So another of my chocolate finds in Las Vegas, particularly at Jean-Philippe Patisserie, was a small range of hot chocolate mixes. I believe there was a "spiced" hot chocolate mix, and possibly an orange-flavoured one as well, but I chose the Ginger Bread, which was simply spiced with ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
I can only describe the ginger bread flavour of this hot chocolate as "subtle". The ginger and cloves are definitely identifiable while drinking it, but it is not overwhelming and mixes with the chocolate beautifully. Unlike the strong and sweet flavour of a flavour syrup that would be added to your hot chocolate in a cafe, this ginger bread hot chocolate is bitter, rich, warm and mild all at the same time. Once again, Jean Philippe has given me a true French experience, reminding me of the bitter-rich hot chocolates that I tasted when I spent a year studying in Rennes.
What I also like about this hot chocolate is that it is made from natural ingredients and from high quality solid chocolate that has been ground up, rather than from cocoa powder (see below for the ingredients list). The ingredients are simple and nothing is 'hydrogenated' or 'modified'. One of the reasons I bought it though, was because it had whole milk powder in it, so I thought it could be mixed with hot water. I am always on the lookout for an instant hot chocolate that is natural, and usually the addition of milk powder means that you can simply add the powdered hot chocolate to boiling water, with no need for heating milk (great for using at the office). However, I tried the Jean Philippe hot chocolate with hot water and it tasted a bit diluted. After adding a dash of half and half cream, it was better, although not as good as when made with real milk.
You can buy one type of Jean Philippe hot chocolate online at: https://secure02.mgm-mirage.com/jpchocolates/product.aspx?cid=6 although there are no flavour options available, the ingredients are different, and the cost is higher than what I paid in the patisserie in the Bellagio in Las Vegas ($18 for 616g/22oz). Otherwise, when you are next in Las Vegas, be sure to check out the Jean Philippe Patisserie for this awesome hot chocolate. It would make a great gift for someone who likes rich hot chocolate or dark chocolate.
Ingredients and other package details:
Ginger Bread Hot Chocolate, 616g (22oz)
Jean Philippe Patisserie
Bellagio, Las Vegas
Ingredients: Chocolate (cocoa nibs, cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla, lecithin), whole milk powder, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, cloves. May contain traces of nuts.
For more information & reviews of products by Jean Philippe Patisserie, click here.