3cupssemi-sweet chocolate chips(I used Nestle Toll House chips)
4ouncesbittersweet (60% cacao) baking barbroken into small pieces (I used Ghirardelli brand)
14ozcan sweetened condensed milk
1½cupsmini marshmallows(you can also use whatever other toppings you would like such as crush candy canes or sprinkles, the list is endless.)
1gallonwhole milk (1 cup of milk per mug of hot chocolate made)
Place 2 (15 squares ~ 1.5in.x1.5in.x1.5in. per each square) silicone molds onto a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
In a large bowl add the milk chocolate chips and the broken up pieces of the semi-sweet chocolate baking bar. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, add the sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. Heat the mixture until it reaches about 120-130*F. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the chocolates. Your chocolates should be completely covered by the hot milk mixture. Allow this to sit, undisturbed, for 3-4 minutes before whisking it to completely incorporate the hot milk and chocolate to make a smooth chocolate sauce.
Transfer the melted chocolate mixture to a large piping bag, or zip top plastic bag with the corner snipped off. You will want to make sure that you keep the open tip facing up until you are ready to pipe the chocolate into the silicone molds.
Pipe the melted chocolate into each of the square openings about ¾ full. You want to leave some space to top each of your chocolate squares with 4-5 mini marshmallows, gently pressing them down. If you choose to omit a garnish topping then you can fill your squares all the way full.
Place 1 stick into the center of each chocolate square. Place the tray of hot chocolate squares into the refrigerator to chill, and firm up, for 3 hours up to overnight.
Once the hot chocolate squares have firmed up you will remove 2 individual squares from the silicone mold to make 1 mug of hot chocolate.
To make the hot chocolate you will place two hot chocolate cubes on a stick into a large 10-12 oz. mug. This will serve 14-15 (1 cup) servings of hot chocolate drink (2 squares per 1 cup milk)
In a microwave safe, 2 cup measuring cup with a spout, add the whole milk and heat on high for 2 - 2 ½ minutes. This will scald, not boil, your milk so that it is hot enough to melt your hot chocolate cubes. Pour the hot milk into the mug, over the hot chocolate cubes. Using your lollipop sticks you will stir around the chocolate until it is completely melted and you have a rich cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. You will discard the lollipop sticks once you have made your mug of hot chocolate.
Storage:To store your hot chocolate on a stick you will need to remove all the individual servings and place them into a lidded plastic container. You can store them for up to a month in the refrigerator.Tips:
I highly recommend you use good quality chocolate chips, and baking bars, for this recipe. Use brands that you enjoy eating on their own because this is the flavor that will be very forward in your mug full of hot chocolate. I like Ghiradelli, Nestle, Lindt, Guittard or any other high quality chocolate.
I tried this recipe swapping out the semi-sweet chocolate chips for all milk chocolate. I will note that the hot chocolate squares did not set-up firmly so they were very difficult to get out of the silicone molds. This is due to the lower amount of cocoa and the addition of milk in the milk chocolate chips. The semi-sweet chips have a higher cocoa content and no added milk or milk fat to them, making them a better choice for this recipe. However, you can swap out the bittersweet chocolate bar for a milk chocolate bar in the recipe. The squares may still be a little difficult to remove from the silicone mold but it is not terrible. This will give you a slightly sweeter hot chocolate.
Using whole milk or 2% milk is best for this recipe however, if you prefer a non-dairy option then I would stick to an unflavored/unsweetened variety. I do not recommend low-fat, skim milk or water for this recipe.
You can add any variety of toppings to your hot chocolate cubes other than the mini marshmallows. Some great options are mini m&m’s, holiday sprinkles, toffee bits or crushed candy canes. I am a traditionalist and prefer the mini marshmallows the most, plus the mini marshmallows help to keep the lollipop sticks upright while the chocolate chills and sets so that is a bonus to using them. No matter which topping you choose you will want to make sure they are lightly pressed into the warm chocolate so they stay put once the chocolate has hardened.
You can substitute food grade popsicle sticks for the lollipop sticks. Make sure to get them from the baking/candy aisle of your grocery or craft store. You DO NOT want to use the kind from the arts and craft section.
If you do not want to use the silicone molds, you can use a parchment lined 8x8 baking pan and pour all the warm chocolate mixture into the prepared pan. Once the chocolate has partially hardened, you can score the top in a grid of 1 ½ in. x 1 ½ in. squares. You can then place your sticks into the middle of each square to set fully. Alternately, you can just cut the firmed up chocolate into squares, add 2 squares into your mug with hot milk and stir with a spoon to completely dissolve the chocolate. You can top your mug of hot chocolate with a handful of mini marshmallows.