Ultra rich and slightly sweet with bold notes of dark chocolate, orange, a pinch of cinnamon and a good glug of Grand Marnier; Spiked Orange Hot Chocolate. An adult hot chocolate and sipper for those special occasions or to warm up with during the coldest months of the year. This recipe is vegetarian or vegan.
Adult Hot Chocolate
The first time I discovered drinking chocolate was in Portland at the beloved Cacao many years ago. It was shortly after having finished Chocolate Lab in pastry school, so I had a fresh perspective on the world of chocolate.
I thought it the most luxurious elixer one could ever have. Smooth, velvety… completely indulgent. Like drinking a chocolate bar.
This Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe is like a dessert sipper. It’s ultra rich, smooth and spiked with a bit of orange and booze. Grand Marnier carries the orange flavor further is is absolutely delicious!
Spiked Hot Chocolate
Since my discovery, I’ve been making hot chocolate at home using various bar chocolate, always dark and at least 72%. Sometimes I make adult hot chocolate by spiking it, other times enjoyed simply with or without inclusions such as ginger, cardamom, or chilis. Orange is probably my favorite, after dinner as a dessert with a bit of booze, of course.
Those packets of cocoa powder with copious amounts of sugar and tiny marshmallows; hot cocoa – my childhood dreams. They are a thing of the past.
What is the Difference Between Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa?
Hot chocolate (aka drinking chocolate) and hot cocoa are not one in the same, however. Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder where the cocoa butter has been removed. Alone, cocoa powder has an intense chocolate taste, and no fat.
Hot chocolate on the other hand, is made with chocolate; bar, baking or chips. It’s the cocoa butter (fat), in part, that makes hot chocolate completely luxurious.
Want to take this adult hot chocolate over the top? Since I consider Spiked Orange Hot Chocolate a dessert, I look for high quality chocolate; the higher the percent chocolate, the less sugar it contains and the more bittersweet it will taste. I go for dark, anywhere between 72%-80% and look for chocolate that is organic, and fair trade.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Vegetarian or Vegan – For a luxurious dairy free hot chocolate dessert experience, and to treat your love, go for unsweetened homemade cashew milk, or full fat coconut milk. Whole milk, or 1/2 n 1/2 (or a mix of whole and 1/2) can be used as well.
- Optional Topping – Top this adult hot chocolate sipper sweetened whip cream or coconut cream or simply with shaved chocolate. Hot chocolate is rich enough on its own.
- High Quality Chocolate – If you’re a fan of bitter notes, go for a high percent, over 72%. It pairs beautifully with orange zest. Look for dark chocolate in bulk bins too – the price is better and it reduces waste! I like Theo’s Pure 70% dark chocolate.
- More Sweet Please! Add a 1/2 tsp at a time of maple syrup or brown sugar – add to taste.
- Alcohol Free: This recipe is easily made alcohol free too… simply leave it out and add just a bit more milk.
- Share With: Dark Chocolate Shortbread or Vegan Chocolate Shortbread.
Spiked Orange Hot Chocolate Recipe
For One Serving:
- 1 C (245g) Milk of Choice plant or dairy, see notes for options
- 1/4 C + 1 Tbs (1 3/4oz / 50g) 70%-80% Dark Chocolate finely chopped, plus shavings for garnish (see notes for vegan chocolate)
- 1/2 tsp Orange Zest
- Pinch of Fine Sea Salt
- Pinch of Ground Cinnamon
- 1 oz (28g) Grand Marnier
Serve With (optional):
- Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream or Coconut Cream
- Chocolate Shavings
- In a medium sauce pot, add the milk, chopped chocolate, zest, salt and cinnamon. Gently heat on the lowest setting, whisking occasionally until all the chocolate is melted. About 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to come to a simmer or boil. Remove from heat and gently whisk in the Grand Marnier. Strain into a serving cup(s). Garnish with optional whipped cream or coconut cream and shaved chocolate.
that fact that you said a glug of Grand Marnier makes me love you more! I need this to stay warm and cozy. Will you deliver? Beautiful my friend!
I absolutely love how the orange shines in this simple sipper! It’s smooth and so satisfying and completely indulgent! Thank you Linds!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
I am absolutely LOVING this hot chocolate, Traci! The addition of Grand Marnier is just brilliant (and delicious)!! I think you know my naughty allergy prevents me from having cup after cup of this silky beauty, but Boy is a hot cocoa fiend, and I just KNOW he will swoon over this! We are celebrating Valentine’s Day this weekend (because Valentine’s Day on a Wednesday isn’t convenient. lol), and I am thinking I absolutely MUST make him a large vat of this! Pinning! Cheers, dear! xoxo
P.s. I hope you had a beautiful Valentine’s Day!
Those dang allergies! I hope Boy enjoys it… and I know you enjoy simply the process of making it for him. ;D. Yall have fun this weekend, my dear! Thank you for your pin!
So so dreamy my friend. Every picture is so gorgeous, and the flavor combo is bomb my dear. Love the orange in it and chocolate is so good. So luxurious and I am dreaming of have this right now.
Just that, Ash, SO luxurious! Chocolate has your heart too! xo
Laura | Tutti Dolci
This looks so rich and creamy, an absolute chocolate dream! :)
Thaaank you Laura!! xo
geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
This looks so tasty, Traci. Love that you’re using real chocolate and yes, please, to the Grand Marnier! While we’ve been having a really mild winter in Los Angeles, it does get down into the low 50s so I’d love a cup of this in the evening. Pinning!
Oh my that Grand Marnier, Geraldine! After a long day at work and when it’s cold out (I know, okay 50F for you!)… it’s such a nice sipper. Thank you for your pin! xo
Chocolate Lab? Sign me up! I had no idea you went to pastry school Traci (we have so much to talk about; please add to agenda ;-) Chocolate and orange is a match made in heaven – the French knew what they were doing with GM (yum!); mixed in with the warmth of cinnamon, you’ve created a delightful treat. That last photo is so beautiful and your lil’ chocolate hearts are bringing me the biggest smile ♥♥ (+ that mug!) x
LOL! Will do, Kelly! Yeah, it was WAY better than I’d ever imagined! Yes.. the orange!! I’m obsessed right now. In fact, I’m about to squeeze some blood orange for a BO Mojito :o … wanna come over? Thank you for your sweet words, Kelly! I had to have more chocolate with the chocolate, ya know? The mug is from an incredibly skilled potter in Seattle. Her ordering form has an almost one year wait list. I was was lucky enough to snag this at her open house (!!)
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
This sounds like the dreamiest hot chocolate EVER Traci! You know I’m totally loving the little bit of booze in my cup! The perfect winter warm up right here, and oh so perfect for me and my Valentine!
Of course, the booze factor… can you imagine a glug of Kahlua or Bailey’s… how about some Frangelico? The possibilities are endless! HELLO brandy? Goodness! Do you think Tom will like the orange? xo
Abby @ Heart of a Baker
Oh my goodness, I’m so into this! I hardly ever take the time to make ‘real’ hot chocolate, so I need to try this right now!
Abby… DO IT! You’ll never return to your old ways! LOL! xo
Oh what a treat and to go full on with the flavor combination I can see pairing this with one of your blood orange and chocolate chunk scones!
Oh my word, Jean! I didn’t even think of it…. a perfect, and over the top indulgent, pairing with those Blood Orange & Chocolate Chunk Scones! OMGeeee!!
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
I can’t believe I’ve never had spiked hot chocolate. This looks like a treat the hubs would flip over. Blood oranges are my new obsession!
OMGeee Karen, it’s time!! After the kiddos have gone to bed, this is something to savor with your love. xo
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
“Real” hot chocolate is such a treat. So luxurious and the flavor is amazing! No more packets! Love the addition of blood oranges…and of course, a little booze! Happy *almost* Valentine’s Day, Traci!
OMGeee, right? Banish those packets! I think we can safely say, Valentines day is for women! LOL – the guys feel too much pressure then because of it, do nothing lol! Happy *almost* Valentine’s Liz! And thank you for the link love xo