Until recently making hot chocolate at home was a pretty limited affair. Powder and hot water were the main options available. And, if you could be bothered, you might heat some milk in a pan in lieu of simply using water.
But the home hot chocolate making landscape has changed. A variety of useful kitchen gadgets are now at our disposal. They allow us to enjoy a hands-off hot chocolate making experience and can create anything from simple milk and powder hot chocolates to barista style gourmet drinks with real chocolate.
But, not every appliance produces an equally good drink. Some trade-off quality in favour of convenience and vice versa. Knowing what kind of appliance can produce the best hot chocolate that suits your taste is key. So, here are the top 3 appliances you’ll encounter on your search for a decent hot chocolate maker and what you can make with them:
1 Milk Frothers
We would be remiss in any guide on making hot chocolate if we did not mention the humble milk frother. Despite mainly being viewed as an appliance for making our favourite gourmet coffees the milk frother has a surprisingly wide range of culinary uses – including hot chocolate.
Electric milk frothers, in particular, are adeptly suited to this task. They not only froth the milk but also heat it at the same time. Many also allow you to add the chocolate powder into the appliance along with the milk for a completely hands-off experience.
That said, it’s always best to check your individual appliance’s instructions before doing this. For example; we tried this once with one of Vonshef’s units and it struggled to mix the powder into the milk. The extra strain this placed on the motor was clearly audible.
However, a new wave of milk frothers seems to be bucking this trend and some such as the Hostess HM350A even allow you to add small flakes or pieces of chocolate into the frother along with the milk. This is particularly impressive for a sub £40 appliance.
What milk frother do you recommend for hot chocolate?
If you want the very best milk frother for your hot chocolate (and coffees for that matter), it is hard to best those produced by German company Severin. In fact, one of their latest models the SM 3585 Spuma 700 appears designed expressly with hot chocolate in mind.
Available in 3 variations, one of the models features a specific hot chocolate function designed for melting chocolate.
Hot Chocolate, That’s Hot!
You can adjust the temperature of the drink produced in the Spuma 700. This is a nice touch and is different to the one-size-fits-all approach many milk frothers adopt when it comes to temperature. Some users, ourselves included, often find that the milk produced is a little tepid. So, having the facility to increase the heating temperature up to a much toastier 65°C is a welcome addition.
Easy To Clean
If you’ve ever owned a milk frother you’ll know that milk will sometimes burn and stick to the sides of the appliance. This generally isn’t too much of an issue but, since many aren’t dishwasher safe, you have to manually clean this away.
But, these pitfalls don’t apply to the SM3585. Not only does it feature a removable jug that is dishwasher safe it also uses a heating method that is guaranteed not to burn the milk. Known as induction heating an electromagnetic coil generates a field around the base of the jug. This causes a current, and therefore electrical resistance, to be generated and this heats the jug and provides an indirect heat source. And, because it’s indirect, it can’t burn the milk!
- With innovative hot chocolate function - for hot chocolate from whole chocolate chunks
- Individually adjustable milk froth temperature levels, from 45° to 65°C - suitable for cold and hot frothing as well...
- Easy cleaning thanks to innovative induction process - guaranteed no burning of the milk and easy to clean,...
Prices & information last updated on 2021-09-14
Should I Choose A Milk Frother?
If you don’t mind a little clean up afterward milk frothers provide a really convenient and simple way to produce indulgent hot chocolates, using real chocolate, at home.
2 Capsule/Pod Machines
Coffee pod machine sales have exploded over the last decade. And, so has the selection of drinks they can produce. You can make anything from espressos to lattes and teas to… hot chocolate.
Producing such a wide range of drinks quickly and easily is certainly part of their allure. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t without their drawbacks especially when it comes to hot chocolate.
The first is that you are limited to purely powder drinks and this offers little advantage over simply using a kettle. The second is that some chocolate powder drinks have reduced their sugar content and replaced it with sweeteners since the introduction of the sugar tax. This gives the hot chocolate they produce a slightly artificial taste.
What Pod Machine Do You Recommend?
I’m sure the big players in coffee pod machines won’t be happy with us saying this but… it really doesn’t matter too much. The truth is many coffee pod machines vary little when it comes to the quality of the drink they produce. The only real significant difference is design and price.
For example, the Dolce Gusto line has had several different designs and apparent variations over the years. But, there is no discernible difference in the quality of the drink they produce because they all work the same way, take the same pods and hold the same amount of water.
The only minor exception to this rule would be the Tassimo series. Each of their pods uses a unique barcode that tells the appliance to adjust the amount of water dispensed and the pressure used to dispense it. In this regard, it is a little smarter in how it produces drinks.
- Easy to use with one touch operation and no heat up time
- Space saving design suitable for any kitchen
- Perfect drink quality thanks to Intellibrew technology
Prices & information last updated on 2021-08-18
Should I Choose A Capsule/Pod Machine?
If you’re looking for a truly indulgent hot chocolate made with real hot chocolate, pod machines are not what you are looking for. But, if you’re happy with a fairly tasty and fast way to make hot chocolate, and like the flexibility of being able to make a host of other drinks, then a pod machine could be a good choice.
3 Velvetiser By Hotel Chocolat
Last on our list of home hot chocolate makes is the Velvetiser. Produced by renowned UK chocolate company Hotel Chocolat the Velvetiser was engineered in partnership with Dualit. A company that already has a proven track record in similar appliances such as milk frothers.
In fact, this influence really shows and the Velvetiser is remarkably similar in operation and appearance to Dualit’s best selling milk frother the 84135.
However, the Velvetiser has clearly gone a step further and is designed to be a complete home hot chocolate making appliance with a host of special sachets, cups, and accessories available to complement the main appliance.
How Does The Velvetiser Work?
In this regard much like a milk frother. Milk is poured into the main jug, a sachet of chocolate flakes it emptied on top and with a press of a button, it gets to work. Within 2.5 minutes it will have prepared a delicious hot chocolate with zero effort on your part.
What Can I Make With It?
Hotel Chocolat already have a wide range of different chocolate drinks you can produce with the Velvetiser including:
- Milky 50%
- Classic 70%
- Dark 85%
- Salted Caramel
- Raspberry and White
- Dark 100%
- Hazelnut Praline
- Caramel Latte
We’re certain this range will continue to expand as the Velvetiser gains traction and they dream up new ideas in their Cambridge based chocolate lab.
Do I Need To Buy Hotel Chocolat chocolate?
We’d say that given it doesn’t use any technology we haven’t already seen in other milk frothers that you don’t need to specifically choose Hotel Chocolat chocolate. Although you might need to grate any chocolate you buy into flakes and take care you don’t put too much in the Velvetiser.
Ultimately you need to weigh up this additional effort with the money you’ll save by using cheaper chocolate.
Should I Choose The Velvetiser?
Hotel Chocolat certainly has a loyal fan base and the Velvetiser is currently receiving rave reviews. And, if you’re loyal to the brand this appliance is sure to please.
It has been designed for a completely hands-off experience. The sachets contain precisely the right amount of chocolate to produce two drinks. The 2 included ceramic Podcups are the perfect size to decant the hot chocolate into without leaving any excess in the machine. And, the run time is just enough to melt the chocolate and foam the milk together into a deliciously velvety drink.
However, if you enjoy a little more freedom and don’t mind a little experimenting we’d probably recommend the Serverin over the Velvetiser. Though it is a very close call.
- Barista grade hot chocolate, as served in Hotel Chocolate cafes, velvetised at the touch of a button
- Contains - The Velvetiser hot chocolate machine - 10 single serve hot chocolates, milky, salted caramel, 70% classic,...
- An electrical product, ready to use straight from your countertop, a removable whisk and Non-Stick coating for easy...
Prices & information last updated on 2021-09-14