Homemade Marshmallows + Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate / by Chelsea Zwieg

When I was little, hot chocolate was really just a vessel to eat more marshmallows. Ok, so maybe it still is. My method was to load the top with marshmallows, slurp off the top layer of foamy, melty, gooey marshmallow heaven and then add more. Repeat until hot chocolate is gone.

And then I had a stroke of hot chocolate genius. Instead of constantly adding more marshmallows, I put the marshmallow flavor (toasted marshmallow flavor, at that) into the hot chocolate. And oh my goodness. Get ready to drink nothing else for the rest of winter. When the toasted marshmallows get whisked into the hot chocolate, they dissolve, leaving you with an entire cup of the beautiful, foamy, light layer that usually just hangs out on the top. Throw another marshmallow, or six, on top and you're ready to roll. 

And speaking of marshmallows, am I the only one that didn't know how easy it is to make your own marshmallows? I have a faint memory of trying to make them years ago and it being a sticky disaster that got thrown in the garbage. Maybe it was the recipe, maybe it was me, but something was seriously wrong. After seeing so many recipes for homemade marshmallows floating around I decided to give it another shot. And thank goodness for that. If you can boil something on the stove and then stand next to a mixer as it whips away for 12 minutes while you casually scroll through Instagram and sip hot chocolate, then you can make marshmallows.

And this isn't one of those things that sucks up your time for no reason when you could just buy the same thing at the store. Homemade marshmallows are so far and above their store bought relatives, they are hardly the same food. These are light and airy with a little hint of vanilla and they have infinite better melting powers than the ones you buy at the store. Probably something to do with them not sitting in a bag on the grocery store shelf since 2007, I don't know. 

This is the perfect treat for any winter day or you can double, triple or quadruple the recipe and welcome guests with a big pot of hot chocolate simmering away on the stove. However, whenever you make it, you're gonna love it. 

Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate 

| Ingredients

  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli 60% baking bars)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 marshmallows 

| Instructions

  • Preheat broiler to high. Place a sheet of foil on a baking sheet. 
  • In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate over medium heat. Stir often to make sure it doesn't burn. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Heat until it begins to bubble and lower heat to a simmer.
  • Place marshmallows on the foil lined baking sheet and place under broiler until toasted, about 2 minutes. Check often, they burn SO fast. 
  • Scrape marshmallows into hot chocolate and whisk until they are melted. Strain before serving. 

Homemade Marshmallows 

Adapted from Martha Stewart

| Ingredients

  • 4 envelopes  unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups sugar 
  • 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • powdered sugar, for dusting 

| Instructions

  • Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Spray parchment with non-stick spray. 
  • In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, corn syrup, salt and 3/4 cup water to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. After mixture comes to a boil, allow to boil, without stirring, until it reaches 238 on a candy thermometer. 
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixture. Allow to soften for 5 minutes. 
  • Attach whisk attachment, and beat syrup mixture into gelatin on low speed. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. 
  • Pour into prepared baking dish and smooth with a spatula. (Don't try to be a hero and scrape every last bit form the bowl and the whisk. You will end up tangled in marshmallow fluff until you feel like you'll never be free again.) Set aside, uncovered until firm, at least 3 hours. 
  • Pull marshmallows from the pan by the parchment overhang. Sift the top with powdered sugar. Cut into squares with a sharp knife, coated in powdered sugar. Roll marshmallows in powdered sugar and store in an air-tight container. Or just get those bad boys under the broiler and make some hot chocolate.