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Make the perfect cup of hot chocolate.
Make the perfect cup of hot chocolate. / Annabelle Breakey/Getty Images

There’s nothing like cozying up to a cup of hot chocolate. The Daily Meal website asked top chocolatiers to spill the secrets to making this indulgent treat:

Use real chocolate.

L.A. Burdick’s Michael Klug uses premium cocoa beans that have been perfectly fermented and roasted, then finished into a complex dark chocolate. “Most of the chocolate we use is in the mid-60% to 70% dark chocolate range,” he says.

Go with shaved.

You’ll get the best consistency. “Cocoa powder alone can leave a grainy texture in the mouth,” Klug says. Also, shaved chocolate melts more quickly in hot milk, which allows for smoother incorporation of ingredients.

Pick milk over water.

“I’m a traditional guy, I like to use milk. If I’m going to drink a hot chocolate that I already know has a lot of calories, I’m going to make it damn good. I don’t want to spend calories to get fat and not get pleasure out of it!” say chocolatier Jacques Torres.

Mix it just so.

Also for consistency, Jacques Torres recommends heating the milk, pouring it over the chocolate, mixing, then pouring the mixture back into a pot and heating it on the stove until it starts to boil again.

You can let it sit.

Torres says there’s nothing wrong with making a batch of hot chocolate, refrigerating it and reheating it to enjoy it the next day. “It might be better,” Torres says. “The flavor is going to infuse. Hot chocolate is darker the next day because it infuses more.”

Experiment with flavors.

Add an extra flavor with a pinch of a spice such as ground ancho chile or chipotle chile. Other flavors Torres enjoys pairing with his chocolate include orange, peanut butter, banana and caramel.

Click here for more on making the perfect cup of hot chocolate from the Daily Meal's drink editor, Maryse Chevriere.

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