Old-Fashioned Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (French Bistro Style)

Old-fashioned hot chocolate is having a moment right now, and it’s easy to see why. What you want in homemade hot chocolate is richness, creaminess, and ingredients of exceptional quality. You want the real deal.

This recipe is just that. We’ve opted for real chocolate, used a delicious mixture of 100% Canadian milk and cream, and made our marshmallows from scratch. And to add a touch of caramel-y goodness, we’ve used Natrel Caramel Coffee Creamer. The result is like the hot chocolate they serve in French bistros, but better!

40 min


For the homemade marshmallows

  • Canola oil

  • 375 mL (1 1/2 cups) of sugar

  • 75 mL (1/3 cup) of hot water

  • 2.55 mL (1/2 teaspoon) of vanilla extract

  • 7 gelatin sheets

  • 25 mL (1/2 cup) of cold water

  • 45 mL (3 tablespoons) of icing sugar

  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) of cornstarch

For the old-fashioned salted caramel hot chocolate

  • 375 mL (1 1/2 cups) of Natrel Fine-Filtered 3.25 % milk

  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) of Natrel Caramel Coffee Creamer

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) of milk chocolate chips (or wafers) 

  • 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of unsweetened cacao

  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) of cornstarch (optional)

  • 1 pinch of fleur de sel

Added Natrel Caramel Coffee Creamer to taste (optional)


For the homemade marshmallows

  1. Line a 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 in.) dish with plastic wrap. Oil the plastic wrap with your hands so that all surfaces are thoroughly covered. This will make it easier to unmould the marshmallows later on.

  2. In a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugar and hot water. Beat until very creamy. Add the vanilla.

  3. In another bowl, let the gelatin soften in the cold water for 5 minutes. Blitz the gelatin in the microwave if it isn’t completely dissolved. Add it to the sugar mixture.

  4. Beat the mixture for approximately 10 minutes with the stand mixer or until it has the texture of a soft meringue. Pour it into the mould, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the marshmallows overnight.

For the old-fashioned salted caramel hot chocolate

  1. Take the marshmallows out of the refrigerator. On a plate, blend the icing sugar and the cornstarch. Cut your marshmallow rectangle into cubes and roll them gently in the icing sugar mixture. Set aside.

  2. Pour the milk and the Natrel Caramel Coffee Creamer into a small pan. Add the chocolate pieces and the cacao. Heat at medium heat, stirring frequently with a whisk or wooden spoon, until the chocolate is melted, 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. For an even creamier consistency, dissolve the cornstarch in 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of Natrel Caramel Coffee Creamer. Pour the mixture into the hot chocolate (this step is optional). 

  4. Stir the mixture until it is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes at higher heat. Add a pinch of fleur de sel. Serve in a mug topped with a dollop of Natrel Caramel Coffee Creamer foam (see note) and a toasted marshmallow.


The remaining marshmallows can be kept at room temperature in a sealed container. If you don’t feel like making them, simply use store-bought marshmallows.

You can add an additional touch of finesse to your hot chocolate by topping it with a dollop of foam, which you can make with some additional Natrel Caramel Coffee Creamer and a milk frother. The pinch of fleur de sel is optional!


Find all products in this recipe

Crémier à café au Caramel
Natrel Fine filtered 3,25% Milk 2L

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