Have you ever had that experience where you think you know a dish or a drink? You’ve have it a million times, you know its flavor, its texture, its composition and you love it so much that you’re quite certain there’s no way it could get any better? That was hot chocolate for me. I knew my hot chocolate inside and out. I knew the ratio of ingredients, the temperature. And then my world got turned upside down on a cold December evening when one bartender made the smallest of tweaks and everything I thought I knew about hot chocolate went right out the window.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you Chartreuse-spiked hot chocolate. I can, in no way, take credit for this beautiful combination. Apparently the recipe has been floating around for years and I had just been walking around drinking sub-par hot chocolate the whole time. Trust me when I say I won’t make that mistake again.
For those of you that may be unfamiliar with Chartreuse, this is a French liqueur made of 130 herbs, plants and flowers (and alcohol, of course). The green-tinged spirit is made by Carthusian Monks in the town of Voiron. Is has a sweetness and slight medicinal quality to it. And as chance would have it, it pairs perfectly with chocolate.
As I said, I can’t take credit for the coming together or these flavors. But I am happy to share with you my recipe for Chartreuse-spiked marshmallows, which are the perfect garnish for this warm, winter sipper.
2 packets of gelatin
1½ cups sugar
1 cup of corn syrup
A pinch of salt
Half of a vanilla bean
2 tablespoons of Chartreuse (plus 1 oz for your hot chocolate)
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Prepare a glass baking dish (9×13) by sprinkling the bottom generously with confectioners sugar. Combine your gelatin with ½ a cup of cold water in the bottom of a stand mixer. Let stand for 20 minutes. In the meantime, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and half a cup of water in a saucepan over high heat. Stir continuously, ensuring that all your sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook the mixture, stirring continuously for approximately 9 minutes.
Slowly pour your sugar syrup over the gelatin and turn your stand mixer on the lowest speed. Slowly increase the speed to high and beat until your mixture is thick and stiff (approximately 15 minutes). Add two tablespoons of Chartreuse and your vanilla bean seeds; mix until incorporated.
Pour the mixture evenly into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top of the marshmallow mixture generously with additional confectioners sugar. Pat with your hands until smooth. Let stand for a minimum of 3 hours and up to 24 hours. Turn your marshmallows onto a cutting board and cut into squares using a hot knife. Toss marshmallows in additional confectioners sugar as needed.
Chartreuse-Spiked Hot Chocolate
Pour 1 oz of Chartreuse in a mug and top with your favorite hot chocolate.
Garnish with as many Chartreuse marshmallows as your heart desires!