This being the internet, I recently got into an argument with a blogger about the best marshmallows to put in hot chocolate. In her corner, giant marshmallows; in mine, mini.
It started in the comment section, as arguments to, but didn’t stay there. She published a recipe-slash-attack over on Actual Conversations With My Husband (go read it and her other stuff because she’s pretty funny when she’s not spouting hot chocolate heresy).
You see where this is going.
I am duty bound to insist that I’m right, super right, I could never be wrong, giant marshmallows are a pitiful specimen of marshmallow, Time Magazine totally called me about being Man (Person) of the Year but I turned them down when I learned about the write up and photoshoot anyway my button’s bigger and NO YOUR FACE IS A MINI MARSHMALLOW.
Giant marshmallows are fine. Giant marshmallows in hot chocolate are fine. (I mean, they take too long to melt nicely and due to the physics of buoyancy have an irritating habit of bobbing away from your spoon, but I guess some people like that). Toasted Giant marshmallows are extra fine. In fact, I am happy to concede them as the ideal toasting marshmallow. Furthermore, toasted giant marshmallows in hot chocolate brings pleasure on par with witnessing an enemy step in dog poo, slide ten metres, fall face first into a fountain while being filmed so that they end up online as a humorous gif. (Although over-toasting will lead to excessive floating ashes, and I do not recommend excessive floating ashes).
Mini marshmallow hot chocolate is not better than giant marshmallows in hot chocolate. I’m fine with saying that.
Because they cannot be compared. They don’t serve the same purpose. They aren’t the same thing.
You see, giant marshmallows in hot chocolate is a recipe, but mini marshmallow hot chocolate is a spell. Done right, it will grant you warmth, healing, sweetness, and probably type 2 diabetes. (But hey, everything that works has side effects.)
I will teach you how to cast it.
Make hot chocolate.
It doesn’t matter how. I don’t think there is an incorrect method of making hot chocolate. I don’t limit myself to one way of making it. Bought powder, cocoa and sugar, all milk no hot water, hot water plus milk, added chilli, added cinnamon—it’s all good. When I’m feeling fancy, I take the time to melt chocolate into milk on the stovetop.
You do you. All are equal.
Except anything with powdered milk in it. Ew.
Add mini marshmallows.
But don’t just add mini marshmallows. That’s how you do a recipe. Plop ‘em in, done. Boring. This is not a recipe.
Want to know the trick?
Lean in, I’ll whisper.
Your goal is to get as many mini marshmallows in there as possible. Plug that mug. If you can still see hot chocolate, you’re not trying hard enough.
And, most importantly, enjoy it.
Mini marshmallows are to giant marshmallows what a kiddie pool of small denomination bills are to a couple of hundred-dollar notes sitting all dull and boring in your hand. Fundamentally equal, but you can frolic in one of them.
This step is vitally important, and you might not get it just right on the first go. You want your marshmallows to get a bit melty. How melty is up to you, but I recommend making sure there are some unmelted bits. An excellent way to achieve a good melted to non-melted ratio is to pile up the marshmallows so high that the bottom layer can melt entirely, while the top layer is safe above the hot chocolate line.
This is the game changing step. This is where we leave the safe harbour of standard hot chocolate and push out into the international waters of lawless adventure. This is hot chocolate with a peg leg and a parrot on its shoulder.
Eat the marshmallows out of the hot chocolate with a spoon.
If you’ve done everything right, it should taste like a lighting a candle in a world engulfed by darkness. You should feel it darning the holes life has worn into your soul.
A common mistake here is to drink the hot chocolate. I can see why a person might think it’s a good idea—that is traditionally what one does with hot chocolate, after all—but there are simply too many marshmallows. The top layer of hot chocolate probably doesn’t classify as a liquid any more. Drinking it is a choking hazard.
But don’t worry, the time will come.
Repeat Steps 2 to 4 until either
a) You run out of mini marshmallows, or,
b) You feel like you’re done with the marshmallow phase of your hot chocolate experience.
Just quietly, option b is for the weak.
Drink the hot chocolate.
It’s not just a chaser for the marshmallows. By this stage it should be so gloriously sugary from all the melted marshmallows that it will taste like a hug from a rainbow.
And there you have it.
Mini marshmallow hot chocolate is not classy. It is not pretty. It scores 0 for plating every time. It does not belong on a foodie blog. It draws the wrath of food snobs (and feel free you use it as a means of identifying them among your acquaintances so you can avoid inviting them to your dinner parties).
Mini marshmallow hot chocolate is for coping. Mini marshmallow hot chocolate is for the times when your heart bleeds and your soul has been ripped open and you’re not sure if you can handle the next five minutes, let alone tomorrow. It is for dementor attacks and resisting the one ring. I make it when things are so, desperately, impossibly bad that if someone offered me a cup of tea, I would ask for it with a teaspoon of sugar.
Mini marshmallow hot chocolate got me through 2017.
And now you can make it too.
Your welcome, world.
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