In the Netherlands, ordering a cup of steaming hot chocolate is just as easy as getting coffee or tea. While the drink is most popular as a fall and winter treat, hot cocoa with whipped cream is certainly enjoyed on rainy days year-round.
Because there's nothing like hot chocolate made with good quality dark chocolate and whole milk, topped with real whipped cream, we like to make our own from scratch. We always use the finest darkest chocolate chips, but also add a teaspoon of Dutch process cocoa for extra oomph. Classic Dutch cocoa comes with a generous dollop of whipped cream on top, dusted with cocoa or cinnamon (we prefer the latter), and sometimes a bit of brandy or rum for the adults. We don't usually sweeten the cream, but sometimes add a flavoring such as vanilla extract or almond essence.
- Put the chocolate chips, cocoa, and 1/4 cup of the milk (about 60 ml) in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
- Allow the chocolate to melt into the milk while stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Add the rest of the milk and whisk lightly until well mixed and foamy.
- Add the brandy or rum, if using.
- Pour into small cups, top with whipped cream, dust with cinnamon, and serve piping hot.