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  • Herrine Ro: We tried three of the most

  • decadent hot chocolates in New York City.

  • Emily Christian: To find which is best in town.

  • Our first stop is Squish Marshmallows.

  • Herrine: This place specializes in homemade marshmallow,

  • but their hot chocolate is supposed

  • to be equally as delicious.

  • Katherine Sprung: I think that definitely having

  • specialty marshmallows in the hot chocolate

  • is certainly an added bonus.

  • Our base is the same for all flavors.

  • It starts with sugar, water, honey, gelatin,

  • and then, from there, each flavor is uniquely flavored.

  • The most popular is probably the birthday party.

  • I think people really love that vanilla flavor

  • and the little rainbow sprinkles.

  • I think it's important to recognize

  • the integrity of hot chocolate,

  • which is using actual chocolate.

  • Just pure ingredients.

  • We have milk, cream, salt,

  • vanilla, Dutch cocoa,

  • and semisweet chocolate chunks that we use.

  • We use a semisweet chocolate here for our hot chocolate.

  • I think that it's not too sweet

  • and it has still that slight bitterness to it,

  • but it's still rich.

  • It's finding that perfect balance between the two

  • so that you don't have something that's too thick,

  • like a sipping chocolate,

  • but we also want it richer

  • so that it's not super watery or like a hot cocoa.

  • Herrine: At each place we will be looking

  • at three qualities:

  • richness, sweetness, and marshmallow topping.

  • All right, wanna sip?

  • Emily: Yeah, I do wanna.

  • Herrine: OK, I hope it's not too hot.

  • Do I have anything on my face?

  • Emily: Mm-mm.

  • A little bit on the lip.

  • You're good.

  • It's all about that marshmallow. Absolutely.

  • Herrine: Oh, it's very silky and sweet.

  • I think the marshmallow has that extra vanilla.

  • How do you feel about the sweetness?

  • Emily: I can tell this is more of a semisweet

  • than a really sweet-sweet,

  • and I like that about it.

  • Herrine: And the quality of chocolate here,

  • I don't get that, like, weird,

  • like, chalky feeling, you know?

  • Emily: And that's because there's real chocolate in there,

  • so it's smoothing it all out.

  • Herrine: When we're talking about texture,

  • I think it's really key that they are using whole milk

  • and heavy cream to get that silkiness.

  • I felt like of the three places,

  • this would be the most simple

  • in terms of decoration and the flavor,

  • but it's so well balanced,

  • and even just, like, the sprinkle marshmallow

  • I think is so pretty.

  • Do you think without the marshmallow, though,

  • the hot chocolate could stand on its own?

  • Emily: I do. However, I think what sets this apart

  • from any other hot chocolate I've had

  • is for sure the marshmallow.

  • Herrine: I don't know. I feel like the marshmallow here

  • is so, so good,

  • it can't compare with the other two.

  • Emily: I completely agree with you.

  • All about the -- I keep wanting to call it a smello.

  • Herrine: A smello.

  • Emily: It's all about that smello.

  • Herrine: OK, so, it looks like it's about to rain.

  • Emily: No, it is raining.

  • Herrine: So, we'll see you in a bit.

  • Emily: Later.

  • Herrine: We are back at Dominique Ansel today

  • to try their blossoming hot chocolate.

  • Emily: Everything here is always so fancy and delicious,

  • and I'm looking forward to this being just like that.

  • Both: Wow.

  • Dominique Ansel: It looks very simple.

  • It's actually quite complex,

  • but that's the beauty of it.

  • I think our hot chocolate is good

  • because we use the best chocolate.

  • We put some whole milk,

  • some very good chocolate,

  • some Valrhona chocolate, 66%.

  • So very nice, deep flavor of chocolate.

  • And we'll also add a little cocoa paste.

  • It's pure cocoa without added sugar,

  • so you have the flavor of the chocolate

  • without adding the sweetness.

  • We first start with a chocolate cup.

  • It's a honey marshmallow.

  • [angelic music]

  • Emily: My gosh. The best part about hot chocolate

  • is this moment, where you get to put your hands over it.

  • Herrine: For me, it's the feeling when it's in your mouth

  • and you consume it.

  • Emily: No, I just like to hold it.

  • Herrine: In your mouth?

  • Emily: No, in my hands.

  • This is the place where you come in the city

  • for the best pastry and the most elegant desserts.

  • And so far, just the way that this looks,

  • again, it's elegant, it looks classy,

  • it's subtle but beautiful.

  • Herrine: And there is an element of, like, theatrics

  • with a lot of Dominique Ansel's creations.

  • Dominique: I want to bring movement to food.

  • Herrine: No.

  • No because it burnt me.

  • Oh, it burnt me.

  • Emily: Oh, I have a mouth of steel.

  • Nothing can phase me.

  • But it hurts going down. It hurts going down.

  • Herrine: OK, that was doable for me.

  • It's very chocolaty.

  • Emily: It is. And this is my ideal level of sweetness.

  • This right here. It's a dark chocolate,

  • I think he said it was 60%?

  • Herrine: 66%...?

  • Producer: 66%.

  • Emily: 66%.

  • Dominique: 66%.

  • Herrine: Compared to Squish,

  • this is even less sweet.

  • But the chocolate here is, like,

  • so much more pronounced.

  • Emily: Yes, it's much more chocolaty.

  • To me, this is like a dark chocolate truffle, almost.

  • It has that same flavor of, like, biting into --

  • Herrine: The intensity,

  • but not the richness.

  • I know Squish was kind of, like,

  • in between a hot cocoa

  • and a sipping chocolate.

  • This more gears towards sipping chocolate,

  • but not entirely there.

  • Emily: And not in the texture,

  • but in the flavor, I think,

  • 'cause the texture still is very drinkable,

  • very smooth, very light.

  • Herrine: I wouldn't know. Hold on.

  • What do you think about the marshmallow?

  • Emily: The marshmallow is fantastic.

  • This is a honey marshmallow, right?

  • So it has that, like, light sweetness to it

  • where the hot chocolate doesn't,

  • so it kind of brings in those extra sweet notes

  • on top of the chocolate flavor,

  • and, wow, that's something special.

  • Herrine: Obviously I get less of

  • the marshmallow here, right,

  • because it was a huge actual block at Squish.

  • Emily: It's not like --

  • it's just a different experience.

  • Herrine: But I like how, because it blooms,

  • you get, like, this layer of marshmallow

  • in every sip. Emily: Yes.

  • Herrine: The marshmallow, because it's so evenly

  • distributed, there's bonus points for me.

  • We just have the same palate.

  • Emily: We have the same palate, Herrine.

  • This is why we eat together.

  • It's such a glorious experience,

  • because we're experiencing the same things.

  • We agree on everything we eat, Herrine.

  • We have the same mouth.

  • Herrine: It's just different sizes.

  • Emily: The same mouth!

  • Herrine: I disagree.

  • Emily: Oh, you disagree.

  • [dramatic orchestral music]

  • Herrine: Let us test

  • this whole we-have-the-same-palate

  • at our next stop.

  • Emily: I agree.

  • Herrine: Our third and final stop is

  • Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain,

  • and we are trying their hot chocolate with toasted fluff.

  • Emily: This place to me looks the most visually stunning,

  • so I can't wait to see if it looks like that in real life.

  • Herrine: I'm with you there. Let's go.

  • Peter Freeman: Our hot chocolate is made

  • with a combination of two different kinds of cocoa,

  • sugar, vanilla powder,

  • and a nice kosher salt.

  • The purpose of using two different kinds

  • of cocoa is it balances the flavor.

  • It gives you kind of two different ends

  • of the spectrum of the cacao taste.

  • So, one of the things that we use is a vanilla powder.

  • And the reason that we do that is because

  • the powder incorporates much more consistently.

  • We use whole fat, whole milk, all the time.

  • One of the more popular hot chocolates

  • is hot chocolate with toasted fluff.

  • Our homemade fluff tastes a little bit different

  • from, like, your run-of-the-mill fluff marshmallows

  • because there's no preservatives in it.

  • We make it fresh pretty much every day.

  • If you really wanna go

  • above and beyond with your hot chocolate,

  • you can get one with toasted fluff,

  • whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.

  • Herrine: I'm gonna --

  • oh, we're gonna sip first. All right. OK.

  • OK, hold on.

  • Emily: Oh! That toasted marshmallow is so good.

  • Herrine: Hold on.

  • Emily: Or, the toasted fluff.

  • Herrine: Mm-hmm. Emily: Yeah.

  • What's really great is that combination

  • of the hot and the cold,

  • so you've got that cold silky fluff texture,

  • and then you've got that warm hot chocolate underneath.

  • Herrine: The marshmallow here is significantly thicker

  • than the other two places.

  • Emily: Mm-hmm.

  • What I like best about this fluff

  • is the texture is not like chewy marshmallow texture;

  • it's creamy, silky egg white texture.

  • As far as the hot chocolate itself goes,

  • how would you describe the texture of that?

  • 'Cause it's different than the other two places to me.

  • Herrine: I almost didn't get any of the hot chocolate

  • the first few sips, because the proportion

  • of marshmallow and whipped cream is so much more.

  • Emily: Yeah. I think the sweetest level is perfect on this.

  • I wouldn't want it any less or any more sweet.

  • Herrine: It's interesting that you say that,

  • because I feel like I've just kind of, like,

  • thought back on all the other three.

  • This has to be the least sweet out of all three.

  • Emily: I really thought that I preferred,

  • like, that really thick sipping chocolate,

  • where it's, like, really densely chocolaty

  • and just almost like eating a candy bar.

  • And then I drink this,

  • which is much more of a hot cocoa,

  • and I like it better.

  • Herrine: I disagree.

  • Emily: Oh, you disagree?

  • Herrine: I think I had the exact opposite reaction,

  • where I thought I liked something like this

  • more than a sipping chocolate

  • or, like, a thicker, chocolatier hot chocolate.

  • But now that I've had the other two,

  • this is a little too, like, light for me.

  • Emily: I like the lightness.

  • Herrine: The other two places don't really

  • emphasize the cocoa powder as much.