Oh My Ganache! Not Your Basic Hot Chocolate …

December 8, 2017

The holiday season calls for hours in the kitchen cooking all kinds of treats for friends and family. But after the craziness, what’s better than finishing a chilly day with hot chocolate, a cozy blanket, and the grand kids? Grab your favorite mug and get ready for this easy-to-make (and yummy) recipe for hot chocolate on a stick, presented by our director of culinary arts, Marcus Cordova.

We are excited to have Marcus with us, not only for his expertise in the dining industry but for his enthusiasm and uplifting outlook on life. Marcus is a huge factor in our efforts to make Summit Vista a place for people to retire successfully. Marcus is eager to start his demonstrations and cooking classes for Summit Vista residents, and he will be taking requests for future menu items and interacting with the residents often.  View the full video below for step-by-step instructions. Enjoy — and don’t forget to save some for yourself!

Solid Hot Chocolate Blocks

You will need:

  • • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • • 1, 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • • 1, 4-ounce bar unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • • Lollipop sticks or candy cane • 8-by-8-inch square pan
  • • Parchment paper or aluminum foil

Combine heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk in a pan over medium heat until they start steaming (but not boiling). Remove from heat and add 3 cups chocolate chips and the 4-ounce bar of chocolate. Let sit 3 minutes until the chocolate chips start to melt into mixture. Return pan to stove and return heat to medium, stirring until chocolate is completely melted and shiny. Cover 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Pour chocolate into pan and spread mixture as smoothly as possible. Cover and let sit 12 hours or overnight. When ready to cut, turn pan over on cutting board to remove chocolate.

You will be dividing the chocolate into 6 sections each way, for a total of 36 pieces of chocolate that are around 1-inch square. To cut the chocolate, place a long serrated knife under warm water and wipe dry with a towel. Make a few cuts and then place knife under warm water and dry with towel again. Repeat process until all 36 pieces have been cut.

Homemade Marshmallows

You will need:

  • • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • • 1 cup corn syrup
  • • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • • Nonstick cooking spray

Using a stand mixer, set up the whisk attachment. Place unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup of the cold water. Meanwhile, in a small pan, mix the granulated sugar, the remaining 1/2 cup of water, corn syrup, and salt. Cover and place on medium high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Attach candy thermometer to pan and continue to cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F. Turn the stand mixer to low speed and slowly pour heated syrup down the side of the bowl. Once all the syrup has been added, increase speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm. It should take around 12-15 minutes. Add the vanilla in the last few minutes of mixing. In a bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch.

Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add confectioners’ sugar/cornstarch mixture to pan and move around to fully coat. Pour the marshmallow mixture into pan. It will be very sticky. Spread with lightly oiled spatula. I also sprayed my fingers to help press it into the pan. Dust confectioners’ sugar/cornstarch mixture lightly on top.

Let marshmallows sit uncovered for at least 4 hours. When ready, flip pan onto cutting board and cut mixture into 1-inch squares, using a knife dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once the marshmallows have been cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the confectioners’ sugar mixture and store in an airtight container. They can be stored for up to 3 weeks.

To make hot chocolate on a stick, lay one marshmallow on each piece of chocolate and push lollipop stick through both layers. Voila! The result? Totally delicious hot chocolate! For wonderful party favors, package everything up with cellophane and a pretty bow, or use for a hot chocolate bar.