Serendipity's Frozen Hot Chocolate

Frozen Hot Chocolate

February 16, 2010 · 35 comments

Oh Dad.

You said it could never be done. You said the unfathomable combination of chocolates is just too much for the home cook to bear. A recipe so exact, so mystifying, that it’s downright impossible for anyone but the expertly trained chefs that make hundreds of them daily.

Oh Dad. I think you were wrong. And I know what you’re going to say. “It’s not the same! Just look at it –those aren’t thin chocolate shavings, they’re globs, sitting on your not-as-fluffy whipped cream. And you can’t serve frozen hot chocolate in a jar! Everyone knows it comes in a big, wide-mouthed goblet.”

Okay, you have a point. It doesn’t look exactly the same, but it tastes pretty darn close.

Just what is this magical concoction? It’s Serendipity’s famous frozen hot chocolate. It’s why people wait in line for hours and hours. It’s why we endure the pretentiousness, the snarls, the discriminating stares from holier-than-thou employees. It’s cold, icy comfort with everything but a cherry on top.

I was convinced I could replicate this at home. Probably because my father told me I couldn’t. The trickiest part about frozen hot chocolate is differentiating it from your typical chocolate milkshake–because really, they’re not that different. Chocolate, milk, ice, blend and serve. I knew the distinction would come from the quality of the chocolate and the addition of hot chocolate mix. I could have made my own, but I found a cute little jar of all-natural hot chocolate from Silly Cow Farms, and I’m a sucker for cute lil’ jars.

For the chocolate, I chose a combination of dark and milk chocolate from Dagoba. I love Dagoba. It’s pretty much the only chocolate I use for eating or baking. I melted down sharp pieces of it into a rich, thick pool of goodness and mixed it with a sprinkle of sugar and cream-on-top milk from Straus Creamery, which is also where I bought the heavy cream for the homemade whipped cream.

It’s true. Again and again and again. The quality of the ingredients make all the difference.

So Dad. There you have it. A frozen hot chocolate without the wait, without the attitude and without the trek to 60th and 2nd. I guess for you it would mean a much longer trek to Berkeley, California. But come on, don’t you want to come out and visit anyway?

Serendipity’s Frozen Hot Chocolate
Adapted from Frrrozen Hot Chocolate -  two servings

2 ounces Dagoba Milk Chocolate
4 ounces Dagoba Dark Chocolate (I used their lavender chocolate, but feel free to use whatever flavor you like.)
1 ½ cups whole organic milk
2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2-3 cups of ice

Cut the chocolate into one inch pieces. Set up a double-boiler to melt the chocolate. If you don’t have a double-boiler, place a metal bowl on top of a small saucepan that has about an inch of water in it. Add the chocolate to the bowl and slowly melt, stirring occasionally. When melted, take off heat and add hot cocoa mix, ½ cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir until fully combined. Let cool to room temperature.

Add ice, 1 cup of milk and melted chocolate to a blender (I had to use my food processor because I don’t have a blender – I don’t recommend it!). Blend until smooth.

Add whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the wire whip attachment, mix on medium-high until in turns into whipped cream, about 5 minutes.

Pour the frozen hot chocolate into a glass of your choice and top with whipped cream. Using a spatula, sprinkle any melted chocolate that’s leftover in your bowl on top.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet February 16, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Wow, oh wow. I have always wanted to try this, and now I don’t have to wait in line. Amazing! (And just when I thought I’d try to give up sugar for a few days – ha!)

The real question is, can you have a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate with a side of Rogue Chocolate Stout? Because I think yes. :)


Sara February 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Your images here have never been so impressive! I have heard of this before and from what I can tell of your dad’s high regards for it, it must be pretty amazing!


Jacqui February 16, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Oh, this looks so good! I want it in front of me right now! I totally can’t help myself when it comes to cute bottles and packaging too. Fantastic shots, by the way.


Shelby Reynolds February 17, 2010 at 12:09 am

YUM! This sounds delicious and I can’t wait to whip up a batch. And, I had to comment on your stunning photograph of the drop of milk… how on earth did you capture that?!


Sarah February 17, 2010 at 1:17 am

I must say the photos are lovely- both the bird and the mouse eyed views :-) . I can’t help but wonder how many tries it took you to get that perfect milk drop.


Koek! February 17, 2010 at 3:22 am

I think you may have discovered the meaning of life…


maggie February 17, 2010 at 4:47 am

Mmm! I’m sure it’s better than theirs, with all that good fresh dairy.


Chez Us February 17, 2010 at 7:48 am

You had me at hot chocolate but then the list of ingredients and turning it frozen – WOW! Your photos are beautiful, great shots!


carolyn February 17, 2010 at 9:07 am

this looks to-die-for! and i love that shot of the milk jug drip!


The Food Hunter February 17, 2010 at 9:45 am



Chris February 17, 2010 at 10:30 am

Sinful!! I might have to give in to this temptation! :-)


Leah February 17, 2010 at 11:17 am

People used to think I was weird for topping off my mug of hot chocolate with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Your frozen hot chocolate sounds even better!


Angela@spinachtiger February 17, 2010 at 11:24 am

I never heard of this, but I want it. It sounds chocolaty refreshing. I was given the Ninja for my birthday. It mixes milk shakes and I love it, but I also love the magic bullet for mixing too. easier to store than blender.


Maria February 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I can’t wait to make this! I have never been to the actual restaurant, but I liked the cheesy chick flick:) I know I will love the dessert!


Winnie February 17, 2010 at 7:01 pm

This brings back a lot of memories. I absolutely loved that place as a kid, and I adored the frozen hot chocolate, but yours honestly sounds a hell of a lot better than theirs…


Anna February 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Lovely pictures you have here, it looks delicious.


Memoria February 17, 2010 at 11:19 pm

That milk shot is just killing me! Wow. Amazing.
I think another bonus of having this recipe is that you can avoid any relapses of rodent infestation haha. I forgot when that happened there, but when I heard about it, I knew I could never ever step in that place. Thank you for posting this recipe!! It looks fantastic.


Melinda February 18, 2010 at 6:13 am

thats looks and sounds heavenly! Are this original pictures too, they really add to the whole post.


chocolate shavings February 18, 2010 at 6:43 am

That sounds like the perfect frozen hot chocolate!


Carolyn Jung February 18, 2010 at 8:56 am

These photos belong on a gallery wall. Seriously gorgeous!
Dads aren’t often wrong. But in this case, it’s nice to know you CAN replicate a heavenly frozen hot chocolate even if naysayers don’t believe so. ;)


stephchows February 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Wonderful job figuring this out and beautiful pictures!


David @ GreenKitchenStories February 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Wow, I just found your blog.
You have gorgeous pictures and this really sounds like a mouth watering recipe!


GrilledShane February 19, 2010 at 7:33 am

Wow! Amazing photos! Your blog just continues to get better and better. :)


my spatula February 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm

such stunning photos, allison and what a concept! i think you’ve done your dad proud!


sippitysup February 21, 2010 at 10:37 am

The photos are indeed great. But I’d love to know what your dad (really) thought. GREG


Megan February 21, 2010 at 7:49 pm

LOVE the photography-and this sounds absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try!


Megan Gordon February 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm

This is wonderful. Love your ideas, originality, and tenacity Alison….makes coming over to Local Lemons so much fun. Also love that photo of the milk drop coming out of the bottle–amazing shot! And I really, really miss a good frozen hot chocolate so I’m definitely giving this one a whirl.

(and thanks for your sweet note on the blog-means a lot. Oh, and are you going to penny de los santos photog. workshop?? been meaning to shoot you an email to ask. would love to meet in person!!)


Taylor February 25, 2010 at 10:03 am

I love your pictures! The one of the drop at the end of the glass is amazing! It looks like an awesome recipe as well!


Jen February 26, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I think you’re fearless. The using the food processor in place of a blender (I’ve always wondered if that would work, not having one myself), and attempting to recreate this NY classic. I guess it pays to be gutsy, because it looks delicious and gorgeous to boot. As soon as it warms up here in Brooklyn, I’m giving this a try.


dumbskitty March 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Wow, this looks absolutely to die for! I’m just loving your posts. SO many great ideas, SO many great things to try! I’m in the process of trying to lose weight (documenting it at and it’s so refreshing to come across recipes made from REAL food. So much better tasting, so much better for us! Please keep the wonderful posts coming!


Dennis Domingo May 7, 2010 at 12:44 am

GreaT photos, I’ll try out this recipe this weekend


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