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My Hot Chocolate Shaker Recipe Diary

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A while back, I wrote about falling in love with a kitchen gadget I purchased online. The £25 Hot Chocolate Shaker device has revolutionised my world of hot chocolate and the way I view it.

Before, I was a slave to the hob, whisking powder or beads into hot milk. Now, I do a hot chocolate dance and in 10 seconds or so, I've got a sumptuous mug of hot chocolate.

Keen to put The Chocolate Society's Hot Chocolate Shaker through its paces, I have a long list of recipe ideas I want to play around with. To keep track of my experiments, I've put together this diary that I'll periodically update.

I want to see if I can find the best milk, dark, and white hot chocolate, the best novelty hot chocolate made with a chocolate bar, and the best flavoured hot chocolate, spiked with fruits, herbs, or spices.

The Hot Chocolate Shaker with Milk Chocolate Drops
I purchased my shaker in a bundle with milk chocolate drops

I took this research so seriously I bought myself 7.5kg of assorted CasaLuker Columbian chocolate° couverture to get me started, testing a diverse range of flavourings and inclusions in a slightly more wallet-friendly manner.

7.5kg of assorted CasaLuker chocolate couverture
Three 2.5kg bags of milk, white, and dark chocolate - that probably won't last long!

Why Columbian chocolate? I was very impressed with The Chocolate Society's 41% Columbian Milk Chocolate drops. The resulting hot chocolate was rounded, fruity, and creamy, so I opted to source more chocolate from the region.

I settled on CasaLuker 40% Noche milk chocolate, CasaLuker Chocopanela 39% Dorado white chocolate, and CasaLuker 1906 Origin San Martin 72% dark chocolate. I was tempted by the CasaLuker 35% Glaciar° white chocolate but opted for the 39% instead, swayed by the higher percentage of cocoa butter and the inclusion of panela (unrefined whole cane sugar) in the recipe that lends a natural caramel colour to the chocolate.

Below, you will find a diary of my experiments. I'll be adding to this list over the foreseeable future as I put more hot chocolate recipes through their paces. If you've tried any of these, or your own, hot chocolate experimentations, please share your results in the comments below.

Chocolate Slabs, Flakes, Buttons, Beads & Pearls

BaseChocolateVerdict
WaterThe Chocolate Society 41% Columbian Milk ChocolateDelicious - very rich, creamy, and wonderfully rounded. Will make again.
WaterHasslacher’s 100% Hot Drinking ChocolateI sweetened 30g of chocolate with 10g sugar, but it was still very dry and bitter - almost like a hot chocolate espresso. Definitely needs a dairy component.
Dairy MilkHasslacher’s 100% Hot Drinking ChocolateEqual quantity of chocolate and honey, with hot milk. The dairy helps soften the flavour, while the honey adds a curious floral note. Sugar is better than honey in this one, although honey may work well in other recipes.
WaterCasa Luker 40% Noche milk chocolateDelicious - very rich, creamy, and wonderfully rounded. Will make again.
WaterCasa Luker Chocopanela 39% Dorado white chocolateIncredible flavour especially as a hot chocolate. Rich, creamy, satisfying. Definitely my best white chocolate yet.
WaterCasa Luker 1906 Origin San Martin 72% dark chocolateToo bitter when made with water. Definitely needs a dairy component.
WaterThe Chocolate Society Espresso Dark ChocolateBitter and too watery. Needed a dairy base to add robustness. Shall remember for future reference. Gritty texture due to the coffee bean flecks, which didn't like the hot water.
WaterCadbury Dairy MilkDelicious (for a Dairy Milk fan). Far superior - and more authentic tasting - to Cadbury Drinking Chocolate powder.
WaterAldi Everyday Essentials White ChocolateSurprisingly tasty when made with 40g of white chocolate to around 200ml of water. Unpleasant aftertaste right at the end.
WaterCasa Luker 1906 Origin San Martin 72% dark chocolate and Casa Luker 40% Noche milk chocolateBlended a third dark chocolate to two thirds milk chocolate. The milk chocolate added creaminess and depth of flavour while the dark chocolate enhanced that and added a slight bitterness. Needed slightly less dark to milk chocolate.
WaterHotel Chocolat Rare & Vintage 60% Supermilk Vietnam ReviewIntense and flavourful, though the nuances of the cocoa were dulled through heating. Creamy, but needed a hit of sugar to balance nicely.

Chocolate Bars & Confectionery

BaseChocolateVerdict
MilkAldi Dairyfine Mint Creme dark chocolateVery sweet, with a recognisable minty aroma and flavour. Unpleasant aftertaste with each sip though.
WaterAldi Dairyfine Turkish Delight milk chocolateOverly sweet, with a recognisable rose aroma and flavour. Unpleasant aftertaste with each sip though.
WaterCasa Luker 40% Noche milk chocolate with crushed Swizzels Matlow Parma Violets (7g)Sweet, but not overly so. Pleasant delicate violet flavour that may work better in a greater quantity with a dark chocolate base.
WaterTreatsize bag of Maltesers, crushed by handI was really worried by this one, but the malt centres dissolved fine. A malty hot chocolate not a million miles away from the instant Maltesers hot chocolate powder (a testament to the makers of that product I think)
WaterCadbury Fudge barDon't do it, kids. The fudge didn't melt properly and it tasted awful. There wasn't enough chocolate on the bar to make a palatable cup of hot chocolate.
WaterCadbury Caramel FreddoBetter than the Cadbury Fudge experiment, but still not good. Overly sweet and not chocolatey enough, although the flavour of caramel came through.
WaterCadbury Creme EggSweet, but not overly so. Familiar Cadbury chocolate flavour with a mild Creme Egg flavour (I had expected a stronger taste). A great way to use up leftover Creme Eggs.
MilkTerry's Chocolate OrangeI miked around 30g of Chocolate Orange with milk. It's definitely a winner but needs more chocolate to make it more flavourful. Try 40g-50g instead.

Chocolate Powders

BaseChocolateVerdict
WaterCadbury Drinking Chocolate powderCompletely different taste than when made with milk. Gritty. Not as tasty as using a bar of Dairy Milk.

Hot Chocolate Inclusions

BaseChocolateInclusionVerdict
WaterCasa Luker Chocopanela 39% Dorado white chocolateFresh, ripe muddled strawberriesFar too sweet. Not pleasant at all. Sieved to remove lumps which affected the emulsion.
WaterCasa Luker 40% Noche milk chocolateDried mint (jar from Asda)Weird - like toothpaste blended into hot chocolate. need to seek out dried peppermint next time.
WaterCasa Luker 40% Noche milk chocolateDried powdered cinnamon and gingerAdded four shakes of both jars into the mix. Added too gentle a flavour - needs more powder next time.
WaterCasa Luker Chocopanela 39% Dorado white chocolate½ teaspoon of ground mixed spiceA warming, festive flavour although next time, I'd leave the spices steep in the water to infuse it for a minute beforehand.
WaterCasa Luker Chocopanela 39% Dorado white chocolateDried powdered cinnamon and turmericI tried making a DIY version of Whittard's Indian Spice hot chocolate with good results. The spices added a warmth while the chocolate added depth of flavour. I'll be making this one again.

Conclusions & Tips

The Hot Chocolate Shaker certainly handles a lot of what is thrown at it, with mixed results based on the quality of the ingredients. You definitely get out what you put in, so the higher quality ingredients often produce the tastiest outcome.

Chocolate bar inside Hot Chocolate Shaker
Chocolate pieces in the Hot Chocolate Shaker, ready to be transformed into hot chocolate
  • I didn't expected hot chocolate made with hot water to taste good, but indeed it does. Water works best with milk or white chocolate as you're working with an ingredient that has dairy and sugar in it. Dairy works best with dark and bitter chocolate to help tame the intensity (and you might need to add a small quantity of sugar too).
  • Single-origin and high cocoa percentage chocolates tend to give the best overall flavour. It depends on the quality of the cocoa though - cheaper chocolate didn't have the same vibrancy of flavour for me as the more expensive varieties did.
  • It's good fun watching a mass produced chocolate bar vanish into a base of milk or water, but avoid ones with wafers, nuts, or toffees if you like your hot chocolate smooth. Fondant centres work well with hot water but brace yourself for very sweet results thanks to all that sugar. Cadbury Dairy Milk is a must for Cadbury fans, and is a great way to demolish a big slab of chocolate°. Also try a Creme Egg for its sheer novelty factor, and a Caramel bar for an interesting flavour. Get a dose of Christmas by making a Terry's Chocolate Orange hot chocolate.
  • I experimented with bases and quantities to find the sweet spot. Every chocolate is different, so you may well need to adjust recipes to suit your tastes. However, I found adding around 30g to 40g of chocolate to around 150ml to 200ml of hot liquid (the number 6 to 7 mark on the Shaker) gave the most consistent results. I used a greater quantity of chocolate and less liquid when dealing with bars containing low percentage cocoa solids to intensify the chocolatey flavour.
  • Most of my recipes took 10 seconds of shaking to produce, but thicker bars took up to 20 seconds of shaking to dissolve properly.

Do you have a hot chocolate recipe idea I haven't tried? Let me know in the comments below.

2 Comments

  • Wow! What a thoughtful and thorough testing. We too love the shaker and have added it to our stock. We have had customers tell us they have made up drinks using bars they have purchased. Really enjoyed reading this 😋

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