Chocolate is one of the most prevalent flavors in the world. But the way you enjoy chocolate depends on other ingredients used to make it. The choice between hot chocolate and chocolate milk is proof of that statement. Although both beverages are delicious, they have distinct differences.
Hot chocolate requires chocolate, milk or cream, and sugar. The chocolate and sugar are heated to melt and form a paste mixed with milk or cream. Conversely, chocolate milk is a kind of milk that has been added to smooth cocoa powder or chocolate syrup, milk mix, and sweeteners.
So, the next time you have a craving for a hot cocoa-based beverage, be sure to call out your desired drink by its correct name. But, if you’re still unsure about the drinks, let’s set the record straight about the differences between hot chocolate, hot cocoa, and chocolate milk in this post. Read on and learn!
Hot Chocolate vs. Chocolate Milk: What Are the Differences?
Hot chocolate is usually a commercially made product that comprises cocoa powder, butter, powdered milk, sugar, and other additives. You can add water or milk and have instant hot chocolate (keep in mind that you’ll lose the creamy taste and feel when you don’t use milk). You can also use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, but you’ll be sacrificing some creaminess.
On the other hand, chocolate milk is milk flavored with powdered chocolate or chocolate syrup. It can be bought at the store, or you can make it at home by melting cocoa powder or chocolate powder and sweeteners in warm milk. This will tingle your taste buds and fill you up.
While you should drink hot chocolate when it is still warm, chocolate milk is usually kept in the refrigerator and is intended to be drunk cold.
Can Chocolate Milk Be Heated to Make Hot Chocolate?
You can heat chocolate milk to make a cup of warm chocolate milk, but that wouldn’t be hot chocolate because of its low density.
To get a cup of warm chocolate milk, heat the chocolate milk in a saucepan on low heat and use a whisk to stir it occasionally.
Remember that milk overheats quickly, and the taste can be affected negatively if allowed to boil. So, don’t walk away from the stove and remove the saucepan once you see tiny bubbles forming around the edges.
You can also microwave the chocolate milk. Do so for 30 seconds. Take the bowl out and stir. Place the bowl back in the microwave for another 30 seconds and repeat the procedure if it’s not warm enough yet. Warming in intervals of 30 seconds is a must if you want to heat the chocolate milk evenly. If you don’t make pauses and stir the milk, it will be warmed on the top of the cup, and stay cold on the bottom.
Is It Good to Drink Hot Chocolate Milk?
Chocolate milk has protein, Vitamin D, calcium, minerals, and electrolytes that offer essential nutritional benefits.  Besides, hot chocolate milk has a thick consistency due to the cocoa butter, which gives a lot of chocolate flavors. The beverage offers a sensual experience.
Difference Between Cocoa and Hot Chocolate
While most people use the two terms interchangeably, cocoa and hot chocolate have their differences. Hot cocoa uses water, sugar, and cocoa powder. To prepare it, you need to mix the cocoa powder and sugar into a paste, which you add boiling water to create a smooth blend.
Since hot cocoa is made with water, it is light and thinner in composition. The water also allows the chocolate to pronounce its authentic flavors and unique characteristics. Besides, cocoa has cocoa powder and not cocoa butter, and hence it’s low in fat or creaminess.
In some regions, hot chocolate is also referred to as drinking chocolate. It contains cocoa butter, and this added fat creates a smoother, thicker, consistent, and richly flavored beverage. The butter also gives the hot chocolate a fuller composition that makes it a more filling drink.
Note that the higher the milk fat content, the creamier your hot chocolate will taste. In fact, depending on the ratio of cream and milk you use, hot chocolate can be as thick as pudding or softly whipped cream.
Which Is Better: Hot Chocolate With Milk or Water?
If you want a low-calorie beverage, you should make your hot chocolate with water. However, hot chocolate made with milk is creamier, tastier, and full of nutrients, including calcium and magnesium.