Tuesday, August 14, 2018

How to Make Frozen Hot Chocolate by Cleo Coyle

Serendipity (noun): finding the 

pleasantly unexpected by chance... 

Serendipity isn’t just any noun. It's the proper name of a legendary café in the basement of a New York Brownstone. Three bohemians launched the white-washed space as a hipster coffee house of the 1950’s. Four tables, sixteen chairs, and one giant, old espresso machine were all they needed to attract nightly lines around the Upper East Side block. 

Serendipity 3 cafe - photo by Ben W courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Serendipity 3 Frozen Hot Chocoalte
By Tduk Alex Lozupone,
courtesy Wikipedia Commons

The trendiest of avant-garde types were soon packing the place, including Andy Warhol, who declared it his favorite sweet shop. (As legend has it, he paid his checks with drawings.) 

These days, Serendipity has a much different vibe. The Tiffany lamp-decked ice cream parlor is packed with happy tourists, families, couples, and kids celebrating birthdays.

Five decades may divide Serendipity’s then from its now, but one delicious bridge closes all gaps—chocolate! Frozen hot chocolate to be exact. Serendipity is world famous for it. 

Although you may not have this legendary café in your town, today I’m going to show you how to make a simple, inexpensive home version of their famous frozen hot chocolate. How’s that for serendipity?

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

A Note from Cleo 

Some recipes for frozen hot chocolate make no sense to me. Heat up milk and cool it again? Use 3 cups of ice, which dilutes the chocolate flavor?

There is a better way. This version of the icy chocolate drink is much simpler yet still quite tasty. It cooled me off nicely enough during our recent 100-degree "real feel" heat wave in New York City (and I never had to fire up my stove, a very good thing indeed). 

This recipe is also a great way to use up your hot cocoa before winter rolls back around. You don’t want all that hot chocolate mix to go stale on you, do you? Put it to good use now…

To download a free PDF
version of this recipe 
that you can print, save
or share, click here.

Frozen Hot Chocolate
by Cleo Coyle 

Serves 2


2 one-ounce packets of your favorite hot chocolate or cocoa mix*
2 cups milk (skim or whole)
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped or grated*
Whipped cream (optional)

*In the case of the hot chocolate mix and the chocolate, the higher the quality of the products, the better your drink will taste. 


Step 1 – Make "Hot" Chocolate Milk: Whisk one packet of hot chocolate mix into one cup of cold milk. If you’re using loose hot chocolate powder instead of packets, then simply measure out enough powder to make the equivalent of one six- to eight-ounce serving. 

Note: No need to heat the milk as some recipes direct. Simply whisk the milk and hot chocolate mix for 30 to 60 seconds until the powder is dissolved. Be sure to use a real whisk, not a spoon or fork. You’re finished when the liquid resembles smooth chocolate milk with no sign of powder or granules.

Step 2 – Make "Hot Chocolate" Ice Cubes: Pour the chocolate milk mixture into an ice cube tray. Chill in your freezer until solidly frozen. NOTE: When ready to use, if the frozen chocolate cubes stick to the ice tray, simply set the bottom of the tray in a warm water bath and use a knife to carefully dislodge the cubes. 

Step 3 – Repeat and Blend: Repeat Step 1, using your second packet of hot chocolate to create another cup of chocolate milk. Place this milk in your blender with the "hot chocolate" ice cubes. Pulse the blender to chop the frozen cubes into fine particles. You can create a slushy drink with small ice chips (like a frozen margarita) or you can run the blender full speed until the mixture is completely liquefied yet still cold and frothy. But first...

Step 4 – Choco-fication: Add most of the finely chopped (or grated) semi-sweet chocolate into the blender with the hot chocolate slushy (holding back some of the semi-sweet chocolate for garnish). Pulse once or twice to mix. Pour into cups or mugs. Finish with whipped cream, then a final sprinkling of grated chocolate and…

Drink (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

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  1. I love your books Cleo and when I go to New York City I seek out the locations you feature in your stories. I visited Serendipity several years ago and loved the frozen hot chocolate. Now I know how to make it myself. Thanks, Cleo!


    1. Marsha - Thank you so much for the nice comment! Marc and I are glad to know that you're enjoying our Coffeehouse Mysteries. Readers often tell us they appreciate the fun, fictional escape to New York in our stories. And when the fiction turns to reality, we have plenty to see, do, and eat here in the Big Apple, including that famous Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3. We hope you have tasty fun trying our easy, homemade version.

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter
      Friend or Follow Cleo Coyle on Facebook

  2. Yummy!
    We have surf temperatures of 89-90 degrees! You can imagine what the air feels like.
    This will be prefect.
    These cubes would work nicely in iced coffee, too, I bet.

    1. Oh, wow, “surf temperature” -- what a nice thought! (I’ll be right down to try it out. :)) In the meantime, I like your idea of dropping a few chocolate ice cubes into a glass of cold brew. Must try that one. Thanks for dropping by today, Libby, it's always, always a pleasure to see you in the Kitchen!

      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter
      Friend or Follow Cleo Coyle on Facebook

    2. Frozen hot chocolate is really good. I've never made my own, tho. Thanks for the recipe!

    3. Agreed, Jana, a frozen chocolate drink is a delicious way to beat the heat. Thanks for dropping by today!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter
      Friend or Follow Cleo Coyle on Facebook

  3. Both my girls loved Serendipity!

    1. Good memories, I hope. With all the nostalgia and history attached (not to mention the sweet treats on the menu), it's got to be one of the happiest places in NYC. Thanks for dropping in today, Peg!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter
      Friend or Follow Cleo Coyle on Facebook

  4. Sounds delicious! Hope Marc is on the mend.

  5. I've been to Serendipity numerous times and love it there.