Since winter reappeared this week (the temperatures anyway), we've been making the most of it. Now, if we could just have a Real snowfall, then maybe the temperatures can be justified.
At least this hot chocolate, adapted from Dave Lebovitz's Belgian hot chocolate recipe makes up for the shivers. The liquid chocolate is oh, so fabulous on its own, but topping it off with a homemade peppermint marshmallow is euphoria, especially as the marshmallow melts into a puddle of white, gooey deliciousness.
European Hot Chocolate (serves 4-6)
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cream
8 ounces (230g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (at least 60% cacao, preferably 70% or greater), finely chopped
4 ounces (115g) milk chocolate (I used white chocolate on one occasion just because I didn't have milk chocolate and I thought straight dark chocolate might be a little much for the girls -- still delicious), finely chopped
tiny pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Warm about one-third of the milk, with the chopped chocolates and salt, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the remaining milk and cream, heating until the mixture is warmed through. Add the cinnamon. Use a hand-held blender, or a whisk, and mix the hot chocolate until it’s completely smooth. Serve very warm.
Yes, drink cream and chocolate. You know you want to! Serve with a little whipped cream or...
Homemade peppermint marshmallows:
They are worth the effort. Really, I don't know what possessed me to attempt these a few years ago, I don't even care for the store bought ones, but I'm glad I gave it a whirl. I've tried a few marshmallow recipes. All have been delicious, but my favorite one to date is Alton Brown's homemade marshmallow recipe. The recipes using egg whites are fine, but they don't store well and end up looking like ectoplasm after a week or two. Making marshmallows is relatively easy but I wouldn't suggest making them unless you have a stand mixer of some kind because you will have to whip the sugar/gelatin mixture for at least 10 minutes and I think some attention spans will falter here. To make peppermint marshmallows when using this recipe, replace 1/2 tsp. of vanilla with 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract. You can embellish them by swirling red food coloring into the top of the marshmallow mixture after spreading it in the pan.