I made my travel plan for 2021, which included spending a lazy afternoon drinking luxurious hot chocolate at Rivoire, an upscale cafe on Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy. Alas, this did not happen. I really like chocolate (I like it every day) and Rivoire has been making handmade chocolates since 1998. When I dreamed of Italian food, not only ravioli and truffles, but also hot chocolate and unsweetened whipped cream.
Fortunately, 2021 is not a mess when it comes to delicious hot chocolate. A holiday gift brought me unexpectedly close to recreating this experience in my kitchen. I should admit now: I have a hard time buying. My relatives usually insist on wearing sweaters and the like. But this year my wife took a gamble and gave me a high-tech hot chocolate machine. Velvetiser ($150) is my new obsession with the kitchen. It comes from a British company called Hotel Chocolat. It is basically an electric kettle that can foam and heat up decaying hot chocolate, perfect one cup at a time.
You pour milk into the Velvetiser and then add a package of delicious hot chocolate mix (sold separately). These sachets are not Miss Swiss-style powder, but contain super high-quality chocolate chips-and no dehydrated mini marshmallows can be seen. In addition to the "basic" options such as milky white (50% cocoa), classic (70%) and dark (85%), there are some beautiful flavor variations including hazelnut praline, salted caramel, ginger and blood orange. (I like pepper the best, and my wife likes mint.)
The real genius here is the detachable blender, which stirs the right amount of air into the milk while heating. Two and a half minutes after starting Velvetiser, the result was very smooth, slightly frothy, precisely heated hot chocolate.
The Velvetiser liner is non-stick coating, so cleaning takes 10 seconds. (If you have ever scrubbed a pan with slightly burnt hot cocoa, you know this is a big deal.) Each pack of chocolate costs about $2 (lower if you buy in bulk), so this is definitely An indulgence. But the drinkable chocolate is worth the price.
It's here… Taking inspiration from the rare cocoa growing around us, we have created an exclusive cocoa delicacy menu. Never heavy, our cocoa is sometimes used as a spice or infusion, but it is always in the harmony of nature, health and excitement. This is an exclusive collection of recipes created by our own chef, allowing you to taste the full charm of Boucan. I hope you enjoy making and tasting them.
White chocolate mash
This is the best-selling side dish in our restaurant. Ingeniously, white chocolate replaces some commonly used butter with cocoa butter, elevating the humble potato to a new level of hedonism.
- PREPARATION TIME:10 MINS
- COOKING TIME:30 MINS
- TOTAL TIME:40 MINS
- EASE OF PREPARATION:EASY
- 500g hot plain mashed potatoes
- 100ml whole milk
- 100g white chocolate chopped into nut size pieces
- 100g unsalted butter
- Boil the potatoes for around 25 minutes or until soft.
- Place the hot mashed potato in a large mixing bowl.
- Beat in the white chocolate ensuring all the chocolate has melted. Beat in the remaining ingredients until smooth.
- Add a pinch of table salt to taste.
“For chocolate lovers - you need this. The Velvetiser is an at home barista style hot chocolate maker.” – Evening Standard
“Up your game and make choc like a pro this winter.” – Fabulous
“It made me smile, it made me dance, it made me velvetise.” – Guardian
“Tell you what, this hot chocolate is absolutely gorgeous. It's like a chocolate mousse in liquid form. it's delicious. that's really good!” – The Gadget Show
"Forget naff hot chocolate, this gadget will deliver café-quality hot chocolate at home with zero fuss and zero mess every time." – GQ
“Choc Heaven… If the perfect plant-based hot chocolate is evading you, say hello to 'The Velvetiser'.” – Veggie
“Give the gift of barista-grade hot chocolate this festive season. From chocolate extraordinaire Hotel Chocolat, engineered by Dualit, this chic device produces velvetised hot chocolate at the touch of a button.” – Evening Standard Online
“Enjoy mugs of rich, velvety-smooth drinking chocolate with The Velvetiser kitchen-top system. Sprinkle in a sachet of chocolate flakes and switch on for barista-style hot choc at home.” – Metro
Velvetiser Top Questions
How is using this machine different to making instant hot chocolate, coffee or milkshakes?
Instant drinking chocolate is mostly sugar (or chemical-laden sugar substitutes) with very little cacao powder – we’re all familiar with the lumpy, artificial-tasting results. But all drinks created for the Velvetiser use only pure grated chocolate or cacao butter, with a deep, not-too-sweet flavour profile. The texture of your finished drink is paramount: not too thick, not watery, but luxuriously silky-smooth – ‘velvetised’. Once you’ve velvetised, there’s no going back.
How do you make a barista-grade drink with a machine like this?
Effortlessly. First, make sure your whisk is in place: this is really important. Then add your chosen milk and pour the contents of your Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate or latte single-serve on top. Close the lid, press the button and the perfect drink will be ready in just 2.5 minutes.
Fancy a perfect chilled drinking chocolate or latte? It’s easy. In the Velvetiser, add your single-serve flakes to 110ml milk (the milk should just cover the whisk). Pour 100ml of milk over 6 – 8 ice cubes in a tall glass. Leave to chill. When your chocolate or latte is velvetised, pour it over the chilled milk and watch it mingle. Enjoy!
What sorts of milk can I use?
These all work:
Dairy – skimmed, semi or full-fat milk
Plant milk – almond, cashew, coconut, hazelnut, rice, soya
Or you can use water – 100% water or 50/50 water/milk mixture, depending on personal flavour preferences. Experiment away!
How long does it take?
2.5 minutes – to thoroughly melt the hot chocolate or latte ingredients and to whisk into your choice of milk.
Can I grate my own chocolate into The Velvetiser?
No. It’s calibrated to work with our graded size and weight of real chocolate flakes – precisely measured for the best taste and texture. Excessively large pieces of chocolate can break your machine by creating ‘hot spots’ that can burn out the motor.
Where do I get the Hot Chocolate and Lattes from?
Direct from us at Hotel Chocolat. Innovative new hot chocolate and latte recipes are being launched all the time, including limited edition and seasonal specials. You can even set up a flexible hot chocolate subscription with us to make sure you never run out.
Can I use other cup sizes?
To create the perfect taste and texture, we balanced 220ml (8oz) of liquid with every single-serve – and created the Podcup to be the perfect fit. In our experience this is the ideal serving size, leaving you satisfied but not overly full. Fancy half a cup? Just use half the liquid and half the single-serve pouch.
Can I make chilled drinking chocolate or lattes with the Velvetiser?
Yes, it’s easy. Pour 110ml of your chosen milk into your Velvetiser, so it just covers the whisk, and add the contents of your single-serve. Pour 100ml of milk over 6 – 8 ice cubes in a tall glass and leave to chill. Once your drinking chocolate or latte is velvetised, pour it over the chilled milk and watch it mingle. Enjoy!
Can I make coffee with the Velvetiser?
You can’t make ordinary coffee, but you can go one better with our velvetised Latte range: the best latte you’ve never had. That creamy, silken texture – from the first sip to the last – comes from an unlikely source: cacao butter. Only a chocolatier could have thought of it.
Making a barista-grade Latte is as easy as our hot chocolate: pour 220ml milk of your choice into your Velvetiser, sprinkle in your single-serve, press the button and let the Velvetiser work its magic in just 2.5 minutes.
To make a delicious Mocha using your favourite hot chocolate, you can just toss a shot of espresso into your freshly made velvetised chocolat for a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Salted Caramel, Milky, Classic and Hazelnut all work well. For best results, add the espresso to your cup first before pouring the hot chocolate.
Can I use my Velvetiser to create frothy milk for my coffee?
Yes, it will do it fairly well even though that’s not what it was designed for – which is to whisk and beat melting chocolate.
Can I use my Pod Cups in the dishwasher?
We recommend that you give your Pod Cups a wash before the first use. Your Pod Cups are safe to use in a dishwasher.