French Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate is to your standard cup of cocoa what Dom Perignon is to the house wine at your local pizza place.

French Hot Chocolate

Origin: Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
Region: Atlantic (Nova Scotia)
Period: 18th Century
Course: Beverages and Other

Interpreter and hot chocolate, Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site Interpreter and hot chocolate
© Parks Canada

The consumption of chocolate spread from the aristocracy in Spain to the French court in the 17th century, so it was still a new food at the beginning of the 18th century. The Basque Region in southwestern France was an early centre for chocolate processing, and as many merchants at Louisbourg came from this region, chocolate was often available at the fortress. However, chocolate was expensive and reserved for the elite.

In the 18th century, chocolate was usually served as a drink at breakfast. Today, the Grandchamps Inn, a restaurant in the reconstructed town of Louisbourg, offers a chocolate menu in the afternoon. Visitors can enjoy a taste of the past at this restaurant and sample French hot chocolate and other 18th century dessert delights, as shown above.

French Hot Chocolate


  • 1 oz | 30 g good quality chocolate bars or ground chocolate
  • 1 cup | 250 ml water or milk
  • 1 tsp | 5 g sugar
  • spices and flavourings to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, orange flower water)
  • egg yolk (optional)


  • Heat the liquid and, if using milk, don’t let it boil. Grate the chocolate if it is not ground and melt it into the liquid. If you are adding an egg yolk, beat it first with a small amount of the warm liquid then add the mixture to the pot and beat it in, add sugar and a combination of spices to taste.
  • For best results, prepare the chocolate drink the night before and refrigerate overnight. Reheat, whipping or frothing the chocolate.


Recipe tested by Chef David Fairbanks, Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism

This recipe was submitted by Parks Canada staff.