The Key Ingredient For A Rich Cup Of Dutch Hot Chocolate

Amsterdam Now describes Dutch hot chocolate as "velvety and soft, as if an angel has landed on your tongue." That image alone has us curious. Is the hot chocolate the Dutch are drinking different from what is in our mug? G-Free Foodie confirms that Dutch hot chocolate is made using special ingredients — and by special, we mean chocolate. But before we explain the magic that is Dutch hot chocolate, we first need to explain cocoa powder.

Cocoa powder is made from cacao beans; The beans are crushed into nibs and the nibs are ground into a paste for processing. The resulting raw cocoa is then refined to make the most delicious part of the cacao bean: the powder. But natural cacao powder is slightly bitter, with an acidic pH ranging from 5 to 6, explains G-Free Foodie. Dutch-processed cocoa, in comparison, has been treated with an alkalizing agent, bringing the pH of the powder to a neutral 7 (this results in a smoother taste). Maybe you see where this is going.

A cup of chocolate decadence

The chemist responsible for making this smoother-tasting cocoa powder was — you guessed it — Dutch, notes Hotel Chocolat. That means the chocolate drinks we enjoy are largely due to his genius. (Thank you, Coenraad J. Van Houten!)

Dutch-processed cocoa is a key ingredient to making Dutch hot chocolate taste rich and flavorful and traditional recipes include Dutch cocoa powder, dark chocolate, milk, and even a shot of brandy or rum (via The Spruce Eats). Healthy spoonfuls of whipped cream adorn mugs and sprinkles of cinnamon finish off the drinks. 

We'll take Amsterdam Now's suggestion: Dutch hot chocolate is best paired with stroopwafels, classic Dutch waffle cookies that can be set on top of warm mugs to soften inner layers of sweet caramel. Don't say we didn't warn you — if you plan on making a batch of this luxurious hot chocolate at home, count on helping yourself to seconds.