Hot Chocolate: Creamy And Decadent Potion Of Comfort

Hot Chocolate also known as hot cocoa or drinking chocolate, is nothing but heated chocolate milk. Hot chocolate made with melted chocolate is sometimes called drinking chocolate and is characterized by less sweetness and a thicker consistency.

 Hot chocolate is consumed worldwide and comes in multiple variations, including the spiced chocolate para mesa of Latin America, the very thick cioccolata calda served in Italy and chocolate a la taza served in Spain, while the thinner variation of ‘hot cocoa’ is consumed in the United States.

Today, hot chocolate is considered comfort food and widely consumed across the world. In Nigeria, hot chocolate is referred to as ‘tea’ even though it is not actually tea due to the Nigerian custom of referring to drinks consumed in the morning as ‘tea’.  Many regions have unique additives or toppings, ranging from marshmallows and whipped cream to cheese.

The history of chocolate can be traced to the Mayans and to the Olmecs of Southern Mexico. Archaeologists say that the earliest traces of cacao have been found in pottery used by the ancient Mayo-Chinchipe some 5,300 years ago. The first hot chocolate is said to have been created by the Maya and a cocoa drink was an integral part of the Aztecs around 1400AD. This drink was created by grinding cocoa seeds, adding water, corn and chilli peppers – certainly a spicier version and a far cry from what we know and consume as hot chocolate today. 

If you are vegetarian, you may want to skip putting in the marshmallows in this recipe as their preparation involves the use of gelatin. Gelatin is made from ligaments, bones and tendons of cows and pigs. Initially, it is cooked with dissolved sugar, water and a whipping process that pushes air into little pockets of the sugar solution but for the marshmallow to hold its shape and texture, gelatin is added to the mix. 

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 cup milk
  • A pinch of cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp Nutella
  • Marshmallows (optional)

Method for hot chocolate

  • Add milk to a vessel and let it come to a gentle simmer
  • Take it off the heat
  • Add cocoa powder, Nutella, and cinnamon powder 
  • Put it back on the heat and mix well allowing it to heat 
  • Pour it out into a glass
  • Garnish with marshmallows (optional) 
  • Delicious hot chocolate is ready to drink.

Early on, London pharmacies manufactured and sold the beverage as a medicinal remedy. Later, in the 19th century, the Cadbury Brothers commercialized the recipe under the name “Sir Hans Sloane's Milk Chocolate.” As hot milk chocolate’s popularity spread, so did Sloane’s fame as the inventor of the modern hot chocolate.