Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mindy Segal's Hot Chocolate

With my passion for chocolate, it’s a real surprise that Mindy Segal’s restaurant, Hot Chocolate, was not on my list before now.

At 1747 North Damen, the space was nothing like I imagined. Understated...but exactly like I thought it would be because the brunch line went out the door at 10:10 AM....just 10 minutes after they opened and 5 minutes I arrived.

I ordered the pork belly and poached on an English muffin buried in cheese which was exceptionally good – I would order it again- but what I really loved was the hot chocolate. Most hot chocolates I’ve had until now have been nothing to write home about. What set this hot chocolate apart was just that – real chocolate!

Take the "Black and Tan," which I ordered and LOVED! A bottom layer of hot fudge covered with “real” hot chocolate that is steamed-to-order.

The homemade marshmallow was the perfect topper. Honestly, this was so good that next time, I will do several tastings of the hot chocolate and skip the breakfast.

You can buy Mindy’s blends online at:

I am making my own hot chocolate recipes this weekend and will continue to try and pull off the perfect cup of Hot Chocolate! In the mean time, if you are a chocolate lover, this is THE PLACE TO GO!

Bon Appetit!

Spicy Hot Chocolate

Use a high end chocolate for this recipe. It’s really good with the cayenne and the milk and cream mellow it out.

½ cup whole milk, ¼ cup heavy cream

½ tsp. cayenne

5 oz. good quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

Combine milk, cream and cayenne in a saucepan over

medium heat, and cook until simmering, about 4 minutes.

Add chocolate, and whisk until completely melted and well

incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately. Makes 2 drinks.

Homemade Marshmallows
Adapted from Gourmet, December 1998

If you have ever had homemade marshmallows, you’ll never buy them again! Looks complicated but very easy.

About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin

1 cup cold water, divided

2 cups granulated sugar (cane sugar worked just fine)

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites

1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: 1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond or mint extract or maybe even some food coloring for tinting)

Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water, and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. (Some reviewers felt this took even longer with a hand mixer, but still eventually whipped up nicely.)

In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out (learning from my mess of a first round). Sift 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.