Few beverages are as deep-rooted in our childhood memories hot chocolate. It’s thick, silky, toasty, and usually smothered in whipped cream—no other drink brings warmth to our lives and tastebuds quite like hot chocolate. Guess what, It's good for you! Chocolate contains many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants,
and biochemical compounds—all of which help give our body a satisfying health boost. Hot chocolate even increases the microcirculation in your skin. Who knew a hot chocolate obsession could be so good for our health? Cozy up with your favorite mug because on January 31, we celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day.
HOT CHOCOLATE TIMELINE:
500 BC / Hot and Spicy Chocolate / The Ancient Mayans drank chocolate made from crushed cocoa seeds mixed in water and chili peppers
1500 / Chocolate Gets Wanderlust / Explorer Cortez carried cocoa beans and tools for making hot chocolate with him to Europe
1876 / Milk Chocolate / Swiss Chocolatier Daniel Peter created the first milk chocolate by combining powdered milk with chocolate.
1961 / Swiss Miss / Popular hot chocolate manufacturer Swiss Miss started selling its first powdered hot chocolate that could be mixed with water instead of milk.
My Personal Favorite – French Hot Chocolate with Homemade Marshmallows!
French Hot Chocolate
The most decadent dark hot chocolate recipe that tastes just like the French hot chocolate found in Paris cafés. Intense, rich, and absolute heaven for any chocolate lover. Recipe based off of the famous Café Angelina in Paris.
PREP: 3 mins / COOK: 5 mins / TOTAL: 8 mins /SERVINGS: 2 large, intense cups or 4 smaller
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder optional, but delicious for intensifying chocolate flavor
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate at least 70%, chopped*
Giant bowl of whipped cream for serving
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the whole milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and espresso powder until small bubbles appear around the edges.
Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted, returning the sauce to low heat if needed for the chocolate to melt completely. Serve warm, topped with lots of whipped cream.
*Choose the best quality chocolate you can, as the flavor really carries the drink. I love Guittard for a splurge, Ghirardelli, or Godiva, but the Trader Joe's Pound Plus 72% bar is quite good too. I do not recommend chocolate chips, as they contain stabilizers and do not melt as well.
Leftover French hot chocolate can be cooled to room temperature, then refrigerated in an airtight container (empty mason or jam jars work particularly well). Reheat gently the in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat.
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup honey
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup cold water, divided
2 packets of unflavored gelatin powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or flavor of your choosing)
1 cup powdered sugar
Oil and line a baking dish with parchment paper and dust with powdered sugar.
In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, honey, salt, and six tablespoons of water.
Turn heat on high and bring to a boil reading 238 Fahrenheit on your thermometer, or test for the soft ball stage.
While the mixture is coming to a boil. Add 6 tablespoons of water and a packet of gelatin to a large bowl. Allow it to sit without stirring for a few minutes for the gelatin to bloom.
When the sugar syrup reaches 238, slowly pour it into the large bowl while whisking. Try not to splash, as the mixture will harden if it hits the cold bowl.
Beat this mixture on medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks form, about 5-8 minutes. The fluff should hold a trail off the end of your whisk.
Mix in extract.
Transfer fluff to prepared pan and smooth out the top as best you can.
Let marshmallows sit for three hours or overnight.
Using a powdered sugar or oil-coated knife or cookie cutter, cut marshmallows.
Dust all sides with powdered sugar.
Store in an airtight container.
Making your own marshmallows not only tastes better, but it also has the benefit of allowing you to control what goes into them. I make my marshmallows without corn syrup, as a healthier option to the bag of corn syrup and preservative-laden puffs at the grocery store.
Whipping up these sweet little clouds will be a fun snow day project that will leave you with a plate of marshmallows worth bragging about (hello, Instagram). Since you are adding an extract, you can make these any flavor you want. You can also shape the marshmallows into cute designs using cookie cutters to make them unique.