Mexican Hot Chocolate and Peppermint Marshmallow Creme
Kentucky winters typically yield oodles of snow. While growing up there, my sister and I swept our shadows into dusty snow angels, formed mounds to make snowmen and brought bowls of snow inside to make snow ice cream or ‘snow cream’ as we called it. Grandma would pull the Swiss Miss down from the cupboard. We’d fill our mugs with hot water, then we’d empty the packets of its white-speckled ingredients of cocoa and sugar, stirring, marveling at the swirling of chocolate, seemingly always surprised at the handful of mini marshmallows that floated to the top. After moving to Virginia Beach in elementary school, I found that mountains of snow actually weren’t the norm and that those snowfalls weren’t to be taken for granted.
Fast forward to my post-college years, and I’m more into home cooking and less into prepackaged foods. Between the warmer days of December and no chance of snow, a thirty-degree-something day got me craving hot chocolate. Except, the festive season chimed in, inspiring me to add a certain something minty—a dose of peppermint. A lover of sweet and spicy, Mexican Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Marshmallow Creme seemed like the perfect drink to solve my predicament. The bulk of the time in this recipe is spent making the marshmallow creme, but I promise you it is worth the wait. Though the snowfall is much fewer in Coastal Virginia, the colder weather is always a good excuse for a mug of this rich, indulgent hot chocolate.
Mexican Hot Chocolate With Peppermint Marshmallow Creme
Yield: 2 servings
Total Time: 30 mins
Active Time: 15 mins
Peppermint Marshmallow Creme
2 egg whites
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 tsp peppermint extract
Mexican Hot Chocolate
2 cups milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped, reserve shavings to garnish
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Make peppermint marshmallow creme. In a stand mixer, add egg whites to the bowl. With a whip attachment, whip on high speed until frothy. Slowly add sugar, and whip until medium peaks form. Lower to medium speed, and add peppermint extract. Increase to high speed, and whip until you have dense, stiff peaks. Set aside in refrigerator.
In a saucepan on medium heat, add milk and brown sugar. Whisk until brown sugar is dissolved. Add remainder of ingredients and whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Allow to simmer for about 6–8 minutes for the spices to steep. Ladle into two mugs, then spoon dollops of marshmallow creme over top. Sprinkle chocolate shavings over top and serve immediately.