Chocalat a l’Ancienne

Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate

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Appears in

Real Chocolate: Over 50 Inspiring Recipes for Chocolate Indulgence

Real Chocolate

By Chantal Coady

Published 2003

  • About

The secret recipe of Rosa Cannabich, a contemporary of Mozart, this is a wonderfully silky drink that I first tasted at a performance of ‘Mozart au Chocolat’. It was served to the ‘Court’ audience in the inner sanctum during a performance at the ICA in London. The staging was such that a set was built with windows, and some of the seats for the audience were in that inner chamber, while the poor miserable rabble outside could only look through the windows and did not get to taste the chocolate. Mozart is reputed to have drunk this hot chocolate at Mannheim in 1778. Although this recipe seems to break all the cardinal rules about heating chocolate and adding liquid, it does work and is almost a meal in itself!


  • 180 g real dark chocolate
  • 50 ml crème fraîche
  • pinch of salt
  • 500 l milk
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 50 ml cold espresso coffee


To make the grated chocolate decoration, put the chocolate in the freezer for 2 hours to harden. Grate off 20 g with a sharp knife or a potato peeler.

Beat the crème fraîche with an electric hand-held beater, until stiff, but not butter! Chill until you are ready to serve the chocolate.

Finely chop the remaining chocolate and place in a saucepan with the salt and 50 ml water. Melt over a low heat, stirring constantly and taking great care that it does not burn or the flavour will be ruined. When the chocolate is smooth and shiny, stir in the milk and then the sugar, if using. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Be very careful because the chocolate bubbles up and thickens rapidly. Stir in the rum and coffee and boil 2 minutes longer. Beat the chocolate with a whisk to lighten it.

When ready to serve, add a spoonful of the whipped crème fraîche and top with the grated chocolate. In the summer, this is delicious served chilled.

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