Sippin' something hot

January 23, 2011

With frigid temperatures and a frozen landscape, it's time to break out the hot chocolate.   Having grown up on watery Swiss Mix versions, I never knew what hot chocolate really was until recently.   In a trip to Paris, it hit me how often chocolate chaud shows up on menus. They are just nuts for the stuff!  It got me thinking about New York's great chocolate spots like La Maison du Chocolate that make hot chocolate really something special but I never really get the craving till the snow is on the ground.  Recently on an absurdly cold afternoon, I joined friends at the City Bakery and discovered for myself the pleasures of the drink.  For $5, you get the richest cup that's topped with the world's best marshmallow. It's like heaven.

Stumptown Coffee in the uber-hipster Ace Hotel serves a delicious variety that's not as sweet, even almost bitter. It's a Mexican version that has hits of spice and richness to it.  The barista poured melted chocolate into a cup then swirled in frothed milk.  Just watching the production of it makes the mouth water.

Want a mix version to make at home?  Jacque Torres has a  yummy mix that's won a few awards though it's still better when they make it.

My fav, Donna Hay, serves up DIY mochas that would really end a dinner party in style.  Chocolate curls, a shot of espresso or chocolate and steamy milk make a terrific (no cook) dessert on a cold night.

The real hero may be the chocolate used but the part that makes me smile is the marshmallows. And aren't they having their moment??  A way to raise the hot chocolate bar is add some fancy marshmallows in different colors, shapes and sizes.  Marshmallows have replaced cupcakes as dessert du jour.
Here's some that I love.... come in six flavors and are delish!

Levity Gourmet Marshmellows also come in fun flavors but vanilla is my fav!

And good old Whole Foods carries organic homemade version too!  Pick up a box to top off your next cup.  

Live large, 


Aspiring Kennedy said...

mmm... i've had tableside s'mores at a restaurant that makes homemade marshmallows. they give you an assortment of vanilla, orange, and coffee... so good!

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