Life / Food

A hot chocolate recipe (with marshmallows!) perfect for those cold winter days

This warming drink combines dark chocolate and cocoa powder for a rich, not overly sweet flavour.

Hot chocolate is a perk to having cold winters.

Ricardo

Hot chocolate is a perk to having cold winters.

Now that our holiday blinders are off, we have to face the facts: Our Canadian winter has arrived. But it’s not all bad news. There are some serious perks to cold weather, too, and one I never get tired of is the perfect cup of hot chocolate.

This extra-creamy recipe made with homemade marshmallows was inspired by Mexican hot chocolate, and the one we serve at our own chocolate shop. The combination of chopped dark chocolate and cocoa powder gives it a rich, not overly sweet flavour, while the spicy hit of cayenne and pinch of cinnamon make those deep chocolate notes really pop.

Topped with homemade marshmallows for an extra-spongy layer of velvety vanilla foam, this decadent, cold-weather treat is a winter winner.

HOT CHOCOLATE WITH MELTED MARSHMALLOWS

Marshmallows:

1/2 cup (125 mL) water

1/2 vanilla bean, the seeds only

5 tsp gelatin

1 cup (210 g) sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) light corn syrup

1/4 cup (35 g) cornstarch

1/4 cup (35 g) icing sugar

Hot Chocolate:

4 oz(115 g) dark chocolate, chopped

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp cornstarch

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

2 cups (500 mL) milk

Instructions:

To make the marshmallows, line an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan with plastic wrap and oil lightly.

In a small saucepan, combine water and vanilla. Sprinkle gelatin over water and let bloom for 5 minutes. Add sugar and heat gently, stirring until sugar and gelatin have dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Pour into a bowl and add corn syrup. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 10 to 12 minutes. Spread into prepared pan and refrigerate for 2 hours or until marshmallow has set.

In a bowl, whisk together cornstarch and icing sugar.

Sprinkle a work surface and a knife with some of the cornstarch mixture. Unmould marshmallow. Cut into 25 large cubes and coat with starch mixture. Shake to remove any excess.

For the hot chocolate, in a small saucepan off the heat, whisk together dry ingredients, then whisk in milk.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.

Pour into mugs. Top with marshmallows and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to melt, if desired. With a small kitchen torch, quickly caramelize the melted marshmallows.

Makes 2 servings.

**Note: We find that homemade and artisanal marshmallows melt much better than commercial ones, and we love the creaminess they add to this hot chocolate.

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