Everybody loves hot chocolate! But, it feels like people have truly lost the art of making it. With so many quick pre-mixes available on the market, many have forgotten that the texture of hot chocolate is also crucially important.
Hot chocolate should have an intense chocolate flavor, but also a very creamy and light texture. This texture can be achieved by aerating the milk.
Usually, this was done by whisking milk by hand. But, today we have some equipment that could make our lives a lot easier.
So, can you use a milk frother for hot chocolate? In short, yes! Using an automatic frother is the easiest. Simply combine the ingredients and press go. But, a handheld frother is cheaper to buy and you can control the airiness a lot better.
Today, we will have a look at exactly how milk frothers work and the different types you can choose from. We will also have a look at some of the best ways to make hot chocolate using these milk frothers.
And finally, we have provided you with some fantastic tips and tricks for using these tools when making hot chocolate!
What Is A Milk Frother?
Milk frothers are extremely popular beverage-making tools. They are especially frequently used when making hot beverages.
The purpose of milk frothers is to help aerate the liquid (usually milk or cream) to create a thick, heavy, creamy, yet light foam.
This completely changes the consistency and even quality of the drink. You will see that virtually all coffee houses and cafés have some type of milk frother, usually built directly into the coffee machine.
Now, there are a lot of different types of milk frothers that will naturally produce different textures.
Furthermore, the type of milk and cream you are using will also affect the texture of the foam. This in turn will affect the texture of the drink you are making.
So, let’s first have a look at the different types of milk furthers you will find.
Types Of Milk Frothers
You mostly find manual frothers, handheld electric frothers, also known as stick or wand frothers, and finally, automatic frothers.
Manual frothers often look like plungers or French presses. The frother consists of a cup-like container and a lid. The lid has an attached perforated mesh part which can be moved up and down.
This movement is what helps aerate the milk or cream. But, using a manual frother is a lot more time-consuming and labor-intensive.
It will take you anywhere between 15-30 seconds to properly aerate the milk and allow it to double in volume.
Manual frothers are however a lot cheaper as compared to electrical ones. They can also be used to make tea and coffee, giving them a dual purpose.
And, they come with a spout that will enable you to still create latte art, despite being such a minimalistic tool.
Wand Frothers (Handheld Electric Frothers)
Before frothing became a mainstream coffee-making technique, many households initially used wand frothers. When you see it, you will likely remember it from childhood!
These frothers are small battery-operated mixers. At the end of the stick is a whisk-like attachment that is often coiled.
The milk or cream is aerated by the spinning whisk attachment. Naturally, this process is a lot less time-consuming.
The wand frothers also have dual purposes and can whisk small amounts of eggs and beat small quantities of cream.
These frothers are arguably the best household versions you will get! They are much easier to use and often even have built-in timers for specific froth-consistencies. They work with electricity and very rarely batteries.
You simply place the milk inside the frother, push the “on” button, and allow the machine to do its thing!
These are extremely fast and will give you high-quality foam! And, it can also make enough foam for multiple beverages at a time!
How Classic Hot Chocolate Is Made
Hot chocolate can be made in two ways. The first is by using hot chocolate powder, often a mixture of sweetener and cocoa powder. The second is by using real chocolate to make hot chocolate.
When making hot chocolate using a powder, all you have to do is add the powder to a heat-proof mug or glass. Then, you simply add some hot water or milk and mix the ingredients together until a smooth drink is formed.
To make hot chocolate using real chocolate, chocolate pieces are added to milk or water in a saucepan and slowly heated.
While the chocolate is melting, the mixture is whisked to evenly distribute the chocolate flavor. Then, sweetener is added to the desired level.
Both of these techniques are very easy, but they do yield very different products. And, when it comes to adding a milk frother to the mix, it does change the process.
Can You Use A Milk Frother For Hot Chocolate?
You can definitely use a milk frother to make hot chocolate with. In fact, we would even say that it is essential! The light and airy foam that the frother adds makes the hot drink so much more creamy and to die for!
It gives the chocolate flavors room to breathe and actually helps balance the overall flavor too.
Now, as we have mentioned, there are different types of frothers out there. Which one you use will determine how you make the hot chocolate. Let’s have a look!
Making Hot Chocolate With A Manual Frother
As we have mentioned, manually operated milk frothers have some pros and cons. They will take longer to produce nicely foamed milk and will also take some elbow grease.
But, they do produce a good quality product and the plunger itself has multiple functions.
So, to start, you will have to heat up your milk. You can either use the microwave or a small saucepan. Then, add the warm milk to the container of your frother.
Add the hot chocolate powder mix and start incorporating the ingredients together. You will soon start seeing foam forming.
Once it has reached the desired consistency of your choice, you can put it directly into your cup and enjoy it.
Making Hot Chocolate With A Wand Frother
A wand frother (this one’s our favorite) is much easier to use and will produce foam quicker than the manual frother. The foam is also generally more stable and of higher quality. Just make sure your batteries are always charged!
You don’t want to run out of power when you have an intense craving!
To use an electric wand frother, first heat your milk in the microwave or on the stovetop. Only use gentle heat to prevent scorching the milk.
Then, add your hot chocolate powder. Using your wand frother, mix the ingredients together until foam forms.
Again, allow the mixture to froth until you are happy with the consistency and level of foam.
Making Hot Chocolate With An Automatic Frother
This is the easiest and most convenient way to make delicious hot chocolate with a milk frother.
A lot of these frothers have automatic heating settings which will heat the milk before you start frothing it! But, if it doesn’t, you can simply heat the milk in a microwave or saucepan again.
Simply add your milk to the frother with your hot chocolate powder. Then, add the lid, push the “on” button, and watch as you get foamy hot chocolate in seconds.
Once you are happy with the foaminess, pour the hot chocolate into your mug and serve immediately.
Tips And Tricks For Frothing Hot Chocolate
- First, we highly recommend using full-cream milk. Water has no flavor and won’t add creaminess to your hot chocolate. Cream on the other hand is very expensive and might make your hot chocolate too rich. But, full-fat milk adds the perfect amount of richness and creaminess. Not to mention it froths so much better as compared to lower-fat alternatives.
- If you want to use dairy-free milk alternatives, oat milk is your best option. It is well-known for its frothing abilities and delicious flavor that pairs well with the chocolate Some other alternatives may not froth well or even taste that well.
- Milk frothers don’t really work when making hot chocolate with real chocolate. You will first have to make the hot chocolate and then froth it. But, some chocolates are too heavy (even when melted) that it doesn’t allow the milk to aerate.
- You can easily adjust the sweetness of your hot chocolate after the milk has been frothed. Don’t add too much sweetener from the start.
Here’s a great video from Joshua Weissman featuring a few fun hot chocolate recipes!