frozen hot chocolate

At the outset of this summer, I had only a few things on my agenda: a baby (check!), a garden (check!, but oof*) and as many frozen desserts that do not require an ice cream maker as possible. And sure, from toasted marshmallow milkshakes to swirled berry yogurt (breakfast) popsicles, saltine crack ice cream sandwiches, strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie and raspberry crushed ice, it’s been a good time. But as summer isn’t over, I’m not done yet either.

what you'll need
cold hot chocolate base

The concept of Frozen Hot Chocolate was made famous by a restaurant on East 60th Street** that I’ve only been to once in my 15 years here, when I was pretty underwhelmed by the signature dessert. As it boasts a cringe-worthy spelling [“Frrrozen” Hot Chocolate] and presentation [it’s intentionally overflowing, as it to shame you with sticky fingers for touching it], all from a restaurant with no shortage of things to make you wince [it’s a 2007 Guinness World Record holder for the Most Expensive Dessert, a gold-leafed sundae clocking in at $1,000 and in 2012 for Most Expensive Burger, a $295 number with three different formats of truffles], I probably should have seen this coming. The massive goblet they brought to the table managed to be excessively sweet, bland and overpriced, like the Overhyped Trifecta. Ahem, not that I need to learn how to form an opinion or anything.

assembly line
it's rather violent in there

But I never fell out of infatuation with the idea of all it could have been, which in my mind would have been a perfect summer milkshake, more icy than ice cream, i.e. all of the greatness of chocolate but so much less heft because it’s too hot out to eat foods that slow you down. It just took me 15 years to make it right on my own. I turned, surprising myself, to a so-called authentic version of the original I found on the web, which was just a couple small tweaks away from tasting nothing like the restaurant version in all of the best ways. It’s dead simple. You make a very potent hot chocolate with melted bittersweet chocolate, a scant amount of sugar and even smaller amount of cocoa, get it really cold, and blend it with twice its volume of ice before pouring it into glasses and topping it with a raft of whipped cream and twirly shavings of chocolate.

frozen hot chocolate

And you wait on absolutely no line to get it. You open no lines of credit to afford it. You get to drink it with both a straw and spoon. I think we all know what needs to be done.

frozen hot chocolate

* The garden began with reasonable goals: a few tomato seedlings, sunflower seeds, potted herbs and herb seed packets. The garden is currently five tomato plants, each taller than me, four cucumber plants sprawling everywhere, ignorant of their climbing trellis, skinny green beans, baby tomatillos, chickpeas, strawberries, a veritable field of sunflowers and 11 herbs, including dill, basil, chives, parsley, shiso, thyme, sage, nepitella, rosemary, cilantro and oregano, not to mention a seed-drying operation and a butterfly hatchery. I’ve got things completely in control, obviously.

** over by what is to me a far more exciting NYC spectacle, the Tramway (which should be sung to the tune of “Monorail!“)

One year ago: Three Ingredient Summertime Salsa and Blueberry Crumb Cake
Two years ago: Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini
Three years ago: Charred Pepper Steak Sauce
Four years ago: Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons
Five years ago: Sweet and Smoky Oven Spare Ribs and Everyday Chocolate Cake
Six years ago: Sour Cherry Slab Pie and Cantaloupe Salsa
Seven years ago: Garlic Mustard Glazed Skewers, Blueberry Pancakes and Huevos Rancheros
Eight years ago: Double Layer Chocolate Cake, Red Pepper Soup and Pearl Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Olives

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas and Chocolate Oat Crumble
1.5 Years Ago: Cheese Blintz and Garlicky Party Bread with Herbs and Cheese
2.5 Years Ago: Lasagna Bolognese and Double Coconut Muffins
3.5 Years Ago: Salted Caramel Brownies and Italian Stuffed Cabbage

Frozen Hot Chocolate
Riffed from original recipe

A lightly sweet and not overly intense milkshake, the summer iteration of a winter mug of hot cocoa. Still cold where you are? Make this Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix instead.

Makes 6 petite just-about-1-cup servings (shown above in an 8-ounce glass) or fewer more generous ones

3 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups cold milk, whole is ideal here
3 cups ice
1/2 cup cold heavy or whipping cream
Chocolate shavings, for garnish

Melt chocolate in a small/medium saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly and not letting it cook a moment beyond its melted point. Remove from heat. Stir in cocoa and 2 tablespoons sugar. Drizzle in 1/2 cup milk very slowly, whisking the whole time. If any chocolate firms up, return the saucepan to a low stove, warming and whisking the mixture until it melts again.

Off the heat, stir in the remaining 1 cup of cold milk, which should make the chocolate base cold. If not, let it chill in the freezer for a few minutes to hasten the cooling along.

Beat heavy cream with remaining 2 teaspoons sugar until soft peaks form. You can do this vigorously by hand or with an electric mixer.

In a blender, combine ice and chocolate-milk mixture until as smooth as a frozen cocktail. Pour into a glass — a goblet is traditional at the restaurant, but any glass you have will do — dollop with whipped cream and finish with shaved chocolate. Serve with a straw and a spoon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

167 comments on frozen hot chocolate

  1. Ah, the Tramway. Someone with an 800 SAT once described it as a funicular, but any chance to quote what is definitely the pinnacle Conan O’Brien’s career in comedy is pretty awesome.

    It’s been a million years since I’ve been to Serendipity 3. I have heard the quality has gone down as its fame grew. And the lines! They do make a very nice sundae. To be explored in another blog post, I guess.

  2. I have been thinking about hot chocolate, I mean cold chocolate, for summer since it is a frequent winter treat, but I thought maybe I was crazy. At least I’m not the only one? This looks incredible and I really can’t wait to try it. Thank you!

  3. I first had Frozen hot chocolate in Boston in high school, and it was a revelation. When I moved to NYC after college (and lived on E 60th) I was disappointed – I don’t know if it was an inferior product or a more sophisticated palate. Either way, I want to try this version.

  4. Laura P

    Growing up I LOVED Dairy Queen’s frozen hot chocolate (which they still will make, even though it’s not on the official menu) and was excited to try a fancy restaurant version a couple years ago. I too was underwhelmed trying Serendipity’s three-times-as-expensive one and prefer DQ’s (or, now, making my own) anytime!

  5. Wendy

    I buy frozen hot chocolate (here on the West Coast..sorry it isn’t closer to you!) at a chocolatier specializing in Latin American flavored housemade chocolate and desserts. Just recently, I had a duh moment, and corrected it…their frozen hot chocolate has cinnamon in it and I needed the spiciness ramped up, and asked if they could put in some chili, the same stuff they sprinkle on some of their chocolate bars. YUM! My kids go around the corner for housemade artisan ice cream and cones, but I much prefer to sip this spicy heaven.

  6. Kim

    I’m 7 months pregnant. And must make this. Today. Now to get the 2-year-old to cooperate with another grocery store trip… Thanks!

  7. Lori

    Showing my age here, but as a teenage girl in NY before the Tramway went into service, going to this particular spot for this particular dish was a special treat to be dreamed of, begged for, and savored slurp by sticky slurp. Perhaps we have all become more discriminating in our chocolate appreciation, and certainly the restaurant has always been more theme park that dining destination, but as the demographic for which the dessert was designed, I loved it!

  8. Susan

    How opportune that you feature this as I have wanted to tell you how I have been using your (wonderful) hot cocoa mix to jazz up the chocolate milkshakes I’ve been making this summer. (I think I might have, but don’t remember where.) This recipe is sort of the same, isn’t it? Man..does that mixture pump up the chocolate flavor! I dissolve the amount for one cup of cocoa in a minimal amount of hot water and add it over the ice cubes that I add to thicken and chill the base of the milk shake. I just sort of wing it but it has made a milkshake goddess of me in the eyes of my family!

  9. Krista

    Just had my first frozen hot chocolate from a food truck in Austin TX. Was the best drink I ever had! I will make yours today and compare:)

  10. Wife To An Amazing Cook

    This looks like summer in a glass. Can’t wait to give a try this week!

    An a different note, please (please!) tell me that you’ll someday soon share the recipe for that lovely dish in your Flickr stream, just before the photo of your most gorgeous offspring. I love both chocolate and caponata (separately of course!).

  11. Tovah

    I’ve lived in nyc almost 10 years and still haven’t ridden the tram! One of these days… Here’s a dumb question– if you were sans vitamix, would you use a food processor or an immersion blender?

  12. This looks incredible! Frozen hot chocolate is one of my favorite things to get at Dairy Queen but it would be so awesome (or dangerous) to be able to make it at home! I’m definitely going to be trying this recipe soon!

  13. Sherri

    Oh ‘that restaurant’! Thanks so much for creating a better version of frozen hot chocolate. After living down the street from ‘that restaurant’ for ten years and seeing them shut down more than once by the health department, I just couldn’t bring myself to go.

  14. Karyn

    I had some amazing frozen hot chocolate at a little creperie in Lancaster, PA and I was sold immediately (Serendipity’s is definitely nowhere near as good). It helped, of course, that this frozen cocoa was chock full of Nutella… I may have to make some of this tonight!

  15. deb

    Wife to an amazing cook — Yes! It was intended for this week, but you know, the boss lady had me too busy. Hopefully next. Very pleased with the outcome.

    Susan — Wow, that sounds even better than this!

    Lori — It’s also possible I was just on a bad date. :)

    Magda — Thank you.

  16. This looks fantastic – and definitely an improvement over my usual technique of dumping a couple of packets of TJ’s hot cocoa mix into a blender full of ice with a splash of milk!

  17. Kristy

    I am a fan of the frozen hot chocolate from Marie Belle in Soho. But, since I live in Idaho and not NYC, I am definitely going to give this a whirl. Yum!

  18. Jess

    This popped up on Pinterest before I saw it in my feed reader and I thought, how perfectly timed! I was just wondering what to make to celebrate my birthday. And lo and behold it wasn’t even an old post, but a new one JUST FOR ME on my birthday!

    It is delicious and I am not sharing. Because it is my birthday and I am pregnant. So there.

    I used Callebaut dark chocolate because my only other option was Baker’s Unsweetened. Kept everything else the same and skipped the whipped cream because I don’t have any heavy cream on hand. I warmed the 1/2 cup milk very slightly before adding it to the melted chocolate, but probably could have warmed it more as I still had a few solid bits of chocolate at the bottom of the pan.

  19. arendadee

    Wowzers! I’ve never thought of a summery version of hot chocolate! And I love that you actually use the word “fewer.” It’s becoming scarce!

  20. Ali

    I so agree! I went to Serendipity after years of hearing about the famous frozen hot chocolate. I was so sad that it didn’t even attempt to live up to my expectation. This looks great and definitely better than what I was given at the restaurant. It’s definitely an experience to go inside, but no need to eat there!

  21. Anne

    The first year I grew chickpeas and made hummus with homegrown chickpeas, I decided to plant my entire garden with nothing but chickpeas henceforth. The difference is that amazing.

  22. Thank you!!! I couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote in this post about Serendipity’s frozen hot chocolate. I remember I waited in line forever and was so eager to try the drink after having heard about it by other people and seen it in movies, but it totally underwhelmed me. The version you’ve created here is what I had been hoping the drink would be. Good to know I can make it at home now and have truly enjoy it without the lines or $$$. Thanks so much, Deb! You always make the best recipes <3

  23. It has been WAY too hot in Alaska this summer, and I absolutely need to try this! I’ve been looking for such a beverage in the states ever since I drank many versions of cold chocolate in Malaysia several years ago.

  24. Lindsay

    Well, there goes my “no sugar” postpartum eating plan. Lasted all of 12 hours… Darn it Deb! This looks too good!! :)

  25. deb

    arendadee — I’m like Stannis Baratheon when I hear the word “less.”

    Anne — My friend, who has a much better garden than me (here he chats with the NYT yesterday about his attempt to grow corn!) brought me a chickpea seedling but it’s not doing that well. I probably don’t have it in a big enough pot, then again, it’s not very big right now anyway. Any tips?

    Btw, the way out of the Serendipity line is to make a reservation. They say you cannot do so for just dessert so… you know, maybe order a salad first. Basically, I’d rather eat a salad before dessert (I think it’s called a “meal” heh) than wait on a 2 hour line.

  26. Kristy from the Tramway

    Do make a reservation, but skip the salad – the Black Bean Burger at Serendipity3 is one of those things you eat once, because you’re there for the dessert, then you come back for the black bean burger and skip the frozen hot chocolate.

  27. babs

    Ok, Deb, I lost my job a few months ago, and despite my need for a new one that pays in U.S. currency(!), will happily ditch that to be your children’s caregiver in exchange for being the guinea pig of all things you cook! Bonus here: my kid is 17, so I am very experienced with children!!

  28. ediakaran@gmail

    I just made this without sugar and its absolutely delicious, very smooth and chocolately. I used a bit less of unsweetened cocoa and added a little bit of instant coffee. I also used whole milk and good quality chocolate. Cant wait to share this with some friends and family and I will give full credit to you Deb!

  29. Marcia

    This looks great, especially to someone who has been eating only Popsicles for 3 days…But the real question on my mind is how are the caterpillars? The”goo” ( nicer word) that appears when they are ready to pupate is unmissable..then you need to make the next stage housing, as described in the article.
    But really ,you have that sweet little girl,you may not really need a butterfly !

  30. I am so making this tonight. I don’t have whole milk so the 2% will have to do and I have the yummiest hot chocolate ever from a local chocolatier that is rose and cardamom flavored. So I will use that instead of chocolate and pray I have ice. Ugh. I don’t think I have ice :( thanks for sharing this!

  31. stephanie

    Mmmmm so good!! My kids are devouring it. I brewed some espresso to start and let it cool and added that into mine. The perfect afternoon pick me up!

  32. Rachel

    Not completely related…you mentioned baby tomatillos in your garden? What are you planning to do with them? I have access to regular side ones, but don’t have a clue how to use them. I’ve seen salsa recipes…is there anything else?

    1. deb

      Rachel — No plan just yet. (They were also a gift from the friend who gave me the chickpeas, and they’ve taken off like CRAZY.) I assume baby tomatillos are the same as “ground cherries,” and I do love a tomatillo salsa, but … well, I’ll have to see how many I get and go from there. I’ll let you know!

  33. Etta

    This recipe looks great. I love all of your recipes. I also love reading all your recipes, you are a very entertaining and great writer. I know this is a little late but congrats on your new baby, your children are adorable.

  34. Mmmm, I’m definitely going to have to give this a try. I’m a huge lover of hot chocolate and go through withdrawals throughout the summer- what a perfect solution!

  35. Lauren

    Fiftieth “look of disdain”. You crack me up! She’s a girl…let me know when you get the 5 millionth one (hint: 8th grade will provide a million alone) and then I’ll be sympathetic. She is darling, the “men” obviously love her. Maybe she wants a little of that frozen hot chocolate by a more direct route than she is currently sampling it ;) kind of watered down and nowhere near that nice brown color! You all have a lot of laughs to look forward to from this little “pistol”.

  36. Becca

    It looks amazing. I’m going to use it as a send-off for my son, who leaves for college this Sunday.

    City Bakery makes an excellent frozen hot chocolate, as does LA Burdick, in case you get a chance to sample either some time in the next 18 years.

  37. erica

    Is there any way that your Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix can be used in this frozen delight? I keep a jar of it in my kitchen, and wonder if using that is close enough to what you put together in this recipe?

  38. This looks amazing and I love Valrhona chocolate and cocoa powder. This sounds like such a wonderful dessert/drink.

    That restaurant sounds so grotesque, I hate style over substance. Food doesn’t have to be expensive or elitist to taste good, some of the nicest meat etc is the cheapest!

    Thanks for sharing.

  39. Janice

    Frozen. Chocolate. The perfect antidote for the way the sweat is dripping off us after trying to tame our wild gardens. I’ve harvested 8 POUNDS of shishito peppers- and those babies don’t weigh much.
    Maybe that’s about the size your little beautiful girl now. Both your children are gorgeous. I’ve been following your blog since before Jacob. Love watching the changes. You must be enjoying these days so much…
    What do you do with your shiso? It’s beautiful but I’m hesitant to use much- it’s stronger than I thought. Kinda funny coating of the tongue flavor.

  40. I’ve been going nuts over no churn ice cream! Hubby didn’t want to have an ice cream maker in the house because of the temptation — ha! ha! Found a way around it. So many flavors . . . so little time. Your frozen dessert looks wonderful!

  41. Sarahb1313

    nice! I did grow up going to that fabled place for special treats. Back in the ’70’s it was better. Their ice cream sundaes boasted incredible homemade ice cream and a buttery thick fresh whipped cream that would top the fudge that was yes, spilling out over the sides. I was young and I can remember when the table was at chin height, the server placing my order right in front of me. This memory is rivaled only by reaching up to receive my small bite of pastrami at another famed place, that deli on the lower east side.
    What I learned was that you can’t go home again. The guy at that place with the handlebar mustache is gone as are the unique chatckies they used to sell. The dessert was good back in the day. Whether because our memories fool us, or we didn’t have something better, I have thought often of going back. I think the last visit was in the late ’80’s while pregnant- a bowl of chili and an ice cream sundae please.

    So thanks for this recipe, because I can leave the memory in tact and make it at home, even better!!

  42. Dahlink

    Growing things–the cucumbers may need a little nudging to climb up the trellis. I am not growing them, but I have a vining outdoor plant that needed to be gently guided to the trellis before it latched on. A bit of a twist with a twist-tie might be needed to keep it where you want it.

    A friend who used to have a home daycare business raised butterflies for her kiddies. When they were released they immediately mated. Just be prepared to have a conversation about the birds and the bees and the butterflies if this happens to you!

  43. Bonnie

    I mostly read out-of-date novels about New York City, so I’m assuming your garden is growing in a box on an iron fire escape outside your window.

    Meanwhile, the idea of frozen hot chocolate meant nothing to me until I read your recipe. I’m thinking I might try it!

  44. ML

    Thanks for the recipe….great idea for today which is grey and very muggy.
    This is the first time I have detected a little mean spirit in your writing…..a little over tired?

  45. Cori Roth

    Ahhhh Frozen Hot Chocolate. Serendipity Restaurant circa 1970’s. I had the SERENDIPITOUS pleasure of discovering it and trying their infamous FHC! I swooned in its delicious decadence. That is the last time I visited that establishment. Sounds like it may have lost its sparkle. I will give your recipe a try, and then form an opinion.

  46. deb

    Tali — Yes, it’s more watery than a milkshake, but that’s the intention. It’s more frappucino than ice cream. However, the chocolate milk base is very dense in anticipation of offsetting all of the ice. I’m not saying it couldn’t be good with more milk or ice, but we truly love it this way. It’s not very heavy, but it’s still a decadent dessert. My son — whose opinions should be taken with a grain of salt, of course — declared it the best thing we’d ever made last night.

    Janice — That’s an insane amount! I’ll be happy to take some off your hands. And I definitely want to grow them (or pimenton de padron) next summer. I haven’t done a thing with the shiso yet. This was the third gift (along with the chickpeas and tomatillos) from my gardening friends. They said it was clobbering everything so I keep it in a small pot, no doubt crushing its potential. I’d asked Mandy from the awesome blog Lady and Pups the other day for suggestions of what to do with it. She said: “shiso on its own is kind of too much, but it pairs great with simply grilled pork. I like to roll a sheet of thinly sliced pork belly and shiso into a log then thinly slice it again (like how you make cinnamon roll but much thinner slices). Sea salt and pepper, simply grilled. Very unique flavor. I’ve also heard that purple dragon fruit and shiso ice cream is amazing. Haven’t tried that one.” It all sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Maybe if I fly to Beijing, she’ll make it for me.

    Bonnie — It’s not. Our patio is an unusual shape (large, despite being attached to a not-large apartment). I’ll give you a better idea of it: in some building designs there are floors of different sizes than the ones below them, usually these appear closer to the top of buildings but sometimes near the bottom too (usually over shops). The spaces form patios, if you’re lucky. We got lucky. Or, well, we waited 5 years for the apartment to empty out and then pounced on it. And then, haha, found ourselves expecting an additional resident that doesn’t technically fit in here a couple months later. We can put the crib on the patio, right?

    ML — I don’t think this is the first time I’ve called out something I find terrible or overhyped, although it’s hardly an overarching theme here because who wants to hear a lot of complaining? But yes, I could use more sleep. I do wonder if men are asked if they’re overtired when they form opinions, however.

  47. Anne

    I’ve never grown chickpeas in pots so am not sure what might be going on with yours…I’ve heard they don’t like their roots disturbed so possibly if it was transplanted, that might be the issue. It’s going to need a big pot (and honestly, one plant won’t have a huge yield) and no nitrogen in the fertilizer, if you’re fertilizing, since legumes fix their own. Next year you could try just popping a couple of seeds into a bigger pot and see (I just use whatever organic dried chickpeas I’ve gotten from the health food store). I did see on your instagram (? I think?) feed that you’re having problems with lower plant rot on some tomatoes. In my western NY garden–and in the gardens of everyone around me–that kind of blight is rampant and most people can’t grow tomatoes at all. I’m gradually finding a workaround by heavily mulching to keep soil from splashing on the plants, and then spraying with copper spray, starting early in the season before they even look blighted. I repeat every week or so…the blight is starting to take over the plants now but all the fruits should have time to ripen. (You can also get around this issue by growing resistant varieties.) Gardening is a whole bunch of try this, try that, see what works where you are.

  48. Your garden sounds sort of perfect. I actually was just daydreaming about having a garden on the blog today. I mean, I just wanted a few tomatoes and a some kale. You’ve taken it to another level. And I’m all about this chocolate business. Thanks!

  49. Margaret

    Comments on Serendipity neither mean spirited, nor the result of being tired…just true. Doesn’t mean we all have not succumbed to the hype and been there, but once is enough.

  50. Jane

    Deb, dear Deb, having had a roof garden in NYC where I grew herbs, tomatoes and figs(!!) and managed to damage my own roof with an errant drip irrigation hose (while the apartment was in escrow, just to add some excitement to the process!) I say make sure you have a light potting mix and proceed with caution!

  51. I felt the same way when I tried the original many, many years ago. It was bland and disappointing. I wondered if something was wrong with me since all I’d heard was raves about it. Nice to know I’m not the only one. Can’t wait to try yours!

  52. Kady

    Deb, aside from the food (!) … it’s your deft hand with an opinion that keeps me coming back to SK. I have every confidence that you will keep them coming …

    On this delicious concoction, I’m going to give it a shot, except use stevia instead of sugar.

  53. Bonny

    Cool beans on the garden!!! I was given a tiny shiso plant in a plastic draink cup at a Vietnamese cooking demonstration. Three up pottings later it is two feet tall and beautiful. Unfortunately I have no idea what to do with it except to wrap summer rolls in the leaves which is sort of silly since I eat them way to fast. Please use them in one of your recipes so I can learn how. Maybe next year since you might be a little busy this summer!
    Thanks for all your great writing and recipes.

  54. el edwards

    if you ever get to Boston try to make it to L.A Burdicks. Try their iced chocolate in the summer and their hot chocolate in the winter. I can highly recommend both.

  55. deb

    Anne — Thanks.

    Jane — What a mess! It might be for the best that we rent, it’s not on our roof, and I don’t actually have any running water out there (I just lug two giant watering cans from the kitchen each morning instead)… although it sounds like running water might have been much better for the tomatoes.

    el edwards — We just happen to have one on 20th Street! I doubt the family would mind if we stopped there one evening to give it a try. I’ve been there before, but only for the famed mice. And then we can skitter waddle across town and try City Bakery’s too, suggested by Becca above (thanks).

  56. JessB

    Yum. Ground cherries and tomatillos are not the same. Ground cherries are AMAZING. They have a sweet, tart pineapple-citrusy flavor to them. Very hard to describe but I grew them this year and my kids eat them as fast as they mature. They are sooooo good. I wanted to try them in a pie but I’m going to have to plant more next year for that to happen…or hide them from my girls!

  57. deb

    JessB — Whoa, I should know that. Am I making things up or do they at least look the same?

    EA — The recipe is sourced to there, in both the post and the recipe.

  58. Pen Fox

    You MUST visit California sometime and try the frosted mocha at Cafe Borrone. It is perfectly balanced, just sweet enough, just large enough, with just the right amount of whipped cream on top. Sadly, I don’t have a recipe for you, but will try to engineer a replica at home….

  59. Redpoint

    Maybe you had to be a kid in NY in the 70s to fully appreciate Serendipity and their Frozen Hot Chocolate. Going there was the biggest treat of childhood. I haven’t been in 10 years, but I brought my kids and enjoyed it then, too. Maybe it’s not the same thing now, I don’t know, but such great memories.Yes, always a rip off, but a splurge, and a happy one.

  60. Susie Lou

    In the early 60s I lived in NYC and took my younger cousin to S3. I remember, fondly, the cold drink I had. It was iced mocha with a large scoop of very rich chocolate, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. I’ve since made it many times, and it doesn’t disappoint. However, after reading all the negative reviews of the restaurant over the years, I pass it up when I’m in the city.

    Deb, your frozen hot chocolate looks wonderful and will be my next experiment. All the more for me, if my husband decides it’s too rich for him!

  61. KateD

    This was terrific. Persuaded my family to do the dinner dishes while I made it. Did not have whole milk and therefore substituted 1/3 cup heavy cream into the initial milk addition. Total volume of dairy still 1 1/2 cups. Also used bittersweet chocolate and Dutch cocoa because we have a very high “chocolate tolerance” Divided into 4 gloriously generous servings.
    Thank you!

  62. chris wachsmuth

    Deb – what brand of blender do you own now ? If you had to replace it would you buy this one again or have another in mind……..

    1. deb

      chris — I have a Vitamix which I have weird complicated feelings about — it’s insanely expensive, but it’s also unquestionably the best I’ve ever had or used. I’m very happy with it. What finally pushed me over the edge towards purchasing it was when my last one gave up the ghost after 1 year an a couple months. It cost $100 and had a one-year warranty. Every other blender in that price range I read reviews for, people would complain they didn’t survive long beyond their warranties either. (Sadly, they don’t make them like my parent’s unbreakable Oster blender from the early 70s anymore!) Vitamix had a 7 year warranty and between how good it was and I wouldn’t be contributing to landfills every 18 months, I went for it. [Also, I mean, just in case anyone doesn’t know this, I don’t take sponsorships on this site; I paid for the blender in ouchy full so the “review” is unbiased.]

      1. Jan

        I have an Oster blender from the 70s! I have threatened to send it to the Smithsonian, but I would miss it and no doubt be disappointed with a new one!

  63. Mimi (another one :)

    Chocolate? What chocolate…? I love this sweet little *baby-face* :-D
    If I were her brother, I’d kiss her all the time, too.

    Having a little girl is really fun, enjoy it! (yes yes, having boy is nice too….)

  64. stephanie

    deb! back in college, a friend and i discovered the paris creperie in coolidge corner (boston). while their green apple and brie crepe is amazing, what they really have that is out of this world is a frozen nutella hot chocolate. all those years ago i thought “i don’t get it, wouldn’t that just be a chocolate milkshake?” and then…i had one. and as you know, it is not at all a chocolate milkshake and also somehow so much more than the sum of its parts. if you ever find yourself in that area, please try one! and i promise, it’s not expensive and it doesn’t come in any ridiculous serving vessels. (you can even take your drink with you to the cute theater right around the corner.)

    i would try your recipe in a second but i do not have a blender. this is exactly the second thing in my life that has made me reconsider that decision. (the first being the ability to make my own orange julius at home.)

  65. stephanie

    and also…overflowing thick cold drinks is yet another instagram trend i don’t understand. (following the disembodied hand shot, melted ice cream and popsicles, and beautiful photographs of “recipes” that if you actually thought about would not be appetizing at all and are sometimes straight up inedible.) is it supposed to look tastier or something? i don’t get it. does this mean i’m old now?

  66. Delicious! I had a frozen hot chocolate of sorts at Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco which to date is the best chocolate drink I’ve ever had. I will have to try this out to see how it compares! (And hopefully it compares well, since Dandelion ain’t cheap).

  67. Pili

    I’ll definitely try this one the weekend! Looks yummy. May I ask you where do you get those beautiful jars in which you keep the cocoa and other spices? Thanks!

  68. Pam

    More on chickpeas. This is my second year of gowing black chickpeas. These grow approximately knee-high. At most I get 3 pods per plant, 2 large or 3 smaller beans per pod. But, there were a lot of one seed pods and duds too. I’m enamored with the crop but detest shelling. Of course I’ll plant more next year.

    This year I had a better crop, the difference likely because they were in soil in the ground, and last year they were in a raised bed (but 10″ of soil!) on top of gravel.

    Always sprinkle some rhizobium on any legume seeds at planting (chickpeas, green beans, sugar snap peas, etc). Rhizobium is a bacterium that fixes nitrogen, the plants trade sugars for nitrogen. Symbiosis, baby.

  69. MR in NJ

    Uh-oh, Deb, please check out and remove #116. Sad.

    My question is: how would you feel about adapting your recipe for ONE serving?

    1. deb

      MR — You definitely should. I think this recipe is easily 1/3-ed to make 2 petite servings or 1 generous one. (I am having trouble getting a consistent yield/volume on this recipe, mostly because ice cubes, varying in size, are a ridiculous thing to measure in cups. But 1 to 2 servings for 1/3 is a sure thing!)

  70. About a million years ago, I owned a coffeehouse on 6th St. & 2nd Ave, called the Cafe East (where the beat meet to eat). We made a really good frozen chocolate that we, too, called iced chocolate, pretty much like your recipe. We were so poor then that often we’d have to ask the customers for payment in advance, then run across the avenue to the supermarket and buy the ingredients for the dishes that they’d
    ordered! Ah, to be young and stupid again….

    And that new baby is the exact image of you!

  71. Dahlia

    Question, why does it seem in the images that there is a layer of some sort between the actual chocolate milk and the whipped cream? Does the chocolate separate once it is blended with ice. Want to try this tonight!
    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. deb

      Dahlia — It shouldn’t separate, but my chocolate milk portion wasn’t totally cold when I blended it, so there’s some striation. In future batches, where the chocolate milk had been very fully chilled, this wasn’t an issue.

  72. I personally never really use recipes for milkshakes, smoothies, etc. because I just can’t be bothered to follow a recipe (I like to trust my gut and my tastebuds) but OOH does this make me salivate!!
    Marianne :)

  73. Dozer

    Yum!! My husband and I make something like this at least once a week for a quick dessert, but hadn’t thought of melting the chocolate first. Good idea- though!- that would not allow us to make a near-instant dessert. We use soy milk, and we just blend the un-melted dark chocolate right in. Sometimes we add 2T of peanut butter to mix it up, or a frozen banana to up the creaminess factor. We call it “chocolate ice milk.”

  74. Your first paragraph cracked me up! It’s not easy to check off such big items, so congrats! This frozen choco madness is great. I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I am drooling over ice cream recipes. =P

  75. Looks so coloured!!! You gave me inspiration of making soft drink for my family tonight! This is so coloured and delicious drink! Thanks for sharing.

  76. This looks absolutely delicious, I will 100% be making this for my boyfriend as he is a total chocolate monster!
    What would you recommend using as milk alternatives? I’m sadly a tad on the allergic side to dairy :'(

  77. It’s insanely hot here in Toronto—it currently feels like 30 degrees C which is 86 degrees Fahrenheit. You have no idea how enticing that first photo is and how thirsty it has made me all of a sudden. Since I have no supplies to make this and it is close to midnight so most of the stores are closed, I will have to settle for making it first thing in the morning. Darn you Deb! *shakes fist*. This is what I get for visiting your wonderful website late at night!

  78. Cy

    This is just the thing that those nasty frappucinos aren’t ! This reminds me of a hot summer day with my sister in Redhook. We went to Jacques Torres and had something similar to this. Is his chocolate shop still there? Anyway, looks amazing !

  79. Kristin Merryman

    I made this for my Parisian boyfriend a few weeks ago. He had never had anything like it, and ept telling his friends how great it was the whole week!
    Thanks for your beautiful blog that keeps me conncected with impressive american food while living and running a business in Paris!

  80. YUM! I have always been enthralled with the idea of frozen hot chocolate. I love the conflicting name- as strange as that may sound. When I used to tutor for a family, the little boy would always request a frozen hot chocolate when we would go out for ice cream! I have still yet to try it and your recipe is a reminder that I need to. Thanks for sharing!

  81. Son

    Just made this and it was delish. Thank you. I did make one tiny adjustment. I used a teaspoon of Bailey’s Irish Cream for the whip instead of sugar. Totally lush.

  82. cR

    The plot, and the *Frrrozen Hot Chocolate*, thickens!

    How on earth does any date that includes you & a chocolate milkshake thingy end up bad?

    Enquiring minds wanna know – do you think Mr. Serendipity knows the bum time you two had together is inspiring blog posts @Smitten Kitchen? Does he even know what Smitten Kitchen is?

    Boy, did he miss the boat – and a ton of good eating!

  83. Judy

    Just made this for dessert tonight and it was delicious. The kids stopped between slurps to give it the high praise of “Yummy” and “More”!

  84. Here’s my recipe for Wicked Hot Chocolate…1/8 cup real maple syrup in the bottom of a large mug. Add 1/8 cup raw cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir. Add 1 cup cream…I have used half n half or table cream but when I’m feeling really Wicked I use heavy cream. It’s simpler than most from scratch hot chocolate recipes. I imagine it could be turned into a frosty shake in any number of ways but it’s already turning colder in Canada, eh?

  85. Candice

    WOAH. I used unsweetened chocolate and skim milk. No whip, just not a fan. It is amazing, exactly the kind of intense chocolate flavour I was looking for. Just perfect.

    1. Candice

      I am the only chocoholic in my house so I figured out a way to save some of the frozen hot chocolate for later (didn’t want to halve the recipe and do all the work for the next craving!). Before adding the ice, put the leftover chocolate milk into a sealable container and refrigerate. Then, when ready, pour into the blender with ice and go! It starts off colder so I think I’ll try to add a bit of extra water so that it will still blend (my Vitamix had trouble blending all the ice, the mixture got really thick. I tried adding more milk but it didn’t taste as delightful as the day before). I’m assuming it would keep for a few days in the fridge but let’s be real, who would let that happen?

  86. Yet another Anna

    I’ve been drinking homemade cocoa in the mornings. Hot, or cold (diluted with more milk). Have thought of putting it cold in the blender with some ice, but keep not being awake enough to try it. This really sounds delicious!

    Just thought I’d mention my favorite cocoa recipe so far: 6 Tablespoons sugar, 4 Tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, 1/3 cup water. Cook that down til it’s bubbly and syrupy and thick, then add enough milk to fill a quart container (skim is fine) and a dash of vanilla. Shake before reheating each serving gently in the microwave, or combine with equal parts cold milk for instant cocoa goodness.

  87. Here’s a thing. We go to Cape Cod in the summer, and spend some time with the family on our favorite bayside beach, First Encounter. The grandkids love the icecream truck that magically appears. Us adults love even more the Iced Coffee truck that comes round, with magical things like frozen mocha… Hoo, boy.

  88. RebekahAnglea

    Hi Deb! Thank you so much for making this recipe! I have been searching for and inventing and trying out recipes, actually looking for something similar to the Godiva Chocolixir that my Dad and I would travel many miles for every month. [If you haven’t bought this drink at the Godiva store, you need to run (do not walk) and try the Dark Chocolate Decadence Chocolixir.] The Chocolixir is SO incredibly full of chocolate that I would probably make it a little more balanced out, but still it’s a great sinful pleasure every now and then! I think what I had missed in my attempts to create it at home was your method of melting the chocolate in a little milk at the beginning. This is exactly the drink I have been craving and trying to create for YEARS now… so thank you so much! :)

  89. Laura West

    I have been to that restaurant many many times starting in the 1960s. I think it is great! It has been there for over 60 years!

  90. Haley

    So good! This really hit the spot, would have been great with a couple Oreos blended in too (but someone ate them already). I made a half recipe without whipped cream and it was probably enough for two normal-size servings, though I managed to finish it by myself anyways. ;)

    This needs to be added to the Drinks category on the Recipes page!

  91. A

    I will be having this as soon as I get home tonight. Whoa.
    I actually have a small amount of valhorona bittersweet in the cupboard. I’ve made a version of this with powdered milk and cocoa but this one looks devine

  92. Laura

    Ok.. It is early January in Canada, -10 celcius today, 10:30PM. But I came across this while browsing for dinner ideas for the week and it just called to me. Took me 10 minutes to make, and was easy enough as these are all things I usually have on hand. Melt a bit of chocolate, add a few ingredients, blend it up. What a perfect treat! This sacrifices NONE of the chocolatey flavour but manages to be light and refreshing. I was worried about it being not sweet enough (I am a dessert person) but I was not disappointed. Will make again and will definitely make for company if we are ever allowed to have people over again. Thank you Deb!!

  93. Ss

    I literally ran to the kitchen to make this bc it’s over 100 degrees in Delhi today! I might have added some Kahlua and crunchy cacao nibs because that’s how I roll. I’ve never had the original but this was delightful and I can see how it can be adapted for adults and kids.

  94. Susan Adams

    Can’t wait to try this, thanks for creating it and sharing! I had a delicious iced hot chocolate at Li-Lac Chocolates when I visited NYC last year. It was a very rich hot chocolate poured over ice, so different from a “frozen hot chocolate” blended with ice, but so good too!