Wednesday, March 25, 2009
winter's last hurrah
There is our last mug of hot chocolate (unless we get some crazy weather!) for the season...and the ultimate mug-full! After a few years of trying various homemade hot cocoa recipes with no success (I mean, they all made hot cocoa, but none of us really liked any of the results) I finally discovered the secret. Don't mess with cocoa! Go for the chocolate....it's so simple, but so much better. Why I never thought of it (and why everyone keeps pushing the cocoa) I do not know. Here's how we like it:
For each mug, put 1 cup of a rich whole milk into a small saucepan (got so-so whole milk? make your cup up out of 2 ounces of cream and 6 ounces of whole milk) and heat until just bubbling. In a larger saucepan, put 1 tablespoon of water and 35 grams of a decent milk chocolate and melt together over low heat. Add heated milk and stir until smooth. Dark chocolate would probably be good too, but milk chocolate works for us. (I use the 99 cent bars from ikea, you need 1/3 of a bar per mug.)
And to top your chocolate? Homemade marshamallows!
I have wanted to try making marshmallows for years, and only now finally got around to trying it. So easy -- if you have a candy thermometer, a stand mixer, and the patience to leave the pan of marshmallow along overnight. I used the Alton Brown recipe and they are ridiculously good. (Vegetarians -- from what I have read online, you can sub 1 T of agar-agar for each packet of gelatine.) We'll definitely be trying flavored ones in the future.
And they melt amazingly, witness the result in Emily's favorite dessert, Pixie's Delights (basically, baked s'mores, from a vintage kid's cookbook we have).
I cannot wait to toast these! And....while I can wait for next winter, when it does come back around I will be well-prepared.