Peppermint hot chocolate and marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows will always trump the store-bought version, so try these soft treats by Maria Elia in your hot chocolate
By Maria Elia
Peppermint hot chocolate and marshmallows
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus 1-2 hours setting
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the marshmallows

  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 50 g cornflour, plus extra for dusting
  • 16 leaves gelatine
  • 500 g caster sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 drops peppermint oil
  • 50 g icing sugar

For the hot chocolate

  • 1 litres milk
  • 4 peppermint tea bags
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 200 g dark chocolate, minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids, broken into small pieces
  • sugar, to taste
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 4 sprigs mint

Method

1. For the peppermint marshmallows: grease three silicone ice cube trays lightly with the vegetable oil and dust with some of the cornflour. Alternatively, use a baking tin.

2. Soften the gelatine leaves with 100ml of cold water in a bowl.

3. Place the caster sugar into a medium-sized saucepan with 270ml cold water. Warm over a low heat, stirring until all of the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar mixture reaches 122C/251F (check using a sugar thermometer). Remove from the heat and pour in the softened gelatine, along with the water, stirring until the gelatine has dissolved.

4. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Then, continue whisking while pouring in the sugar syrup in a thin, steady stream. When all of the syrup has been incorporated, add the peppermint oil and whisk on a high speed for 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture has cooled and the mixture is thick and glossy and leaves a ribbon train when the whisk is removed.

5. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared moulds and leave to set in a cool place (do not refrigerate) for 1-2 hours, or until set.

6. Mix the cornflour and icing sugar together and use to dust a work surface. Turn the set marshmallow out onto the surface. If you used a baking tin, cut the marshmallows into 3cm/1in cubes with a sharp knife dipped in hot water, then roll each cube in the cornflour and icing sugar mixture so that it is coated on all sides.

7. For the hot chocolate: gently heat the milk in a heavy-based pan with the peppermint tea bags until very hot, but just before it comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes, then remove the peppermint tea bags.

8. Return the milk to the heat. Mix the cornflour with a little bit of water to form a paste, then stir into the hot milk. Add the chocolate pieces and stir until melted. Add sugar to taste.

9. Whisk the double cream with the icing sugar to soft peaks.

10. To serve, pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top with the whipped cream. Remove all of the mint leaves from the sprigs, apart from those at the top then thread a few marshmallows onto the sprig. Place on top of the hot chocolate and decorate with a few mint leaves.

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