How to Make the Most Decadent Hot Chocolate Imaginable

Survive those cold Westchester nights in proper hot beverage fashion — there are even homemade marshmallows

It’s a Friday winter evening, you’ve decided to stay in (primarily due to the frigid temps though also in part due to a glut of extra work hours lately) and finish your binge-watch of, what’s your pleasure? The Twilight Zone-esque Black Mirror or Orange is the New Black? Regardless of your viewing penchant, the cold weather may have hot chocolate on your mind (and palate). Most of us would grab a Swiss Miss packet, throw a couple (or four) Stay Puffs in there, and be happy. But wait — hold onto your cheeky reindeer mugs because there’s a better way.  

Executive Chef Juan Rodriguez of City Limits supplied us with the recipe for the restaurant’s hot chocolate. And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, make the marshmallows too.

City Limits’ Hot Chocolate

(Makes 2 cups)

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Hot Chocolate:

8 oz heavy cream
5 oz milk
1 Tbsp sugar
2.5 oz Valrhona chocolate
½ small cinnamon stick
¼ vanilla bean



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2 Tbsp canola oil
½ cup cold water
4 ½ tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
1/8 tsp fine salt
1 vanilla bean (halved, seeds scraped)
¾ cup 10x confectioners’ sugar


For the Hot Chocolate:

Bring all ingredients to a simmer except the chocolate.

Pour hot mixture over chocolate and mix with a whip until incorporated.

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Strain into two warmed mugs, top with marshmallows, and serve immediately.


For the Marshmallows:

Line a cake or sheet pan (approximately 9×9) with parchment paper. Cut another piece of parchment paper the same dimensions as the pan. Brush the paper lining the pan, as well as the extra piece with oil. Brush/coat the utensils* you’ll be using with oil.

Combine cold water with gelatin, and stir and allow to soften.

Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla in a stainless-steel saucepan, wiping the sides of the pot clean with (a little) water, so there are no sugar crystals sticking to the side of the pot. Heat on high until the mixture reaches 245°F on a candy thermometer (about 10 minutes).

While the sugar is cooking, heat the gelatin until it’s dissolved, and pour into the bowl of an electric kitchen aid mixer with the whip attachment. Once the sugar comes to temperature, very slowly, carefully pour down the side of the bowl, while mixing on medium-high speed.

Continue to whip until the mixture achieves maximum volume, and is light and very fluffy.

Immediately, pour the mix into prepared pan and spread evenly with metal spatula.

Cover with parchment paper oil side down; set aside to cool and set up for several hours.

Once firm, peel off parchment paper, and run the knife around the sides to loosen.

Sift half of the 10x sugar over the coated pan, and then peel off the other layer of paper.

Sift the top with the remaining confectioners’ sugar.

Cut into squares; clean the knife and/or brush with more oil if it becomes sticky.

Store at room temperature.


*Suggested Utensils: Offset metal spatula (i.e., one that is long, narrow and has a blunt blade), plastic or silicone spatula, pairing or French knife

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