The Real Reason Your Hot Chocolate Is Grainy

Hot chocolate is the quintessential hot drink for a cold-weather day. Who doesn't have good childhood memories of tearing open a packet of Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix – the kind with the miniature marshmallows – pouring it into a cup of hot water and enjoying it after a long afternoon of sledding or snowball fights? There is just something about hot chocolate that is simultaneously comforting and delicious to imbibe. Per The Cut, even Ryan Reynold's better half, Blake Lively, is quoted as saying she doesn't start her day without a cup of hot chocolate goodness. Hot chocolate is da bomb, both figuratively and literally if you've jumped on the hot chocolate bomb trend.

But the instant variety, while filled with retrospective nostalgia, has its drawbacks. You may still love your quick mix hot chocolate and even have a secret ingredient that takes it to the next level, but chances are you've experienced a grainy quality to it at some point. What causes it and how can you fix it so your chocolate drink is perfectly creamy, smooth, and satisfying every time?

Starch is causing your hot chocolate to be grainy

Per Popular Science, the reason your hot chocolate might have a grainy quality is largely due to its starchy nature. When you pour your hot water into your mug containing your powdery mix, the starch becomes filled with moisture and gets bigger. The end result: grainy clumps that appear wet on the outside but reveal dry, grainy powder when you try to break it up with your spoon. To fix this problem, they suggest making a paste with your cocoa powder and a small amount of liquid, be it milk or water. To break-up those pesky clumps that are causing the grainy issue and to get them to dissolve more efficiently, whisk it together. If you still see these globs of hot chocolate mix, add a little sugar to the concentrated mixture and it will also help eliminate the clumps.

If you love hot chocolate mix but don't want to deal with the grainy quality, you can also make your own mix. Popular Science recommends using Dutch cocoa if you do decide to make your own and to make it with whole milk to give it the thick creaminess that screams hot chocolate.  The Pioneer Woman also has a great recipe you can try.