Coconut Curry Hot Chocolate
There was a period in the late 1990’s when we wanted everything (just like now), but we wanted it in 30 minutes or less. This was just before the artisanal, farm-to-table, take-your-time-and-grow-me-a-heritage-tomato-for-my-sandwich period that I think we’re still surfing through. The quick and easy food trend was more deeply rooted in the Rachel Ray 30 minute meal, the 30 minute pizza delivery or it’s free (I would sooo have out my stopwatch), and the faster faster make dinner faster movement. That seemed stressful. Now we have Uber and Postmates and we’ve calmed down on the 30 minute timeframes.
This cup of hot chocolate is an exercise in delayed satisfaction. It’s also an exercise in drinkable curry, melted chocolate, and homemade coconut milk. It takes well over 30 minutes to make, and considering it’s a cup of hot chocolate, I understand the skepticism. Turns out, to the chagrin on the few lazy bones in my body, the extra effort to make curry marshmallows and homemade coconut milk makes for an incredible (really… so very good) hot chocolate experience. I do realize I just use the word ‘experience’ after the words ‘hot chocolate’…. I know… it’s that good though. It’s freezing outside. Let’s do this for us.
I made the marshmallows and coconut milk at 11pm on a Friday night when the sun was gone and the will to artificially light my kitchen was also long gone. Marshmallows are deceptively easy to make, though they do require boiling sugar to 240 degrees F (definitely using a candy thermometer), and beating the sugar and gelatin to fluff status using a stand mixer. They also require that you dust your entire kitchen in powdered sugar and allow to marshmallows to rest overnight (hence the late night making).
Coconut milk, unsweetened and unbelievably creamy, is also deceptively easy to make, requiring only shredded coconut, boiling water, a blender, and strainer. Milk!
Dig out the good dark chocolate, and trust that curry will make this cup exactly right.
This cup of hot chocolate is decadent and creamy, like sipping chocolate meets melted truffle. It sweet and dessert, no doubt about it, but the curry adds an incredible aroma and the faintest savory quality. Cheers and happy winter!
Recipe inspired by Quench, a very nice book about drinkables.
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 2 1/4-ounce packages unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, plus 1/4 teaspoon for the pan and topping
- 1 cup powdered sugar, for coating the pan and topping the marshmallows
- 4 cups boiled water
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 ounces dark chocolate (65% or higher cocoa content), chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- To make the marshmallows, spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and coat with the powdered sugar and a sprinkling of curry. Set aside.
- Pour 1/2 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment. Pour the two gelatin packs over the cold water and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, corn syrup, salt and the remaining 1/2 cup cold water to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring mixture up to 240 degrees F. There’s no need to stir the mixture, just let it get hot hot hot!
- When the sugar is heated to 240 degrees F, turn the mixer with the gelatin and water on low speed. Carefully stream the hot sugar mixture into the bowl as the whisk moves. Be careful not to pour into the whisk and spatter the hot sugar all over the sides of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer until you’ve added all of the hot sugar mixture. Beat on high for several minutes until a thick, fluffy, white marshmallow batter has formed… about 8 minutes. Pour in the vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon curry and beat for another 2 minutes.
- Spread the marshmallow mixture into prepared pan and smooth with a clean, wet spatula to prevent sticking. Top marshmallow with powdered sugar and a sprinkling of curry powder, let set and rest for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- When set, remove marshmallow from the pan and place on a large cutting board coated with powdered sugar, Use a pizza cutter, coated with non-stick cooking spray to slice marshmallows. Coat the knife blade in a bit of powdered sugar if it begins to stick to the marshmallows during slicing.
- To make the coconut milk, combine boiled water and coconut flakes in a food processor or blender. Puree until creamy, about 1 full minute. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing the shredded coconut to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer coconut milk to a lidded container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Toast the shredded coconut leftovers in a sheet pan in the oven and make macaroons or use it to top oatmeal.
- To make the hot chocolate, place coconut milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Warm to steaming and add the sugar and chopped chocolate. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is completely melted. Stir in curry powder. Serve warm with a marshmallow.