Fall may be less than a month away, but it’s certain South Louisiana weather will continue to offer temps that are less than accommodating for sweaters, scarves and fuzzy boots. Story and photo by Kari Walker

Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2013

DishOfTheMonth_TheLab_web_kwalkerFall may be less than a month away, but it’s certain South Louisiana weather will continue to offer temps that are less than accommodating for sweaters, scarves and fuzzy boots. We all long for the comforts of cool nights where we can cuddle up next to a fire with the perfect cup of cocoa, but it’s still sandals and shorts season. The Lab Handcrafted Coffee and Comforts has the solution to your yearning for tastes of colder weather with its Summertime Hot Chocolate. This handcrafted cold cream was concocted by head taste master Thomas Peters as an homage to winter while the forecast still calls for record highs. By using Mast Brothers Madagascar dark chocolate, marshmallows, and local goat milk from Wes Mar Farms, Peters has crafted a creamy treat worthy of any season. “You can make it with whatever chocolate you like. Experiment with flavors,” says Peters. This dish could easily be a Mexican hot chocolate by adding a chili-infused chocolate or you can lighten the flavor with white chocolate. Try making this treat at home or stop by The Lab and transform the Summertime Hot Chocolate into a decadent mocha by adding espresso on top.

Ingredients
1 bar of your Favorite Chocolate (chopped up as finely as possible – almost powder like)
3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups fresh goat milk
1/4 t kosher salt
1 t pure vanilla extract
Marshmallows (whatever size you love)

To make cream: Whisk yolks to break up, then whisk in half of the sugar in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. In a heavy stainless steel pan, combine the finely chopped chocolate with the remaining sugar. Whisk in 1/4 cup of milk to make a paste, adding a more of the milk as needed to make it smooth, creamy and uniform. Slowly whisk in remaining milk and salt and place pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a slow simmer, reduce heat to medium. Watch this closely.

Scoop out 1/2 cup of the hot cream base mixture and add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking to keep creamy and consistent. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to yolk bowl. Returning to the pan of cream on the stove, use a heat-proof spatula to stir cream as you slowly pour egg and cream mixture from bowl back into the pan. Slowly add in small amount of marshmallows to melt down in the mixture. Note: 6 small marshmallows work to add texture to base and not make it sticky to coat the pan.

Continue to cook mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and leaves a clear mark when you run your finger across it. Strain the base through a fine-mesh sieve and into a clean container. Set the container into an ice bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Once cooled, take container out of ice bath and cover with a lid or with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.  

To Freeze: Slowly add vanilla to the base and stir until blended. Slowly pour into an ice cream maker and follow instructions to freeze from ice cream maker manufacturer. While the cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store the ice cream into the freezer. Once the base turns frozen, transfer into a container, but as you scoop it drop in generous amounts of marshmallows for a true hot chocolate feel. Set in the freezer for four hours, then serve, engage, and enjoy.

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