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Entirely unsweetened hot chocolate - made with chocolate not cocoa

So, my boyfriend is looking for a new way to make unsweetened hot chocolate. Ideally he'd like to use ground or fine powder-like chocolate, but specifically chocolate (without the cocoa butter removed) rather than cocoa powder. Also, he'd like something unsweetened, which rules out grating a standard or even fancy bar of chocolate into a cup with some milk/cream/etc.

Any ideas? Know of a source for excellent quality unsweetened chocolate, either in a bar to grate or already grated/ground? Anyone made hot chocolate this way in the past?

I've done an unsweetened one with cocoa powder already: cocoa, milk, vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon, a dash of cayenne, and a dollop of cream.

Thanks for any ideas!

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  1. Some major groceries in my area (and many ethnic groceries) sell chocolate portioned into serving size and specifically made for hot-chocolate in the latino style - I can't say about the sugar content, but you could check.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wayne keyser

      Ibarra and Abuelita brands (in the yellow hexagonal (?) boxes) are both sweetened and flavored with cinnamon and I think also almonds.

    2. Hey Seattledebs,

      The new line of baking chocolate from Nestle' called Chocolatier has an unsweetened baking chocolate. I've also had Lindt's 90% dark chocolate, contains sugar, LOL not that you would notice! I love dark chocolate, but that was alittle too intense to eat straight, but might work in hot chocolate.


      1. Trade Joes recently started to sell a Belgian unsweetened chocolate.

        I think Scharffen-Berger makes an unsweetened one, which any of the fancier groceries should carry - in the Seattle area Whole Foods and Central come to mind. I've also seen at Central some Spanish bars intended specifically for melting in a drink (near the bulk foods in the Shoreline store).

        Mexican chocolate probably is too sweet for your purposes. If you can accept some sugar, there are lots of quality 70+% chocolates out there.


        1. There are several chocolate makers that are making very high % chocolate bars.

          Scharffen-Berger makes a 99% cacao bar
          Pralus makes a 100% cacao bar
          Dagoba makes a 100% bar
          Guittard makes a 91% bar
          Michel Cruziel makes a 99% bar

          In my neck of the woods Scharffen-berger is the easiest to find. While it still has a bit of sugar, 99% cacao is a very dark chocolate.

          3 Replies
          1. re: BrandonPHX

            Scharffenberger does not add sugar to their 99% bar. From their website:

            "Q: What do the percentages (62%, 70%, 82%, 99%) mean?

            A: The percentages indicate by weight the amount of ingredients derived from the cacao bean that is in the chocolate. The remaining percentage is sugar and a small amount of vanilla and soy lecithin. For example, our 70% cacao bittersweet has more cacao and less sugar than our 62% cacao semisweet chocolate. The semisweet is thus a bit sweeter than the bittersweet. Our 99% cacao unsweetened adds no sugar at all."


            Do you have a recipe and if so, will you share it with us?

            It is very good chocolate and I highly recommend it. Also, for this purpose I would recommend the 82% bar as its a little more palatable than the completely unsweetened one, but is not really detectably sweet.

            Sounds great... I may have to make hot chocolate tonight!

            1. re: chemchef

              I actually the hot chocolate recipe on Scharffen-Berger's website, it is the best recipe I've tried. It calls for 70%, but just use what ever chocolate you want. I've had good luck with several different chocolates. It makes enough for about 4 big cups of coco, but you can scale it back.


              1. re: BrandonPHX

                Sorry. I actually wanted the recipe from the OP that calls for unsweetened chocolate.

          2. These are all very helpful, thanks! I'll see if I can find him some really nice chocolate from these suggestions.

            1. I regularly make Pre-Hispanic style barely sweetened hot chocolate using Valhrona 100% Cacao powder... yeah I know its a little lazy & inauthentic but I will leave the hand grinding over volcanic stone to the ladies in Oaxaca.

              Even Moctezuma (who drank liters of it prior to visiting his harem) understood that you need a little bit of sweetness to round out the flavors... if you can get Yucatecan honey... that is the most traditional (its a different species of bee than the common European honey bee) or Agave syrup (the Aztec method)... or plain old, good quality flower honey... it just takes the smallest swirl to round out the flavor.