A hot chocolate maker is a small kitchen appliance used for making homemade hot chocolate quickly and easily. The most basic designs of hot chocolate makers allow the user to simply add milk and shaved chocolate, cocoa powder, or chocolate syrup, and the machine will do the rest. A hot chocolate maker also allows the addition of extra flavorings, such as hazelnut, for different hot chocolate recipes.
Some hot chocolate makers have additional attachments or capabilities. Often, a frother attachment is included, for frothing milk for chai tea, cappuccinos, or lattes. A cool mixing feature is common as well, which allows the user to mix cool drinks such as iced coffee. Though a hot chocolate maker may seem like an additional, unnecessary kitchen gadget when hot chocolate can just be made in the microwave or on the stovetop, many people enjoy these hot chocolate makers and find them to be a good purchase.
A hot chocolate maker is capable of making smooth, creamy, cafe-style hot chocolate that is difficult to make at home. It is particularly difficult to make smooth hot chocolate when using cocoa powder because it requires constant stirring. This kitchen gadget is also able to make very rich hot chocolate from just the use of chocolate shavings.
Most hot chocolate makers come with a recipe booklet as well, to get creative with hot chocolate. A hot chocolate maker is generally designed to be easy to clean, with a removable plastic pitcher. Some even come with matching mugs as well. A timer is a common feature, to let the user know when the hot chocolate is ready, as well as an auto-shut off. Some hot chocolate makers will also whistle when they need more milk or water added.
Other types of hot beverage makers may be able to make hot chocolate as well. Some beverage makers use pods or small single-use cups to make a chosen drink, and the different pods may be able to make coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. This type of gadget may be more versatile for everyday use, but it will probably not perform as well at each individual task as a designated coffee or hot chocolate maker.
To make a healthier cup of hot chocolate, it might be a good idea to use reduced-fat milk. When used with rich dark chocolate, it will be difficult to tell the difference. Mixing milk and water can also make a cup of hot chocolate lower in fat.