During these cold winter months, I need plenty of hot liquids to keep me warm. While I don’t mind a cup of apple cider or a hot toddy, my favorite cold weather beverage is hot chocolate. However, not just any hot chocolate will do.
I need rich, velvety, sinful and decadent hot chocolate. It may sound complicated and troublesome, but it’s actually quick and easy to make. It’s so simple that you’ll forget about ever buying that instant powdered mix stuff! With only three ingredients, there is no excuse not to make it from scratch!
And if you’re going to make hot chocolate from scratch, you might as well whip up a batch of marshmallows as well!
Nothing beats homemade marshmallows. They’re so light, puffy, and wonderful. They melt more evenly and provide a nice sweet creaminess to hot chocolate.
A lot of marshmallows recipes call for egg whites. With my recipe, you won’t have to worry about finding pasteurized egg whites. These are your traditional vanilla marshmallows. Feel free to add holiday flavors like cinnamon, peppermint, or mocha!
Thinking of serving hot chocolate at your next gathering? Be sure to check out Rachel’s Cozy Hot Cocoa Bar for tips and ideas!
Rich and Creamy Hot Chocolate, serves 2-3
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz chocolate of your choice (dark, semi-sweet, milk chocolate), chopped or chocolate chips
1. In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, combine milk and cream. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate and stir to combine. Continue to stir to until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
2. Divide hot chocolate among serving mugs and top with homemade marshmallows. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.
Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
1/2 cup water
1 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup cold water
4 1/2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin (2 envelope packets)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line baking sheet with parchment paper like photo above. Take one piece of parchment paper and allow a little overhang over the side of the pan. Take a larger piece of parchment paper and lay it across the pan in the opposite direction to form a cross. Light coat parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a sauce pot, combine 1/2 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup. Set over high heat and cook until mixture registers 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer (or food safe thermometer). Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Let mixture cool to 210 degrees F.
3. While sugar is cooking, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes to allow gelatin to bloom and absorb moisture. Heat gelatin mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds to dissolve and melt gelatin.
4. Pour liquid gelatin mixture into bowl with sugar mixture. Whisk on medium to medium-high speed. Once mixture starts to thicken and become white in color, add vanilla extract. Whisk to sift peaks.
5. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet. Spread mixture into an even layer using an offset spatula. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
6. Remove from freezer and sprinkle powdered sugar over the surface of the marshmallow. Invert marshmallow onto a cutting board. Gently peel off parchment paper and dust exposed surfaces of marshmallow with powdered sugar.
7. Use a sharp knife or a sharp pair of scissors to cut marshmallow into desired shapes and sizes. Coat freshly cut marshmallows with powdered sugar.
Maryanne’s Chic Tip: Double or triple hot chocolate recipe as needed. If you’d like to make the hot chocolate ahead of time, let it cool, and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge up to three days. Reheat the chocolate mixture in the microwave or over the stove.