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White hot chocolate garnished with marshmallow creme and cinnamon sticks. Photo courtesy Dove Chocolate Discoveries.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.

 

 

February 2006
Last Updated February 2011

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages

 

Try A New Hot Chocolate Recipe

Page 3: Ravishing Garnishes

 

 

This is Page 3 of a four- page article of 25+ ways to glamorize a cup of hot chocolate. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

GARNISHED HOT CHOCOLATE   Cocoa and whipped cream are a great tradition. Here are some additions and alternatives.

15. Chocolate Curls or Shavings

One of the oldies and eternal goodies: chocolate curls. Shave or grate some chocolate bar on top of the whipped cream for a finishing touch. First shave into a dish, then spoon onto the whipped cream; or you can buy shaved chocolate. If the chocolate bar is spicy, bittersweet, or minty, so much the better! Or, combine white and dark curls, or a trio: white, milk and dark.

Photo copyright Patterson Minx.

 

  Chocolate Shavings
     

16. Confetti Hot Chocolate

Celebrate special occasions with confetti hot chocolate. Buy colored sprinkles, and combine them with chocolate curls. How about blue and white sprinkles for Chanukah, red and green for Christmas, red for Valentine’s Day, and green for Saint Patrick’s Day. For the new year, silver dragées!

Photo copyright Patterson Minx.

  Confetti Cocoa
     

17. Flavored Morsels

 

Sprinkle morsels on top of whipped cream: chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, or any flavor. Those that aren’t eaten immediately will melt into the hot chocolate.  Mini morsels provide a different effect; you can create morsel art by mixing mini and regular sizes and different flavors.

  Chocolate Morsels
     

18. Cookie Cocoa Garnish

Anchor cute character cookies in the whipped cream topping of a cup of hot chocolate. Fan-shaped cookies have been popular for generations, and thanks to clever cookie makers like Eleni’s New York, you can have a cookie representing any season, hobby or holiday.

  Snowman Cookies
     

19. Cup Rimmers

Glass rimmers for cups or glasses of hot chocolate add an extra touch of flavor and a festive look to the rim. Cocktail rimmers for chocolate martinis, espresso martinis, peppermintinis and orange blossoms are essentially the same product and work perfectly for this. Stirrings and Wildly Delicious both have a mocha-chocolate rimmer for coffee and cocoa (it also can be used around the rims of iced lattes and chocolate milk). Or, make your own. Mix ingredients like instant chocolate drink and cinnamon; or unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar and instant coffee. You can add sparkly decorative sugars too. Put your mixture in a soup bowl, moisten the glass or cup rim with a wedge of orange, and dip the moistened rim in the mixture to get an even coating about 1/8 to 3/8 inches deep. Then, pour the hot chocolate in carefully so as not to destroy your handiwork.

  Rimmer
     

20. Crushed Peppermint Rimmer

 

Crush peppermint candies or candy canes in a food processor or spice mill. Coat the rim of the cups per the instructions above. Each sip will combine silky hot chocolate and crunchy peppermint candy.

  Peppermint Candy
     

21. Fresh Nutmeg & Cocoa Powder

Nutmeg isn’t just for egg nog. If you have a nutmeg grinder, try  a fresh grind on top of your hot chocolate. The aroma and flavor combinations are very sophisticated and compatible. You can sprinkle sweetened cocoa powder on top, too.

  Nutmeg
     

22. Brandied Cherries

Instead of adding a liqueur to your hot chocolate, a brandied cherry gives you a spirited taste while leaving the flavor of your hot chocolate pure; it’s the better alternative for accenting top-quality cacao. Nestle a cherry on top of some whipped cream. You can purchase brandied cherries, or make your own by marinating them for several hours or longer in kirsch (cherry brandy, which is also an ingredient in cheese fondue).

  Cherry
     
23. Flavored Whipped Cream

Grind three candy canes or eight 1-inch peppermint candies to a fine powder in a food processor or spice mill. Set aside 3 to 4 tablespoons of the powder, depending on how strong a flavor you like, and reserve the rest in a small container for future use. Beat two cups of cold heavy cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form; fold in the peppermint powder.  Garnish hot chocolate with the whipped cream.

More recipes: for Bourbon, Lavender, Salted Caramel and Spice Whipped Cream.

  Peppermint Whipped Cream
     

24. Handmade Marshmallows

You haven’t had a marshmallow until you’ve tried the real thing: they’re to supermarket marshmallows what the greatest cheeses are to a plastic-wrapped sandwich cheese slices (in other words, no comparison whatsoever). Two of our favorites: Michael Recchiuti’s marshmallows, shown at the right; and Tiny Trapeze marshmallows, which come in vanilla and amazing chocolate.

  Recchiuti Marshmallows
     

25. Marshmallow Creme

One of the all-time favorite garnishes, but look for artisan or organic brands instead of Fluff: they’re so much better.

  Marshmallow Creme
     
26. Peppermint & Other Candy Stick Stirrers

Offer peppermint sticks as festive stirrers when you serve hot chocolate and coffee, too. Guests can give a quick stir for just a hint of extra flavor (and eat the candy on the side), or leave the stick in to melt completely. Peppermint sticks aren’t just for the holidays; and butterscotch, rum, raspberry, and other beautiful candy sticks are always available in specialty food stores and candy shops.

  Peppermint Stick
     

 

Continue To Page 4: Dazzling Drinkware & Recipes

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