Old-fashioned French Chocolate (Hot Chocolate with Coffee and Brandy)


French Chocolate (Hot Chocolate with Coffeee and Brandy_

Sometimes recipe names change across the years, but the recipe is classic – and works just as well today as it did a hundred years ago. An example, of this is a recipe for French Chocolate that I found in a hundred year old cookbook. French Chocolate is hot chocolate with coffee and brandy.

A steamy cup of French Chocolate topped with whipped cream is the perfect warmer-upper on cold winter days.

Here’s the original recipe:

French Chocolate Recipe
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1921 Edition)

A Dover egg beater is a rotary egg beater.  Maybe they still sell them, but I haven’t seen one in years, so I whisked the French Chocolate to make it foamy.

I’m always fascinated when I see alcohol in recipes in 1921 cookbooks, since this was during prohibition. I’m not quite sure where cooks were supposed to find the brandy that the recipe called for.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

French Chocolate (Hot Chocolate with Coffee and Brandy

  • Servings: 2 - 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

3 cups milk

1/4 cup ground coffee

2 tablespoons sugar

2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

1/2 cup hot water

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons brandy

whipped cream

Put the milk and ground coffee in a saucepan; stir to combine. Using medium heat, heat while stirring constantly until the milk mixture is scalded, and hot and steamy, Remove from the heat and strain to remove coffee grounds.

In the meantime, put the sugar, melted unsweetened chocolate, and water in another saucepan; stir to combine. Using medium heat bring to a boil while stirring constantly; then reduce heat and continue boiling and stirring for 2 minutes.

Gradually, add the strained milk and coffee mixture to the chocolate mixture while stirring. If needed, reheat until very hot, then remove from heat. Stir in salt and brandy. Beat with beaters or a whisk for a few seconds to make foamy. Pour into cups, and top with whipped cream.

26 thoughts on “Old-fashioned French Chocolate (Hot Chocolate with Coffee and Brandy)

    1. You’re lucky to still have your grandmother’s egg beater. I wish that I had the one we had when I was a child. I’ve seen the term “Dover Egg Beater” used in multiple hundred-year-old cookbooks. It makes me wonder if there were also other types of egg beaters back then.

    1. Whew, 41 sounds cold for your area – though it’s been much colder than that here (and I’m a little jealous that it will be 80 later this week).

    1. Each square was 1/2 ounce. Your question is a really good one – and it sent me to looking at the box of baking chocolate and then to google. I used Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate – and was shocked to discover that each square was only 1/2 ounce. Until recently each square was 1 ounce. So I used less chocolate in the recipe than I intended and probably less than the old recipe called for – but the amount actually worked just fine – and the finished product had an nice amount of chocolate.

  1. I had to chuckle. I think there was way more alcohol around than we think during Prohibition. My grandparents used to routinely take trips to visit their relatives in Quebec and come back with cases of all kinds of booze. I have my grandmother’s order book, and I’m told she saved a bottle or two for the local police!

    1. There’s always a way! I wondered if brandy was part of the medicine cabinet and could be procured on prescription! And, then, there was probably home made stuff in a cupboard or basement. Apparently my great grandmother made excellent parsnip wine.

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