Drinking hot chocolate is already a decadent experience (when else is it acceptable to have marshmallows and whipped cream at the same?). But cafes around the world are taking it upon themselves to bring this sweet beverage to even greater heights. From flowering marshmallows to chocolate-covered mugs, here are eight over-the-top drinks to get cozy with this winter.
1. PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE // CEREAL KILLER CAFE
Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in dessert heaven. At Cereal Killer Cafe in London, this relationship is taken to new heights in the form of an indulgent mug of hot chocolate. A peanut butter cup garnishes the rim like a lemon wedge, while the rest of the glass has whipped cream, Nutella, peanut butter chips, and chocolate sauce oozing down the sides. And because cereal is kind of their thing, they also sprinkle Reese's Puffs on top.
2. UNICORN HOT CHOCOLATE // CREME & SUGAR
Joanna Czikalla took her customers (and their Instagram accounts) by storm when she added Unicorn Hot Chocolate to the menu of her Anaheim, California cafe. The fantastical concoction is made by loading rainbow marshmallows, sprinkles, and whipped cream on top of white hot chocolate that’s been dyed a delicate shade of pink. The beverage is one of several unicorn-themed treats offered at Creme & Sugar.
3. BLOSSOMING HOT CHOCOLATE // DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY
No matter how blustery it feels outside, it’s hard not to think spring when watching a marshmallow flower bloom in your mug. Dominique Ansel (the same French pastry chef behind the cronut) invented this treat by folding a flower-shaped sheet of marshmallow into a white chocolate cup of cocoa. When the cup hits the hot liquid it dissolves, allowing the marshmallow to unfurl its fluffy petals across the width of the cup. The drink is available at Dominique Ansel bakeries in London, Tokyo, and New York City [PDF].
4. MARSHMALLOW SURPRISE // LONG STORY SHORT CAFE
The hot chocolate from Long Story Short Cafe in Port Melbourne, Australia is served in two parts: a mug with a chocolate globe and chocolate pieces on the bottom and a beaker full of piping hot chocolate. After pouring the liquid into the mug, guests can watch the chocolate sphere dissolve to reveal fluffy marshmallows hidden inside. The interactive delicacy comes in different varieties, including white chocolate green tea and a red chocolate Christmas "bauble" available around the holidays.
5. SALTED DARK HOT CHOCOLATE // SWEET JESUS
This Canadian dessert chain is known for its outrageous lattes and soft serve, but it would be a crime to leave Sweet Jesus without sampling their Salted Dark Hot Chocolate. The sinful creation starts with basic hot chocolate and milk that’s then topped with dark chocolate whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and Malden's finishing salt. A crushed Oreo-covered rim ensures plenty of chocolatey goodness in every sip.
6. OVERFLOWING HOT CHOCOLATE // SAID
This artisanal chocolate shop, with outposts in both London and Rome, knows how to make a bellissimo cup of hot chocolate. Before filling a mug with the rich beverage, melted white, dark, and milk chocolates are spilled over the sides to create a luscious effect. We recommend having napkins close at hand when you take the plunge.
7. RED VELVET HOT CHOCOLATE // THE PICNIC BURWOOD
When it comes to decadence, this hot chocolate somehow outdoes the dessert that shares its name. The drink comes with strawberries, marshmallows, Cadbury chocolate, and a whole red velvet cupcake nestled on top. The Picnic Burwood in Sydney, Australia seats diners outdoors year round, and when they break out the patio heaters in the winter months, a mug of hot chocolate makes for a perfect cozy treat.
8. MARSHMALLOW RIM HOT CHOCOLATE // FATTIES BAKERY
Fatties Bakery at London’s Druid Street Market has found an ingenious way to ensure that every sip of their salted caramel hot chocolate has the sweetness of marshmallow included. After pouring the hot chocolate into a cup, marshmallow is piped around the rim and brûléed with a torch. The marshmallow barrier keeps the beverage contained while keeping your mouth sticky and happy.