Hot Chocolate on a Stick

What do you think of when you hear the term “preacher’s wife”? Hmm…

One who sees only in black in white?

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Stuck in the mud?

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A bit square, perhaps?

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I must confess that I did until I met two of my most favorite people in the world, Keeley and Amanda. They prove that it is, in fact, possible to be a preacher’s wife and hip. And pregnant. (By the way, I’m pretty sure we’re not talking immaculate conceptions here!)

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So. Keeley and Amanda have disproven the notion that preachers’ wives are stuck in the mud. Now, we must disprove something every bit as blasphemous!

We must put an end to this notion, this idea that hot chocolate should come out of a instant-serve packet made by a miss who’s Swiss. Or that the mandatory accompanying marshmallows should come out of this same packet. Or that you should add water, not milk. Lies, I tell you!

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Now for the truth, my people. Making homemade, fluffy marshmallows and blocks of rich chocolate takes a little time but isn’t hard. Yes, it’s more time-consuming than ripping open a pouch. But you know that good things come to those who wait. And hot chocolate on a stick is definitely a good thing.

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But don’t take my word for it. Try hot chocolate on a stick for yourself. Like the stereotypical preacher’s wife, get stuck in the mud – in the form of these fudgy blocks. Swirl them into steaming milk and find that they, much like the precious babies we’re celebrating, give you a warmer, fuzzier view of our world. A world seen in colors, especially chocolate brown and marshmallow white. A world where it’s hip to be square.

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Hot Chocolate on a Stick

adapted from www.foodiewithfamily.com

makes 36

For the Chocolate Blocks:

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) heavy cream
  • 2 cups (21 ounces or 1½ cans) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1½ teaspoons espresso powder
  • 4½ cups (27 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (chopped chocolate bars or chips)
  • 1¼ cups (6 ounces) unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla

Line a 9×9” pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.

Heat the cream, condensed milk, and espresso powder over low heat until steaming. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate; allow it to gently melt.

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After about 10 minutes, return the chocolate mixture to low heat to completely melt the chocolate. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is thick and shiny. Add vanilla and mix well.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan; shake the pan gently to level. Set aside overnight to slowly set up.

The next day, run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn out onto a clean cutting surface. Slice into 36 cubes. Heat a knife in hot water and wipe dry before each cut, for smoothest cuts. Store in an airtight container.

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For the Homemade Marshmallows:

  • .75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) cold water
  • 2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar

Line a 9×9” pan with parchment or plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.

In the bowl of an stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup cold water. (Yes, a stand mixer is needed here for the large whisk and powerful motor.) Soak for about 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to bloom.

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Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.

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Carefully pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Start on low speed and then gradually work your way up to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes or until fluffy, glossy, and cooled to room temperature. Add in the vanilla and mix well.

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Lightly oil your hands and a silicone spatula – this stuff is sticky! Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly with an oiled offset spatula. Take a piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.

Remove the plastic wrap and invert the pan over a cutting board generously dusted with powdered sugar. Peel away parchment paper. Using an oiled chef’s knife or scissors, cut into 36 equal cubes. Pull the pieces apart and dredge each side of the marshmallows in powdered sugar until they’re no longer sticky. Shake off any excess powdered sugar and store in an airtight container.

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To Assemble the Hot Chocolate on a Stick:

  • chocolate blocks
  • homemade marshmallows
  • lollipop sticks
  • ribbons (if you’re feeling fancy)
  • milk (or cream if you’re feeling decadent)

Top each chocolate block with a marshmallow and skewer both on a lollipop stick. Tie with ribbons if you want to impress folks. Eat as is, straight off the stick, like a fudge marshmallow pop or swirl into a steaming mug of milk until completely melted. Enjoy!

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Note:
Please don’t use water for the liquid in the hot chocolate. That would be a sin! If you feel passionate about water, play “Twenty-One for Water” to help Amanda build a well in Africa.

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