How To Make City Limits’ Hot Chocolate And Marshmallows, At Home

The secrets to City Limits’ over-the-top hot chocolate and house-made marshmallows are now yours.

Maybe it’s the central location, maybe it’s the intersection’s feng shui (all of Westchester seems to intersect there), but City Limits Diner in White Plains always feels like the humming heart of the county. We know they’re a standby for all-day breakfast, house-smoked salmon, and chicken noodle soup, but when I heard about the hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows, I knew I was due for another visit (especially after writing this hot chocolate guide). It’s classic, creamy, and sweet, but its crowning glory is the marshmallow — an ethereal confection stratospheres removed from its bagged cousins. Here, former pastry chef Tracy Kamperdyk Assue divulges her recipes for both the marshmallows (which also star in a s’mores cookie) and the hot chocolate, which I drank at the bar one cold day.

Photo by Leslie-Anne Brill

City Limits Diner’s Marshmallows

*Recipe has been slightly modified for the home cook.

Ingredients:

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  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 4½ tsp unflavored powdered gelatin (about 2¼ ounce packets)
  • ¾ cup 10X confectioners sugar
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • 1/8 tsp fine salt
  • 1 vanilla bean (halved, seeds scraped)

Photos above and below courtesy of City Limits Diner

Directions:

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 (offset metal spatula, plastic or silicone spatula, paring or French knife).

Combine cold water with gelatin, stir, and allow to soften. Combine the rest of the ingredients 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 flame until 245 degrees F.

While the sugar is cooking, heat the gelatin to dissolve, and pour into the bowl of an electric Kitchen Aid mixer with the whip attachment. Once the sugar comes to temperature, very slowly and 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 the parchment paper oil side down; set aside to cool and set up for several hours.

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Once firm, peel off parchment paper, and run the knife around the sides to loosen. Sift half the confectioners’ sugar into the coated pan, and then peel off the other layer of paper. Sift the top with the remaining sugar. Cut into squares; clean the knife and/or brush with more oil if it becomes sticky. Store at room temperature.

City Limits Diner’s Valrhona Hot Chocolate 

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

Bring all ingredients to a simmer except the chocolate. Pour hot mixture over chocolate and mix with a whip until incorporated. Strain into two warmed mugs and serve immediately.

Photo by Paul Johnson

“Voila.”

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City Limits Diner
200 Central Ave, White Plains
(914) 686-9000

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