French Hot Chocolate

By Anne Marie Lane Jonah and Ruby Fougere, Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, NS

There is no better way to celebrate the last days of fall and the arrival of winter than tasting French hot chocolate! This favourite drink from the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site will delight your children’s taste buds!

If you have a chance to visit us at the fortress this summer, ask about our chocolate programs. Even better, visit our restaurant to enjoy a taste of the past and sample Heritage hot chocolate.

Did you know?

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!

A group of kids holding cups of hot chocolate.
Children taste testing hot chocolate to find their perfect recipe!


  • 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)
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)


  1. Heat the liquid, and if using milk, don’t let it boil.
  2. Grate the chocolate if it is not ground and melt it into the liquid.
  3. 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.
  4. Add sugar and a combination of spices to taste.

For best results prepare the chocolate drink and refrigerate overnight. Reheat, whipping or frothing the chocolate as it heats. You can also try this recipe with many different types of chocolate to create your family favourite.

For more heritage inspired recipes, visit the Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet page.

Download this activity (PDF, 187 KB)

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