With snow falling and pretty lights shining in windows, what could make a day more festive than a cup of cocoa? Sure, you could grab that container of premade cocoa mix, add hot water, and enjoy. However, if you have an extra couple minutes, wouldn’t it be nice to make a cup of homemade cocoa?
Today’s recipe was given to us by the Woolverton Inn. Their cocoa has a delightful medley of flavors, including vanilla, mocha, cinnamon, and more. Topped with their recipe for homemade marshmallows, it is sure to be a treat that will be enjoyed by all cocoa lovers!
Spiced Hot Chocolate with Homemade Marshmallows
For Hot Chocolate Mix
(This is a shelf stable dry mix you can keep for months. Also makes a great gift idea in a special jar or container. Spices can be eliminated for a more traditional hot chocolate.)
7 cups dry low-fat milk powder
3 ½ cups quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or in morsels
2 ½ cups superfine sugar
1 Tb. cinnamon
2 Tb. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground clove
½ cup instant mocha cappuccino powder (optional)
2 tsp. salt
Combine half of the powdered milk with all of the semi-sweet chocolate in a food processor. Process until chocolate is finely chopped, almost a powder. Mix in vanilla and almond extract and process to mix. Empty the contents of the food processor into a large bowl and mix in remaining milk powder and all other ingredients. Mix very well and process again in food processor to finish.
Use about 1/8 cup of mixture for a small cup of cocoa, or ¼ cup for a large mug. Just add boiling water and stir well.
For Homemade Marshmallows:
About 1 cup confectioners sugar
3½ envelopes (2 Tb. plus 2 ½ tsp.) unflavored gelatin
½ cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup hot water (about 115 degrees)
¼ tsp. salt
2 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
You will need a candy thermometer.
Spray a 13x9x2 inch rectangular metal baking pan with Pam and dust with some confectioners’ sugar.
In a bowl of standing electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand to soften.
In a 3-quart pan, cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240 degrees, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
Beat mixture on high speed until white, thick and nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. In a large bowl with cleaned beaters, beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and sift ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to 1 day.
Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto large cutting board. Lifting up 1 corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and let drop onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallows into roughly 1-inch cubes. Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat. Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.