"Baby it's cold outside", and even if it's not (like here in Texas) you can still enjoy a nice warm cup of hot cocoa with a big huge marshmallow on top.
I remember my mother making different homemade hot cocoa mixes when I was younger. She would keep the mixes in tins, readily available to warm our freezing little bodies after a long day of snow ball fights and igloo building! My favorite flavor by far, was the peppermint hot cocoa!
This hot cocoa recipe is dairy free, using coconut milk and Organic Fair Trade Dagoba Cocoa. The peppermint flavor is brought in by a huge fluffy homemade peppermint marshmallow (made with honey not corn syrup). This hot cocoa might not be readily available in tins, but it is quick and easy to throw together...And the marshmallows? Well, they really are a breeze to make. I've even included a 'marshmallow basics' video to help!
Dairy Free Hot Cocoa
1 can full fat coconut milk or milk of choice
1 1 1/2 cups water (If using almond/cashew or homemade coconut milk, use all milk & no water)
4 Tbls organic cocoa (try the Dagoba brand)
1/3 honey, or to taste
1 Tbls GF vanilla extract ( I like Nielsen Massey)
One batch Home Made Peppermint Marshmallow Recipe (Below, recipe can be halved)
Make marshmallows up to a day ahead of time. Store in an air tight container... after they have set out long enough to firm up and dry out just a bit.
Preparing the cocoa...
Over medium heat, combine all the the ingredients (except the marshmallows) in a medium sized sauce pan. While heating, whisk the mixture till well combined. Continue to stir until the mixture just barely breaks into a boil.
To create a nice cream on the top, pour the hot cocoa into a large french press or milk frother. Pump the press a few times to create some foam. Pour into mugs, top with a peppermint marshmallow and enjoy! Makes about 4 8oz servings.
If you don't have a french press, you can pour the mixture between to sauce pans/pitchers a five or six times times. I've done this before and it produces a pretty decent foam.
Peppermint Marshmallow Recipe
(GAP, Paleo, Refined Sugar Free)
1 cup filtered water (split into half cups)
3 Tbls Grass fed beef gelatin
1 cup organic honey
1/2 tsp vanilla (or other) gluten free organic extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract(or more to taste.
1/4 tsp salt
Optional Arrowroot powder for coating and dusting
If you want the nice red swirls in your marshmallows, try using India Tree Natural Decorating Colors or just leave them nice and "pepperminty" white
Grease an 8×8(or larger) pan and line with parchment paper in both directions. Leave some length to use as handles when removing your finished marshmallows. If using, dust the bottom & sides of the pan with arrowroot powder. This will help give the marshmallow a nice finish and help with any stickiness.
In your mixer bowl, add the gelatin with 1/2 cup of water. While the gelatin is softening, pour the other 1/2 cup of water into a small sauce pan along with the honey, vanilla and salt. Turn the burner to a medium/medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil.
Place a candy thermometer in the sauce pan and continue to boil the mixture until it reaches 242 degrees (the soft ball stage). This will take approx. 7-8 min depending on the size of pot you use and how high the heat is on your stove. Immediately remove from the sauce pan from the heat.
Turn your standing mixer to low/med. Very slowly pour the honey mixture into the bowl combining it with the softened gelatin. If needed stop the mixer and stir to make sure all the gelatin is mixed in. Turn the mixer to high and continue beating the mixtures until it becomes thick like marshmallow creme (about 7-10 min). Add the extracts just before you are done mixing but make sure they have enough time to mix into the marshmallow creme.
Note: If you are using a hand mixer you may want to let the syrup cool down to around 230 degrees before adding to the mixture. It is much harder to pour slowly when trying to use a hand mixer and pour a the same time. Pouring the syrup slowly ensures that the syrup cools before it hits the gelatin. If it is too hot when it combines with the gelatin it can cause it to "break", which you will notice as you try to spread it in the pan.
Turn off the mixer and transfer the marshmallow creme to the prepared pan. Smooth the top .
Note: Remember, if using a coating (such as arrowroot/cocoa...) it should be added to the bottom of the pan first before transferring the marshmallow creme. Add more to the top of the marshmallow once spread and use as needed when cutting.
If you are not using a coating then lightly grease your hands with oil and pat smooth. This will keep it from sticking to your fingers. Alternatively you can press it down with parchment paper, leaving it there till the marshmallows are completely set.
If you would like to do the red swirls, once the marshmallow is spread just add drops of coloring randomly to the marshmallow and make swirls with a tooth pick. Then dust with coating or just let the marshmallow set.
After 4-8 hours, remove the marshmallows by lifting from the parchment paper flaps. Cut to desired size and enjoy!