Made with high-cacao chocolate and a touch of cream, this is hot chocolate, adulting-style. Inviting your guests to make their own boozy hot chocolate frees you up to enjoy the company. And it’s a great centrepiece for all of those rich liqueurs that feel so right by the fire. Bittersweet toasted marshmallow meringue — what’s not to like?
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
3½ oz (100 g) 70% cacao chocolate bar, chopped
2 cups (500 mL) milk
4 egg whites (see TIP)
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) cream of tartar
¾ tsp (4 mL) vanilla paste or extract
Assortment of cream liqueurs
1. To make the hot chocolate, bring cream to a boil in a medium pot. Remove from heat, add chocolate and let stand until melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Stir in milk and set pot over medium heat. Once steaming, remove from heat and transfer to a heat-proof serving vessel. Cover and keep warm.
2. To prepare meringue, combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm. Remove from double-boiler and beat in cream of tartar and vanilla using an electric mixer. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve alongside hot chocolate and liqueurs.
3. For each drink, encourage your guests to pour 2 oz of the chosen liqueur into a mug. Top with hot chocolate, then with a generous ½ cup (125 mL) of the marshmallow meringue. Using a crème brulee torch, toast the meringue and serve with a spoon.
Makes 6 to 8 drinks
TIP If you’re worried about using raw egg whites, opt for egg whites from a carton.
Widely available Burnbrae Farms Naturegg Simply Egg Whites are reliably free of yolk contamination and whip up beautifully.