27 wild ways to take your hot chocolate from tasty to tweet-worthy

We’re doing our level best to celebrate the best of winter this month, which gives us a lot of days to make heartwarming cups of hot chocolate. But why stick with one method when there are clearly so many delicious ways to take your hot chocolate from tasty to absolutely out of this world. As always, the fantastic people who share a love of good food with us came to the rescue. Here are some of our favourite submissions.

1. The silky Manhatten
Add milk and dark chocolate to a pot and simmer over a medium heat for a few minutes, whisking regularly. Pour the thickened, silky, hot chocolate into a mug. Top with shavings of white chocolate, a few marshmallows, a dollop of whipped cream, a little cinnamon or nutmeg and then finish it off with orange zest. Allow the hot chocolate to cool a little, then sit back, relax and indulge. – Tidi Esther Child

2. The great after 8
Boil one cup of cream and half a cup of milk, then add five sprigs of fresh mint. Bring it all to a simmer, over a medium-low heat, then remove the mint. Whisk in cream and half a cup of chocolate, in order to create a ganache.  Put two tablespoons of the ganache into a cup and pour in the hot milk. Place marshmallows on top and a sprig of fresh mint. – Denise de Lange

3. The easy mint crisp
Add a few pieces of chocolate into a mug, then pour in hot milk and stir. Top with whipped cream and some crushed chocolate pieces. Take a peppermint crisp chocolate and cut the two sides off, place it into your cup and sip it through the peppermint crips like a straw. You will have instant mint hot chocolate! Delish!

4. The triple vanilla
My husband has a sweet tooth, so I melt milk chocolate, white chocolate and one or two dark chocolate pieces together. Add a little bit of hot, full cream milk to get the texture really smooth. Then add 2.5 ml of vanilla extract and top it off with white marshmallows! Take your hot chocolate, put on your mittens and cover yourself with a beautiful blanket. Ensure that your hubby makes a nice fire, surround yourself with good company, and there you go! – Elzaan Human

Hot Chocolate-6296

5. The naughty Nutella
Line the mug with a thick layer of Nutella and pour in warm milk. It’s simple but totally delicious. Another alternative is a few blocks of dark, Lindt chocolate in warm milk with milky foam on top, lashed with cinnamon. – Caryn Jeenes

6. The crowd pleaser
This hot chocolate recipe is super easy and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Bring 2 litres of milk to just below boiling point in a large pot, then add chunks of Lindt dark chocolate and 2 slabs of Lindt dark chilly chocolate. Allow it to melt away gently while stirring. When you’re sure the chocolate has melted completely, pour the warm hot chocolate into your favourite winter mugs, top with a dollop of warm, frothy cream and a sprinkle of chilly flakes. Enjoy! – Julinda Aucamp

7. The flambé spice
Dark chocolate, a cinnamon stick, and a dash of chilli. Pop a large square of homemade marshmallow on top and torch it until it’s golden brown and caramelised. – Yoko Izu

8. The peanut butter combo
Boil one litre of milk, then remove from the heat.  Add 3 x 80 g dark chocolate, chopped finely, and add a ¼ cup of peanut butter. Finish it off with ten white marshmallows then stir the hot chocolate with a whisk. The peanut butter and marshmallows combo give it that extra level of comfort! – Lisa Guimaraens

9. The Italiano Africano
My classic hot chocolate recipe is three heaped teaspoons of hot chocolate, 250 ml hot milk, one espresso, one tot of Amarula cream and a pinch of cinnamon. – Aletia ‘Doran’ Dreyer

Hot Chocolate-6291

10. The tropical Contiki
Hot chocolate, a bit of coconut milk, a shot of Amarula, and some marshmallows on top. Then you take a chef’s torch and toast the top of the marshmallows. Magic! – Darryn van der Walt

11. The cardamom kiss
Nomu’s decadent hot chocolate, plus warm milk is the best. Those dark chocolate chunks melt into a smooth, not too sweet, hot chocolate and the taste is enhanced by a twist of orange peel or a tip of a teaspoon of cardamon. – Heide Good

12. The salt flake city
Melt 70% Lindt chocolate into a mug, filled with hot milk. Put a dollop of fresh cream on top and take it to the next level with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt over the cream. If you’re feeling super daring, push a Flake through the side of the cream and enjoy. – Nandi Canning

13. The bad brulée
Bruléed marshmallows or marshmallow fluff on top of the hot chocolate is my secret. It’s the perfect combination of roasting marshmallows around a fire on a cold night and a cup of decadence! – Lindsay Jolly

14. The drunken pirate
My version of hot chocolate is definitely for adults only. A few years ago a friend was moving and I was helping her pack up her house. At the end of the night, we felt like an Irish coffee. There was no whisky or coffee in the house, but there was, however, Captain Morgan rum and hot chocolate. We thought, “What the hell!” and so the “Drunk Pirate” was born. Warm your milk with a little water, add heaped spoons of hot chocolate (the more, the better), then add a captains share of rum. Enjoy! – Larrinae Ballantyne

Hot Chocolate-6253

15. The naked Mexican
Mexican almond hot chocolate is just the best. Over a medium heat, combine milk (could use almond milk), water, almond butter, cocoa powder and cinnamon into a saucepan, whisking frequently until smooth and the liquid comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in almond extract and sugar to taste. It also goes really well with a splash of brandy. – Natalie Algar-Hedderson

16. The royal boudoir
You can make this hot chocolate with a combination of milk and dark chocolate pieces.  Heat the milk and chocolatae in a pot, then add double cream and a little bit of cocoa powder. Once it has all melted together, you can top the hot chocolate off with fresh whipped cream and enjoy it with chocolate coated finger biscuits. – Nataly Ranner

17. The perfect couple (or the frenemy)
NoMU is so great, nothing else is needed.  I do, however, add chocolate Lindt balls into the hot chocolate, and it melts to pure decadence. – Chantal Kröhnert

18. The twisted sister
A spoonful of hazelnut syrup and a few toasted marshmallows on top of the hot chocolate, is a delicious twist.  I also like to add a spoon of peanut butter and some chopped, salted peanuts on top. Yum! – Susan Caras

19. The Amaretto amoretti
NoMU hot chocolate is fantastic, but to take it to the next level, add a tot of Amaretto and an amoretti biscotti. –  Lynne Hazell

20. The toffee-malt mama
I melt a Bar-One chocolate and mix it with one spoon of Horlicks, followed by boiling, hot milk. Finish it off with a sprinkle of marshmallows on top. Divine! – Bev Clarke

21. The Natural Kahlua
On a really misty evening at our Natural Boarding yard, we sit out on the stoep. Nothing beats a mug lined with melted chocolate, then I add 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate mixed with warm milk and pour it in the lined mug. For a hint of extravagance, add a tot of Kahlua. – Kellie Reid-van Der Merwe

22. The heavy pepper
Lots of heavy cream, melted dark chocolate, and some cayenne pepper. The pepper is key! – Angie Jacobs

23. The speciality chocochino
I add a teaspoon of coffee and a teaspoon of milo to my hot chocolate. Thereafter, I add whipped cream, sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon powder and grated Romany Creams or Chockits. I call my speciality, “Chocochino”.  – Sheryl Govender

24. The noisette
Skimmed milk, whipping cream, hazelnut paste, milk chocolate (40% cocoa) and a shot of Frangelico hazelnut liquer. Have some Ferrero Rochers on the side for extra indulgence. – andrewjohanbarnard

25. The Tim Tam trick
Tim Tams! Bite off a corner on either side of a tim tam and suck the hot chocolate through the cookie. As soon as the hot chocolate reaches your mouth, you eat the cookie. – alecia_va

26. The Death by Chocolate
Steam a mug of full cream milk. Take a Magnum ‘Death by Chocolate’ and stir it into the milk. Top off the hot chocolate with a dash of cocoa and cinnamon. Yum! – raemv

27. The spice & nice
My recipe is melted chocolate, chilli flakes, cinnamon and cream. Serve with spiced or roasted almonds on the side, (You’ve got to have a treat next to the mug).

To read more amazing tips on making hot chocolate, check out our community’s feedback.

Thanks to everyone for submitting such great tips on making the world’s best hot chocolate. If we’ve learnt anything from this endeavour it’s that experimentation is key and that your knowledge is only as good as the company you keep, and man oh man are we glad to have your foodie company.