09 December, 2009

Feeding The Hot Chocolate Beast

Chocolate is the monkey on my back and during these holiday months I tend to feed my habit with a steaming cup of liquid hot goodness. I picked up my MarieBelle Aztec Hot Chocolate habit when I lived in C'ville. I pretty much never left And George without a acquiring some new habit...

I love Williams Sonoma Peppermint hot chocolate so much that I only allow myself to buy it at Christmastime each year. Some things should just remain sacred...

Now, my next suggestion may be a smidgie difficult for the layman to acquire. I make my mom do my restocking when in Mexico. If you speak Spanish, no problemo navigating your way around Chocolate de Oaxaca's website. Otherwise you'll know what to ask for when someone you know heads South of the Boarder...

Since moving into my sister Julie's beach house I've had unlimited access to her Bialetti electric hot chocolate maker. Throw in any of the above listed options, a blop of honey, some milk and turn the dial. I hear this little gadget whirling away predawn every morn as my sister makes her roadie...

Just in from the bff Kimba, and talked up quite a bit, are Trader Joe's Peppermint Marshmallows. I can not wait to grab these this weekend as passing through Annapolis. Trumped up to be the perfect accompaniment so, we shall see...

But, I can always fall back on my Martha Stewart homemade marshmallows if the Trader Joe ones don't live up to their Kimba hype. My signature holiday hostess gift that never fails to impress. Or leave me with plenty of stock...

Martha's Marshmallows

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus additional for rolling

Oil a 3-quart Pyrex baking dish with vegetable oil. Line the dish with lightweight aluminum foil, and lightly coat the foil with more oil.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, soften the gelatin with 3/4 cup water.

Place the sugar, corn syrup, 3/4 cup water, and the salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the syrup reaches 234 to 240 degrees, or the soft-ball stage, on a candy thermometer.

With the whisk attachment of the mixer at full speed, beat the hot syrup slowly into the gelatin until the mixture is very stiff, about 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into the foil-lined dish and smooth the top with an oiled spatula. Allow the mixture to rest, uncovered, at room temperature 10 to 12 hours.

Using a fine sieve, sprinkle the confectioner's sugar onto a cutting board. Turn the stiffened marshmallow mixture out onto the sugar, and using a lightly oiled cookie cutter (i use a heart), cut into shapes. Be sure to dip the cut edges of the marshmallows into confectioners' sugar to prevent sticking.

Kindness of Kimba Howlin for the Trader Joe's tip and the unknown person whose Martha Stewart marshmallow pics I stole. Next time I know to document my own marshmallow handiwork...XXOO


  1. I just made a cup of Vosges' La Parisienne Couture Cocoa last night. Have you tried it? Delicious.


    I didn't know they had a hot chocolate maker. That could be dangerous.

  2. Kimba says: OK, here's the thing... those homemade marshmallows will trump the TJ's version everytime (like most anything homemade). But in a pinch for time and with a craving for some mint to go with your chocolate, these are killer! Trust me.

  3. How funny! I just posted the Williams Sonoma hot chocolate on my blog yesterday! It's sooo good!

    I lived in Oaxaca for 6 years. It's so interesting because if you go to the chocolate shops, they'll make a custom blend for you with the amount of nuts, cinnamon, sugar, etc. . . that you want before your eyes. (And they give samples, too!) YUM.

  4. I want to know more about the hot chocolate maker. I have been dying for one, but unable to justify another appliance cluttering up counter space.

  5. I LOVE MarieBelle hot chocolate...I'm a little afraid to keep it in the house though because, sometimes, I nibble on it straight from the tin! I know, horrible of me, but true.

    I've never made homemade marshmallows, they seem too fiddly but I think I'm going to give this a try; they look yummy!


  6. Peppermint marshmellows???? I work one block away from the Trader Joe's in Bethesda...guess where I am sneaking out of the building to go to RIGHT NOW???!!!!

  7. Hi Allie - I am partial to Belgian chocolate and without a doubt, Fran's Hot Chocolate is the best hot chocolate I have EVER had....it has the richest flavor without being dark and bitter - you have to try this one sometime!


  8. Toootally agree about the WS Peppermint hot cocoa. Can we please talk about the WS peppermint bark? I discovered for the first time in Charleston, SC when I was in high school, and it brings back so many good memories. I wish someone would remember this and put a box under the tree for me!

  9. I'm a fiend for hot chocolate. And maybe I will buy some handmade marshmallows from Whole Foods, now you've got me thinking...

  10. I am an absolute hot chocolate addict all winter long. I'm partial to my own little mix of light coconut milk a dutch cocoa powder but some these look delish and are sure to make their way into my cupboard tout de suite.

  11. It's not hot chocolate without BAILEYS! yumm - and a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drop of pure vanilla extract!

  12. Allie, We are Annapolis people...have a place and our sailboat down there on Back Creek. See you at my fave Treaty of Paris!

  13. Oh I love peppermint hot chocolate, thanks for the idea to pick some up at the store tonight!

  14. god, this post was torture. i loooooooooove good hot chocolate and there is nowhere around here to get my fix. it may be time to put in a williams-sonoma order...

  15. Question on the recipe...I assume you add ALL the sugars when it says sugar? And the vanilla with the water and corn syrup?
    How stiff are we talking after 15 mins? Stiff peaks? or Just fluffier?

    And...how do you store them? How long are they good? (as if they'll stay around too long. :) )

    THANK YOU...I so enjoy your blog.