It seems mother nature is thoroughly muddled by what winter should feel like in these waning days of February. Just a week ago I was happy to unbundle and walk outside to near seventy-degree temperatures and a bright, sunny sky. The very next day temperatures plunged almost fifty degrees. Back to hats,scarves and gloves.
Those few days of warm weather had me wishing for spring. I want to see tulip leaves pushing up from underneath the ground,green grass and tightly closed buds sprouting from the limbs of trees. The weather has been the hot topic on all the news and talk shows. It will be a welcome change to hear news not weather related or forewarnings of winter storms to come. Unless of course we are plagued by heavy rains in spring or summer heat waves. Perish the thought.
In the meantime I have made a promise to enjoy these last few weeks of winter, without looking out of the window in disgust at the mountains of dirty snow that have been around since late December.
The next winter storm (and I know there will be one) I promise to go outside and make snow angels, I promise to have a furious snowball fight with the kids and be the last man standing. And most of all I will remember to take pictures of the snow-covered landscape so I won’t forget how beautiful ,and at times comforting, winter can be.
For now while the night’s are guaranteed to still be cold I’ll enjoy grown-up hot chocolate. Thick and rich with toasted marshmallows. The toasted marshmallows add a smoky flavor and if you poke them open all this melted, goodness seeps into the already thick hot chocolate. You don’t need a big cup of this-its meant to be savored in small portions. But you may want to have a spoon nearby.
This recipe serves 4 sweetly.
Recipe: rich hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2 ounces good quality milk chocolate, chopped
2 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4-8 large marshmallows
Heat the heavy cream and milk in a saucepan on medium heat until it bubbles and simmers slightly.
Turn the heat to low and continue to simmer. It will thicken a little.
Add the chopped chocolates and vanilla extract.
Using a whisk, whip until all chocolate has melted and the mixture is frothy.
Set the hot chocolate aside and toast the marshmallows.
Working two at a time place the marshmallows on a metal skewer or the tines of a metal fork and hold them over an open flame of the stove top, turning until all sides are nicely charred. Continue until all the marshmallows you are using are toasted.
If needed, reheat the hot chocolate, pour into cups and top with one or two toasted marshmallows on top.