Which instant hot chocolate powder is worth your calories?
Mmmmmmm, hot chocolate. Who doesn’t love this comforting beverage?
Some good news for fans: dark chocolate helps to relieve stress, so a cuppa could soothe your frazzled nerves this festive season. Homemade hot chocolate with low-fat milk (like we did in this taste test) offers nutrients like calcium and zinc, and has lower fat content than instant envelopes that just need hot water.
Sugar (unfortunately) is a main ingredient in hot chocolate. That’s why the drink is so yummy. Make your mug of hot chocolate healthier by skipping the marshmallows. Just 10 mini ones will add another 22kcal and 4g sugar, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Alternatively, make it with skimmed milk – although it won’t be as creamy or rich, we tried.
This table shows the overall nutrition score of the eight hot chocolate mixes we tried (each column’s lowest value is in blue, highest value in red).
A comparison of the nutrition scores across hot chocolate powders.
Flavour-wise, here are our picks for the best tasting hot chocolate.
Best Hot Chocolate (Dark): Cafédirect San Cristobal ($9.10 for 250g)
Ingredients: Cane sugar, cocoa.
Review Among all the hot chocolates, this one has the most intense colour and a really strong whiff of dark chocolate. The luxe Cafédirect San Cristobal copped top marks from both the dark and milk chocolate camps for its balanced flavour and pleasant aftertaste. Easy, precise instructions also ensure the same cuppa hot chocolate every time!
Best Hot Chocolate (Milk): Clipper Seriously Velvety Instant Hot Chocolate ($14.95 for 350g)
Ingredients: Sugar, skimmed milk powder, milk permeate powder, cocoa powder.
Review This mix won us over with its rich taste of milk chocolate – without being overly cloying. Clipper Seriously Velvety Instant Hot Chocolate dissolves well too: none of the dreaded, grainy residue at the bottom of the mug. As its packaging promises, this drink is “a cuddle in a cup”.
Best Value-for-Money: Cadbury Drinking Chocolate ($5.10 for 250g)
Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa powder, salt, flavouring.
Review From the same brand that carries some of the best-loved chocolate bars, expect the familiar, comforting milk chocolate yum. What else we loved about Cadbury Drinking Chocolate: its creamy texture. Plus, this pocket-friendly option has one of the lowest fat count on the list.