I’ve weaned myself off of that late afternoon cup of coffee. With this.
Oh wait, I also had some of this.
This one’s just plain old hot chocolate, straight-up. That white creaminess on the top, by the way? aren’t dollops of whipped cream – they’re (melting) homemade marshmallows. Which yes, I know, are oh-so-very Martha. And to be honest I don’t have the patience for the cutting and the dusting with icing sugar (I can never cut them cleanly, and wind up a total mess with marshmallow goo stuck to me and less-than-Martha looking mallows all over my kitchen. And myself. And the floor. And the dog. Black-haired dogs and sticky freshly sawed-apart marshmallows do not mix.)
So I discovered if you just drop spoonfuls of the marshmallow mixture onto parchment paper or pipe it out from a zip-lock baggie (in which case you can make Peeps!) it’s far easier and less labour-intensive, and you don’t need to dust everything with icing sugar nor cut them into neat cubes afterward. And in your mug, they look like whipped cream.
I digress. Back to the PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE. (It doesn’t have to be salted, if you’ve had enough of the salted sweet stuff. But it does have to be peanut butter.) In New York we went to a place called the Shake Shack. (Aside: BEST BURGER OF MY LIFE, HANDS-DOWN.) It was an outdoor burger joint, in a little park across the street from the Flat Iron Building, and although they have those heaters on poles distributed among their tables, it was chilly. A sign beside the ordering window read:
Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
Baby It’s Cold Outside
As if the burgers and frozen custard (!) weren’t stupendous enough, this ranked among the top two – possibly one – hot chocolates of my life. It wasn’t terribly salty, nor sweet, not overwhelmingly peanut buttery. It was thick and foamy and intense and wonderful. And this morning I figured out how to make it.
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
If you want it salted, add a pinch of flaky sea salt at the end.
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup water
3 cups 2% or whole milk
2-4 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (Lindt 70% cocoa or Bernard Callebaut – you can get nibs or flakes from Bernard Callebaut they work great)
In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and cocoa to get rid of lumps; stir in the water until smooth, then whisk in the milk over medium-high heat. Heat until steaming. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter and chocolate. Let it sit for a few seconds, then blend it with a hand-held immersion blender. Or for individual cups, divide the chocolate among the cups and pour the warm milk overtop. Whiz with one of those little frothers to make it very smooth and foamy.
P.S. You don’t really need a recipe for this – you can just lob in a spoonful of creamy peanut butter into your regular (real!) hot chocolate. But whizzing it with a hand-held immersion blender makes all the difference, emulsifying and frothing it up into something much better than the sum of its parts.
November 23 2010 08:54 pm | beverages