The Christmas treats continue this week and today’s recipe is totally decadent and perfect for those times when only chocolate will do! This is not your standard everyday hot chocolate, (it is pretty much a dessert in its own right) but it is utterly luscious.
I was reminded of a ski trip to Livigno, Italy when I made this hot chocolate for the first time. After a morning on the slopes we ventured into a café to revive ourselves with something delicious. I ordered a hot chocolate to drink, but honestly I needed a spoon to enjoy the stuff – it was so thick! No thin and watery “out-of -a tin” hot chocolate for those folk, clearly!
While you won’t need a spoon to enjoy this holiday hot chocolate, it does promise creamy, chocolatey indulgence with every sip. I have added a touch of cinnamon and topped it with some pillowy soft, homemade marshmallows for that festive feel.
This homemade, holiday hot chocolate is absolute treat, and whether you enjoy it curled next to a fire on a wintery December day or as an evening dessert drink if you’re having a warm, summer Christmas like us I am sure you will be in chocolate heaven in no time with this festive treat.
- When adding the sugar to your hot chocolate start with 2 teaspoons then add more to taste if you wish. Keep in mind that the marshmallows also add some sweetness!
- If you don’t have a star cutter for the marshmallows use any small cutter you have or simply cut the marshmallows into small squares.
- The marshmallows can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. Use mini marshmallows if you don’t have time to make your own.
- Double up the marshmallow recipe, pop the other half in a bag or tin and give to someone as an edible gift!
HOLIDAY HOT CHOCOLATE WITH CINNAMON MARSHMALLOWS
For the cinnamon marshmallows:
- ½ cup hot water (¼ cup for the gelatine + ¼ cup for the sugar syrup)
- 10g powdered gelatine
- 200g castor sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 200ml icing sugar
For the hot chocolate:
- 80g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 2-4 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar (to taste)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 100ml single cream
- 400ml full cream milk
To make the marshmallows:
1.) Place ¼ cup hot water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine over the water, then whisk well with a fork. Set aside.
2.) Place the castor sugar, salt and remaining ¼ cup hot water in a small, deep saucepan, Stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush away any sugar crystals that collect around the sides of the saucepan.
3.) Once the sugar has dissolved add the gelatine mixture to the saucepan. Some gelatine may have settled at the bottom of the bowl so be sure to scrape it all in. Stir well and bring to the boil.
4.) Allow the sugar syrup to boil for 1 minute, then take the saucepan off the heat. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and whisk well to combine.
5.) Lightly grease a small baking tray. Sift half of the icing sugar onto the tray and shake the tray to spread it out a bit. Set aside.
6.) Pour the sugar syrup into the bowl of a freestanding mixer. Whisk at high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and fluffy and the volume has increased. (You can also use an electric beater.)
7.) Pour the marshmallow mixture onto your prepared tray – I won’t lie, this is a sticky job! Use slightly wet hands or a spatula to spread into a 1-1½cm thick layer. Sift the remaining icing sugar over the marshmallow and leave to stand and set, this should take 4-5 hours.
8.) Use a small star cutter dipped in icing sugar to cut out star shapes. (Alternatively cut the marshmallow into small squares.) Toss the stars in the excess icing sugar to dust them completely. Store the marshmallows in an airtight container until ready to use.
To make the hot chocolate:
1.) Place the chopped chocolate, sugar and cinnamon in a jug. Set aside.
2.) Place the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the milk starts to boil remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Whisk well to combine.
3.) Pour the hot chocolate into two mugs, top with marshmallow stars and serve immediately.