Chocolate and Marshmallow sticks; a match made in warm milk heaven

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I have been wanting to make these little chocolate sticks for a long time now. This is my second attempt using a super easy recipe. The first recipe I used was an absolute disaster and felt really daft for buying the numerous amount of ingredient that was required. For this particular recipe you literally just need the chocolate, marshmallow if you want it, some sort of stick and a chocolate/ sweet thermometer. I have seen really cute wooden spoons used. Really nice idea for a present, though off the top of my head I wouldn’t be able to tell you how to include the marshmallow without it looking messy.

So, after reading the instructions for this particular recipe, the key is all to do with ‘Seeding’ and ‘Tempering’. Words I had not heard of previously, but that which I will explain as I go along.

What is great about these hot chocolate sticks is that it is a cheap way of making really nice little presents to give people. I think that I will definitely be giving them as gifts this Christmas. Dress them up with a cute little bow and pop them in a cellophane bag or colourful paper one. Nothing is better in the evening than grabbing a warm blanket, snuggling down on the sofa with a steaming hot chocolate. The marshmallow is an additional treat.

The first recipe I used needed all sorts of extra ingredients and didn’t have any seeding or tempering. The result was even after leaving the trays overnight and then in the freezer, they just wouldn’t set. This one was so easy, they were hard within two hours and easily extractable from the mould.

Mould wise, absolutely no need to go and especially buy a chocolate mould, I used ice-cube trays and it worked just fine. If you wanted the chocolate to be moulded in a particular shape then there are some great ones available online. Once cold just gentle tug the stick and they should pop straight out.

My only um and ah about this was that I really needed two cubes for the warm milk to taste of chocolate. This off course is totally due to preference and size of mug you are drinking it from. Having said this, both times I had it, I felt that the end few sips were far too chocolaty so I’m not sure what the answer is there!

Ingredients

300g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

Marshmallows

Sticks of some sort

Chocolate/sweet thermometer

Ice tray

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1. Melt 2/3 of the chocolate in a big glass bowl over a boiling saucepan. Make sure no water gets into the bowl otherwise the chocolate will become unusable. You have been warned… When the chocolate is 80% melted, bring it off the heat and slowly mix until all the chocolate has melted. You need to mix slowly as you do not want any air bubbles to get into the chocolate.

2. Now for the ‘Seeding’. Add a tablespoon from the rest of the chocolate chunks into the bowl and mix slowly till it is melted. Keep repeating this until all the chocolate is melted.

3. Place a thermometer in the chocolate and leave until the temperature drops to 27-28degrees. This did not take long so I would wait by it and watch. If you are using dark or white chocolate then it is the same temperature.

4. Now place the bowl back on top of the boiling saucepan and raise the temperature to 30 degrees. It needs to be exactly 30 degrees apparently. I listened to what this blog said as I really didn’t want another failed batch. It worked perfectly, so I would advise again, watching the thermometer till it gets to EXACTLY 30 degrees and then take it off the heat. This part is called ‘tempering’ the chocolate. If your temperature goes above 30 degrees for whatever reason, you need to go back and repeat step 3.

5. A trick to test your chocolate to see if it has worked is to dip a knife tip into the chocolate. It should set very quickly. This means it has worked and you are ready to pour the chocolate into our ice-cube tray.

I found that by piercing the marshmallow through the stick and then placing the stick in the chocolate meant that the stick stayed upright more easily. Obviously remembering to push the marshmallow up the stick just enough that it will just sit on top of the chocolate.

6. Carefully cover with cling film and put them into the fridge for 2 hours. That should be enough time for them to set hard.

Now all you have to do it warm a mug of milk, get your pyjamas on and stir in your stick of happiness!

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