Add milk, sugar and cocoa powder to a medium saucepan.
Heat over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture just begins to bubble but does not boil.
Add chocolate and vanilla and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Pour into 4 small mugs and serve with homemade whipped cream.
Whole milk. Any milk, dairy or non-dairy, should work very well in this recipe. Just remember, the higher the percentage of fat in your milk, the creamier your final product will be. My recommendations are whole or 2% milk, and coconut milk for a dairy-free/vegan version.
Cocoa Powder. Use pure, unsweetened cocoa powder. For a dark hot chocolate use dark cocoa powder.
Granulated sugar. Any granulated sugar works well in this recipe. I use organic cane sugar. For a refined-sugar free variety, substitute coconut sugar for granulated sugar.
Chocolate. I recommend using semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate. You can use milk chocolate or white chocolate, just be aware that the end result will be sweeter. For a dairy-free/vegan version, use dairy-free chocolate! You can also use bakers chocolate (100% cocoa) and just increase the amount of sugar to suit your tastes.
Vanilla Extract. Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container (glass jar) for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.