Hey east coast, I heard it's been one hell of a winter. I'd like to make you a batch of hot chocolate with marshmallows to help warm you up. It tastes like a yum factory in your mouth so I think you'll like it.
Hang in there and if you're still chilly after a mugful, come out west for a visit! We've got plenty of drought and global warming to keep you dry and toasty.
Decadent Hot Chocolate
Recipe from smittenkitchen.com
Yield: Just under 1 3/4 cups mix, enough for 9 cups
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (8 grams) cornstarch
3 ounces (85 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder, any kind you like
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or the seeds from a tiny segment of fresh vanilla bean
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until powdery. Don't have a food processor? Chop or grate chocolate until it's as fine as you can get it, and stir into the remaining ingredients.
Note: Mixture keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.
1. Heat one cup of milk (coconut, almond or others would work here too) in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy.
2. Add 3 tablespoons hot cocoa mix. Whisk over heat for another minute or two, until it begins to simmer and mix is completely dissolved. Pro Tip: some like their hot cocoa extra chocolatey (this girl) and some like it more subtle. Taste-test this concoction before mugging it and add more mix or milk to desired taste.
3. Pour into mug, top with marshmallows (or a dollop of whipped cream), curl up on your couch and binge watch the latest season of House of Cards.
Other flavors to try: Mexican Hot Chocolate (chile powder, cayenne and cinnamon), Mint Hot Chocolate (mint extract instead of vanilla), Mocha Hot Chocolate (couple tablespoons of espresso powder).
Recipe from smittenkitchen.com
Yield: Makes about 96 1-inch cubed marshmallows
About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar (cane sugar worked just fine)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: 1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond or mint extract)
1. Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.
2. In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.
3. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
4. With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer.
5. In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out. Sift 1/4 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
6. Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.
Note: Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 weeks.