Finally, this classic cold weather drink has a vanilla ying to its chocolate yang!
For all you chocolate haters out there, this one’s especially for you! Even if you love hot chocolate, you will LOVE this “hot vanilla,” too. It’s so incredibly good, packed with layer upon layer of rich vanilla flavor. Milk is steeped with vanilla bean before being mixed with luscious, melted white chocolate. Whipped cream and marshmallows are a must because...It's Lauren, of Course!
Equipment: dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; cutting board; chef’s knife; paring knife; whisk; rubber spatula; saucepan
1 vanilla bean
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
¾ cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
1½ cups whipped cream
4 large (or 24 small) marshmallows
ILOC tip: when buying a vanilla bean, make sure it is tender and pliable, not dry and brittle, so that the beans can be removed easily.
1. First, split the vanilla bean in half using the sharp edge of a paring knife, then scrape the seeds from the bean using the spine of the paring knife. Reserve both the beans and the emptied pod.
ILOC tip: when scraping the seeds from the pod be sure to use the spine of the paring knife’s blade and not the edge; there’s no reason to dull the sharp edge of your knife when the simple act of scraping the seeds will lift them easily from the pod. It’s all about technique, not torture.
2. Pour the milk into a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Place the vanilla seeds and pod in the milk.
3. Simmer the milk gently until it just starts to bubble, whisking frequently, for about 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat to low and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes, whisking constantly, to steep the milk with the vanilla to achieve a developed vanilla flavor.
4. Remove the milk from the heat and discard the vanilla pod.
5. Add the white chocolate to the hot milk and whisk until melted and fully incorporated.
6. Divide the hot vanilla amongst four mugs ( approximately 1 cup milk per mug). Top each mug with a large dollop of whipped cream and a large marshmallow or several small marshmallows. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
ILOC tip: if you are using chopped white chocolate from a bar or block, reserve a little extra to garnish the hot vanilla. You can use some excess chopped chocolate or peel chocolate curls using a vegetable peeler.