as coffee. According to research, the first chocolate drink was made by the Mayan tribe in the Mesoamerican region about 2,500 to 3,000 years ago.
The Mayans reportedly served the chocolate drink cold from ground cocoa beans, making it into a paste. They then mixed it with cornmeal, chili peppers, water, and other ingredients. Using a cop and a pot, they pour the beverage back and forth until it creates a thick foam.
The Aztec culture called hot chocolate xocōlātl, which became an essential part of food consumption. As I’ve talked about in this topic here, everything about the chocolate side of things is from the cacao tree, a native to the Amazonian.
Since the hot chocolate drink was introduced to the world, multiple variations have come a long way. There’s Latin America’s spiced chocolate para mesa, Italy’s thick cioccolata calda, Spain’s chocolate a la taza, and the United State’s thinner hot cocoa.
Hot chocolate, in Nigeria, is called tea although it’s not actually tea. That’s weird, but it’s the culture. They got used to referring to drinks as tea when consumed in the morning.
How To Make Your Own Hot Chocolate Using An Espresso Machine
So, here’s the detailed answer to the question. Yes, you can make hot chocolate in an espresso machine, and yes it’s still hot chocolate, but maybe a little bit different from making it the traditional way. The safer way to avoid damaging the espresso machine itself is to use its steam wand.
And yes, this is what we recommend. But read on to learn how you can do it from the espresso machine itself.
Here’s what you need:
- Cocoa powder
- Chocolate chips
- Milk jug
- Espresso machine (of course)
- Any topping of your choice. You can have marshmallows, toffee bits, cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, etc.
What to do:
- Pour 5 oz of milk into the jug. Add at least 1 oz of cocoa powder and mix.
- Using the steam wand of your espresso machine, steam the mixture until it’s hot. You’ll know that it’s hot enough when you can no longer touch the bottom of the jug for more than one second.
- Add some chocolate chips and whisk.
- Top with your choice of favorite topping and enjoy!
Important Note: Using ground cocoa beans to make hot chocolate with your espresso machine can cause clogs, especially because of its fat content. Thus, it can possibly damage your equipment. The espresso machine usually has water to make the espresso drink, and milk has a different texture and consistency than water.
Also, the espresso machine may not process the ground cocoa beans correctly, which can make it taste a little bitter. If you’re using the steam wand, there can be minimal damage to it, but all things will be cleared out as long as you’re taking care of them. Of course, you know it!
Just make sure to clean your espresso machine immediately after making your hot chocolate.
If you’re brave enough, however, you can use the espresso machine.
First, choose the type of ground cocoa beans. You can get high-quality roasted cocoa beans, or can even roast them at home if you can. Avoid using cocoa powder because it’s always possible that it contains sugar and condensed milk. With these two, your espresso machine might clog.
You also need to get the correct grinding size of the ground cocoa beans to get the best hot chocolate flavor. Use a different grinder for the cocoa beans. Try not to use the espresso machine’s grinder because it can damage the equipment, especially since it’s designed for making espresso.
Finely grind the cocoa beans as possible. Put it on the espresso machine’s portafilter and tamp it just as how you do it with ground coffee. You can either froth or steam your milk according to your preference. Then mix it with the chocolate from your espresso machine.
10 Best Hot Chocolate Makers
If you’re a hot chocolate lover, making a few trips to the coffeehouses, cafeterias, fast food restaurants, and teahouses can cost you a fortune. If you were to ask me, I’d rather invest in a quality hot chocolate maker than blow off money to get a cup of my favorite drink.
So to help you out, we’ve scoured the internet for the best hot chocolate makers that anyone can get. These are available for purchase in-stores or on Amazon.
- Mr. Coffee BVMC-HC5 Hot Chocolate Maker
- Secura Detachable Hot Chocolate Maker with Dishwasher
- The Original Chocotera Corona Hot Chocolate Maker and Milk Frother
- Nostalgia HCM700RETRORED Retro Hot Chocolate Maker
- Capresso Froth Select Automatic Milk Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker
- Newoer Electric Milk and Hot Chocolate Maker
- Mr. Coffee Cocomotion Hot Chocolate Maker
- Moss & Stone Electric Hot Chocolate Maker
- AEVO Milk Frothing Machine and Hot Chocolate Maker
- EZBASICS Milk Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker
How Healthy Is Hot Chocolate?
Not only that hot chocolate is delicious. It also contains several important compounds that provide health benefits to those who consume it regularly. Specifically, cocoa is abundant in polyphenols that promote health and wellness.
Polyphenols are found in plants, fruits, vegetables, spices, and teas. There are over 8,000 types of polyphenols, including Flavanols that are present in cocoa.
Just friendly advice though. Use non-alkalized cocoa powder or even dark chocolate that contains over 70% of cocoa if you want to maximize its health benefits. It’s worthy to note that chocolate contains sugar and fats that can be unhealthy if you consume it excessively.
- Healthy Hearth. Cocoa is high in flavanols that promote heart-healthy benefits. According to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), it’s important to choose high-quality cocoa to get the maximum benefits of flavanols. If you consume around 2.5 g of cocoa or 10 g of dark chocolate daily that contains at least 200 mg of flavanols, your heart is as healthy as it should be!
- Healthy Skin. Cocoa is antibacterial, anti-enzymatic, and has immune-stimulating properties, and polyphenols that are healthy for the skin and teeth.
- Reduces Asthma. Cocoa contains theobromine and theophylline, which are anti-asthmatic compounds that may help dilate your lungs and relax your airways, avoiding inflammation.
- Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth. Flavanols and antioxidants are present in cocoa, and these compounds may help reduce the risk of cancer.
- Weight Control. Consumption of dark chocolate or cocoa with more than 70% content is said to have aided weight control.
- Anti-Diabetes. Flavanols can help improve insulin sensitivity, control blood sugar, and reduce inflammation.
- Depression and Mood Stabilizer. Flavanols in cocoa may also help stabilize mood and reduce the risk of depression. High-polyphenol cocoa improves calmness that’s beneficial to human psychological wellness.
- Improves Brain Function. A few studies suggested that cocoa polyphenols may help reduce the risk of most neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia.
- Lowers Blood Pressure. Flavanols in cocoa are believed to help improve nitric oxide levels that lower blood pressure and enhance blood vessels function.
The Bottom Line
Making hot chocolate with an espresso machine is fine, but you will have to be extra careful to avoid damaging your equipment. Cocoa’s fat content can cause clogs that will hamper your espresso machine’s processor. Also, your hot chocolate might taste a bit bitter.
However, you can use your espresso machine’s steam wand since it’s safer that way. Make sure to clean it to avoid any issues in the future. Or better yet, invest in a good-quality hot chocolate maker, especially when you’re a chocolate drink aficionado. It’s budget-friendly, and will also save you time from going to coffeehouses just to get your favorite drink.
Lastly, hot chocolate that is 70% cocoa provides you with maximum health benefits. So, try to avoid those tempting sweet, creamy cocoa powders as they contain high levels of sugar and fats.