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So the motive for my post is that we got a Velvetiser (absurdly unnecessary but brilliant hot chocolate machine from the Hotel Chocolat brand) at Christmas.

I love it. It makes speedy and delicious hot chocolate which is really all you can ask of a hot chocolate machine, and it's elegantly designed to boot. But we've been using a knock-off brand of hot chocolate, because the Hotel Chocolat brand is £22 per 250g, and frankly, I balk.

This thing already makes the best hot chocolate I've had. But I have FOMO! Is the Hotel Chocolat own brand the lifechanging, wow-inducing experience that I would bloody need it to be at that price? Does anyone know?

Also if anyone has thoughts on cacao and where to get good ceremonial cacao please include that here! I expect that the Velvetiser will work well for ceremonial cacao, which would be great, because it's not exactly delicious and the mess of little undissolved bits on the bottom you always get propels it into "revolting" territory. However I haven't tried this out yet.

My questions are very specific, but I thought this could be a general thread for chocolate discussion and recommendations. International chocolate comparisons and insults are allowed.

edit 3 weeks later: for the benefit of anyone stumbling across this, yes, the Velvetiser is fucking brilliant for ceremonial cacao. I had the least unpleasant ceremonial cacao I've ever had, with almost no gross dreggy bits on the bottom. It's also great for turmeric lattes, although the turmeric has dyed the whisk yellow. It still gets used every day even though the novelty has worn off. Recommend. And Hotel Chocolat have reduced their prices, so I have been able to order some of the fancy stuff to try out without wincing.

So the motive for my post is that we got a Velvetiser (absurdly unnecessary but brilliant hot chocolate machine from the Hotel Chocolat brand) at Christmas. I love it. It makes speedy and delicious hot chocolate which is really all you can ask of a hot chocolate machine, and it's elegantly designed to boot. But we've been using a knock-off brand of hot chocolate, because the Hotel Chocolat brand is £22 per 250g, and frankly, I balk. This thing already makes the best hot chocolate I've had. But I have FOMO! Is the Hotel Chocolat own brand the lifechanging, wow-inducing experience that I would bloody need it to be at that price? Does anyone know? Also if anyone has thoughts on cacao and where to get good ceremonial cacao please include that here! I expect that the Velvetiser will work well for ceremonial cacao, which would be great, because it's not exactly delicious and the mess of little undissolved bits on the bottom you always get propels it into "revolting" territory. However I haven't tried this out yet. My questions are very specific, but I thought this could be a general thread for chocolate discussion and recommendations. International chocolate comparisons and insults are allowed. edit 3 weeks later: for the benefit of anyone stumbling across this, yes, the Velvetiser is fucking brilliant for ceremonial cacao. I had the least unpleasant ceremonial cacao I've ever had, with almost no gross dreggy bits on the bottom. It's also great for turmeric lattes, although the turmeric has dyed the whisk yellow. It still gets used every day even though the novelty has worn off. Recommend. And Hotel Chocolat have reduced their prices, so I have been able to order some of the fancy stuff to try out without wincing.

31 comments

Add me to the list of people who’ve never heard of hot chocolate machines. What do you use for them, water or milk?

I used to make hot chocolate with Cadbury’s powder and milk. These days I haven’t the space to keep that much milk on hand, so it’s Coles’ instant that’s made with water and milk and is about $3 for ten sachets. I don’t drink it anymore, I make my mother’s evening drink from it.

You put in milk and chocolate chunks and it does all the warming and whisking together for you! I am told you can also use it with regular drinking chocolate powder like Cadbury's and it's still really good. But I guess if space is at a premium owning a hot chocolate machine is not going to be a priority.

That sounds delicious!

Reading this thread reminded me of the best hot chocolate I ever tasted, from the San Churro shops. Their line was that chocolate is a religion and they didn’t have opening hours but hours of worship. Never tasted hot chocolate so good!

oh yum, I love Spanish churro-style hot chocolate. I have just learned elsewhere on this thread that the Velvetiser will probably not be able to make that type of hot chocolate, which is a pity, but I still love the thing.

I bought one of my daughters and my bestie this for Christmas and they both loved it before they even tried it. My kid tried it out on Christmas Day and was overjoyed. She loves a warm beverage, but isn't into coffee.

When I purchased, they included a sampler box with the Velvetiser. My kid says they're great and she loves them. She made a dark chocolate one for her dad and he was not quite as impressed -- it appeared to lack ANY sweetener. He added in some simple syrup and it was fine, but that seems a knock for the cost. My daughter says it rivals the hot chocolate she fell in love with on our family trip to Paris a couple years ago.

I did a LOT of research before I bought these. The general consensus is it's essentially a lovely milk frother. Most reviewers like the ease of the brand chocolate -- but almost all say you can get at least two drinks out of one envelope. Various reviewers used other prepackaged grated chocolate, grated their own fave chocolate, even used dry mixes, and said that it's the frothiness and that it mixes everything COMPLETELY which makes it a stand out. So, if you want to order a sampler, I say go for it and don't use a full envelope per cup -- that way you can satisfy your FOMO and also feel like you're being a little frugal at the same time. A feat rarely accomplished!

Our velvetiser doesn't have a sample box because I come from a long line of bargain hunters and I bought it refurbished. (It was a present from me to my partner - I know what it sounds like XD but it honestly wasn't a secretly-for-me present, he LOVES hot chocolate.)

I am going to go for the Hotel Chocolat sample box I think! I got another brand of salted caramel flavour chocolate chunks for it, and the results are absolutely delicious but I would like to be able to make the comparison. For science.

A hot chocolate machine?! That's a thing?!

Terf Island sounds like a non-tropical paradise.

I'm swelling up with Terf Island pride right now, but I have to report the Velvetiser is also available in the US!

Oh am I so happy to have stumbled upon this thread because before reading this, I had no idea a machine called a Velvetiser existed. Goes to show I am not in the same country as you are haha.

I’ve never had ceremonial cacao, but I bet you if you don’t mind 100% dark, you can buy cacao nibs if they have them in stores where you are and try to mortar and pestle them until they are powder and see if that could work.

I love dark chocolate 80% and up, so I bet even commercially bought chocolate bars could work? Of course as with my first statement, I am unaware of how the machine works hahaha 😅

I think any chocolate bar could work if you grated it! Although at the other end of the chocolate appreciation spectrum I have been contemplating the feasibility of grating a Mars Bar. I don't think it would work very well?

Not if it has nuts I don’t think if you have to grate something to make it powder-like.

Though there’s fancy chocolate bars out there that have orange zest and hazelnut, sea salt, and such added to them but idk how they would grate. OR you can get creative!

Last year as a Christmas present, I made hot chocolate bombs by tempering melting chocolate in the microwave and smearing into a round mold. And after they hardened in the freezer, I put cocoa powder in each, but I spiced them. And some were sea salt on the outer shell, and some were white chocolate ones with crushed up peppermint on the inside and the outside, so all of these combos can go into making an amazing regular old hot chocolate! (My hot cocoa is immense because of the flavor I add to it). You can even put matcha in with the cocoa powder into the machine and have matcha hot chocolate! 😍 The possibilities are endless

Our Mars Bars don't have nuts! They have nougat and caramel. I was thinking they would be too sticky to grate, but they'd melt in the Velvetiser very nicely if they were in small pieces.

Your hot chocolate bombs sound absolutely amazing. Matcha hot chocolate is a brilliant idea, thank you!! I will suggest it to my partner, he hates coffee but drinks it for the caffeine. He'd be over the moon if he could get it from hot chocolate instead.

How do you add peppermint? Peppermint oil?

I personally adore the hotel chocolat flavours, and I like it a lot more than any other store bought hot chocolate. My current fave is the black forest, but I also adored the salted caramel and clementine (I think?) and the hazelnut. I think you can buy variety packs which includes five different flavours if you want to test them out.

I did try to use the velvetiser to make Angelina's hot chocolate (which is the best hot chocolate I have ever had in my life) but the mechanism isn't strong enough (as Angelina's is really thick) so I just used a pot over the stove.

Happy velvetising!

oooh, I'm convinced. I'm going to order the sample box!

I've never tried Angelina's, is that like the Spanish hot chocolate that has cornflour in the mixture, where it comes out like thick chocolate sauce?

Yes, pretty much. I'm not sure if the Angelina's hot chocolate has cornflour in it, but it is extremely thick to the point that I only put in half the recommended powder and it was still like sauce.

The hotel chocolat stuff isn't like that though, but the flavours are really good.

There are hot chocolate machines? I didn't know that, and I absolutely need one!

Can't help you with those brands, never heard of them before, but that brand does sound overpriced. Oo

The Velvetiser is also overpriced - it's a great present because it's the kind of thing you feel ridiculous buying for yourself! But it's so great. You put the chocolate flakes and milk in a tiny posh-looking electric kettle thing and press a button, then it all whooshes quietly around for a couple of minutes and you have delicious smooth hot chocolate.

I had no idea such a thing existed. Does it make really good hot chocolate? My husband loves hot chocolate and he needs to gain some weight.

It does make really good hot chocolate - I think that would be a fantastic weight gain plan.

Awesome, I just looked up the calorie count these hot chocolates and I have ordered one of these machines for him. It appears I'll be trying these sparingly if at all :/

What on earth is a ceremonial cacao?? Is it just normal cacao powder in hot milk? I have never heard this term before.

[–] RisingUp [OP] 3 points Edited

You made me realise that I wasn't sure of the difference between ceremonial cacao and regular cacao! I only knew that you drink them for completely different reasons. Ceremonial cacao is psychoactive (it's usually described as "heart opening") and makes you feel warm and fuzzy about the world. And it doesn't taste very nice.

I have now consulted an expert. I'm told the main difference is just the quantity. You drink loads more cacao if you want the psychoactive effects (you have to use about 80g of raw cacao.) However, my source says he has drunk health food shop cacao in ceremonial quantities and it isn't as good, so maybe there are also differences in the strain/quality of beans used for ceremonial cacao.

I guess it's like there are different qualities of matcha? It sounds like a very strong cacao, though. Is it the caffein that gives the happy feeling?

[–] RisingUp [OP] 1 points Edited

It’s not a stimulant effect. It’s some other chemical constituents of cacao, but I would have to look up what they are.

edit: theobromine and phenethylamine apparently. Though theobromine is a stimulant, which is mildly confusing because cacao doesn't feel like a stimulant to me. Could be the ADHD.

look up cacao ceremonies, it's very popular here in Mexico (you know, cacao come from here so yeah) among the new agey people they do it all the time

I'll have to look it up ☺️ I've heard of cacao being holy and with chili, but that's all I know ><