So Cool It’s Hot: A Cocoa Float from the Chef at Momofuku Milk Bar
When it comes to hot chocolate, Swiss Miss packets won’t do if you’re Christina Tosi, founder of Momofuku Milk Bar, the cultishly popular bakery in New York and Toronto.
The creator of wacky-yet-delicious treats like the salty-sweet crack pie and compost cookies (made with ground coffee and pretzels!) recently shared her cocoa recipe with PEOPLE and said that she takes the stuff seriously. “As a pastry chef, it’s practically required to have a killer hot chocolate recipe at the ready when the cold months come knocking, and mine blends my European ganache-like roots with my American instant hot chocolate memories,” she says.
Tosi, who pioneered the trend of ice cream sweetened with cereal-soaked milk, has never been one to shy away from extremes when sweets are involved. For her cocoa, she adds a scoop of Häagen-Dazs Peppermint Bark ice cream (“It screams out ‘dunk me in hot chocolate!’) because she enjoys playing with contrasting temperatures in desserts. “I love that ice cream floats are usually only served in the summer months with fizzy soda, but with a warm, thick hot chocolate it’s every bit as perfect,” she says.
Ever get the hankering for hot chocolate when you’re sprawled on the couch but can’t deal with getting up to make it? Tosi suggests making a large batch on the weekend so you can reheat some when a craving hits. She also urges home cooks to splurge on high-quality cocoa and chocolate if possible. “It really will make a world of difference in taste and texture,” she says.
Peppermint Bark Ice Cream Float
Serves 4 to 6
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
4 oz. dark chocolate
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 cups whole milk
1 pint peppermint or peppermint bark ice cream
1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cocoa powder, sugar, chocolate and salt.
2. In a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat, bring milk to a near scalding boil. Pour milk immediately over the bowl of cocoa, sugar, chocolate and salt. Allow it to sit for 1 minute. Whisk slowly to combine. Continue whisking until mixture is evenly combined and silky smooth. (If you are worried about lumps, pass it through a fine mesh strainer.)
3. Pour hot chocolate evenly into mugs, scoop ice cream on top and garnish with a candy cane or peppermint stick.
RELATED: Need something to dunk in your hot chocolate? Try Nicole Richie’s holiday gingerbread recipe.