Through the holiday chill, you can count on tsokolate eh—the thick tablea-based warm beverage—to warm the heart and belly. Topped with marshmallows, it turns into an especially decadent treat. But imagine the sensation in reverse: the sweet creaminess of marshmallows in hot drink form at the bottom, and the deep, dark essence of tsokolate in mallow form that melts into a frothy layer on top. It’s the same flavors you know and love (and can count on to please a crowd), just turned upside-down.
We begin with the marshmallows: a candy, fundamentally made with sugar (which forms and stabilizes the foam base, aside from giving it a sweet taste), corn syrup (to prevent crystallization a.k.a. to keep the sugar mixture from getting grainy), egg whites (which also forms and stabilizes the foam—note, though, that not all marshmallow recipes use this ingredient), and gelatin (also a stabilizer which gives it its bouncy texture). If you’ve never had the homemade stuff, you’ll be happy to know they taste miles different from what you find prepackaged at stores, with a softer, squishier, melt-in-your-mouth delicateness you can flavor many different ways (tsokolate’s rustic, deep-dark flavors, in this case). Making them does require a bit of candy-making magic which might look intimidating on paper, but it isn’t difficult to execute with a few tools in hand and key tips in mind.
You’ll be needing a few important tools: a candy thermometer, which will let you keep track of the temperature (crucial as sugar undergoes different stages, in each of which it exhibits specific physical characteristics); a thick-bottomed pot (invest in one that’s sturdy enough not to burn as you heat up the sugar); and a sturdy stand mixer (you could try making them with a hand mixer and some assistance, though it may take some practice). Keep watch of the temperature of the mixture through the candy thermometer (here we heat the sugar-tablea syrup mixture to exactly 240 F) and be prepared to turn off the stove immediately. Be careful as you pour the syrup into the stand mixer as it’s hot enough to burn you; your best bet is to pour it in a thin stream on the side of the bowl so as to prevent it from splashing all over. Finally, be patient as it mixes; it can take a good 8-10 minutes, but soon you’ll see it foam up and produce an airy, opaque mixture. Immediately pour and spread it onto the prepared pan and let it set overnight. The next day, unmold, cut and toss the mallows in the cocoa-cornstarch-powdered sugar mixture (which will prevent it from sticking) and store your mallows in an airtight container.
You can make the mallows and have them as is (they make great stocking stuffers), but drop them into any hot beverage—such as our white hot chocolate—and they melt into a frothy layer full of the deep, dark flavors of tsokolate.
Reverse Hot Chocolate
Time: 12 hours (45 min cooking / overnight setting)
Yield: 6 servings hot chocolate, plus extra marshmallows
Ingredients: Tablea Marshmallows
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup water, divided
- 3 tbsp powdered gelatin
- 6 rounds tablea
- 2 cups white sugar
- ½ cup glucose or light corn syrup
Ingredients: White Hot Chocolate
- 6 cups fresh milk
- 2 lbs. white chocolate, chopped
Procedure: Tablea Marshmallows
- For the dusting powder: in a bowl, combine powdered sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Add ½ cup water into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Sprinkle gelatin over water and leave to bloom.
- In a saucepan, add the remaining ½ cup water and 6 tablea rounds. Crush and stir the tablea until no large chunks remain.
- Add in the white sugar and glucose or corn syrup.
- Turn heat on to high and let syrup mixture boil until it reaches 240F.
- Turn off the heat.
- Turn on the stand mixer with water and gelatin on low and run for 30 seconds to break up the gelatin.
- Turning the speed to medium, slowly pour in the tablea syrup on the side of the bowl.
- Once all the syrup is in the mixer, turn heat to high and whip until thick, fluffy, and opaque, about 8-10 minutes.
- While the marshmallow is whipping, butter a 9×9 inch pan, a rubber spatula, and a sheet of plastic wrap.
- Transfer the whipped marshmallow to the pan and flatten using the buttered plastic wrap.
- Allow marshmallow to set overnight at room temperature.
- Once the marshmallows have set, cover a surface in dusting powder.
- Turn out the marshmallows from the pan and onto the dusted surface.
- Cover the exposed marshmallow in more dusting powder.
- Using a greased knife, cut the marshmallows equally into large squares. You should have 16 large pieces.
- Dust all sticky surfaces of the marshmallow with dusting powder and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Procedure: White Hot Chocolate
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat milk until bubbling and hot but not boiling.
- Turn off the heat and add the chopped white chocolate, let sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir the white hot chocolate mixture until there are no lumps.
- Transfer white hot chocolate into a large heatproof pitcher (strain if needed) or ladle directly into mugs.
- Top with large tablea marshmallows and serve.