One of the first pages I opened in the book Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, written by Dorie Greenspan, was a recipe for Hot Chocolate with Coffee. On a cold early morning when you need caffeine, but also realize it’s the ‘season’ for hot chocolate, what couldn’t be better?

One look at the recipe and I found my groggy self with the ability to pull it together. It’s a simple one, really- perfect for me at 7am…

Who am I kidding? It was the weekend-9am.

I love this recipe because it was full of surprises and gave me several different options in how to enjoy it. Maybe I did something wrong, but I followed the instructions pretty exact, only adding a cinnamon stick to make it more like a Mexican atole, or hot chocolate.  Turns out when cold, this drink was so thick it tasted like a rich, chocolate mousse or milk shake. When I added more milk to and heated it up, it was an even creamier hot chocolate drink. 

I loved the three ways I could enjoy it as: Hot Chocolate with Coffee, Chocolate Mousse Milkshake, and Atole (Hot Chocolate Drink)– even if I did make a mistake.

 Hot Chocolate and Coffee


2-2/3 cup whole milk

¼ cup water

5 Tb. freshly ground coffee (I used Trader Joe’s organic coffee, blended with Puerto Rico coffee)

1 whole cinnamon stick

¼ cup sugar (I used raw cane organic sugar)

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used 72% dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s)

whipped cream, optional


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and water to a boil.
  2. Add the ground coffee, stir it in and then immediately pour the mixture through a fine sieve to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid.
  3. Return the coffee-milk mixture to the pan and add the cinnamon stick. Over low-medium heat, control the mixture so that it does not boil. Use a wooden spoon to stir until smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and add sugar, stirring or whisking it in to mix well. Remove cinnamon.
  5. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to smooth completely well, about one minute. Serve immediately, with rich whipped cream to top.

chocolate pieces

This mixture will, insha’allah, keep in the refrigerator for about two days as long as it’s in a tightly sealed container.

When cold, it may thicken up and you could, if you like, enjoy it with a spoon or a straw like the richest, creamiest chocolate milkshake you’ve ever had.

If you find the mixture to be too thick, fill your coffee mug with it halfway and add milk to the other half. Either warm it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or pour into a saucepan and warm over low heat, just until hot. You should still be able to taste the cinnamon, giving it the flavor of Mexican atole, or hot chocolate. Yumm-y!

Recipe adapted from the cookbook Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé written by Dorie Greenspan. 2001.

Dorie Greenspan is a well-known cookbook author and food writer who has worked alongside Julia Child (authoring Baking With Julia) and Pierre Hermé. Check out Dorie’s blog for more delicious dessert recipes. I get hungry every time I visit her beautiful site!

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  1. Salam Yovenne, You do not mention in the directions when to add chocolate to the mix? Its 8 AM on Saturday and I wish I had all the ingredients to make the 3-way hot chocolate on this rainy morning!

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