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?
A little bit on the lip.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
Herrine: Like, it was just, like, an added ingredient.
This is, like, solely the cocoa powder.
There wasn't a rich, thick component
that was added into the mix.
My whole mentality is like,
if I'm gonna have a hot chocolate,
I'm gonna go hard.
Emily: I thought I was with you,
but I'm not so sure anymore.
Oh, we actually sort of disagree on something for once.
Herrine: I know. We were doing so well.
We've gathered our thoughts,
and I think it's time.
Emily: It is time.
Herrine, which was your personal favorite?
Herrine: I have to say it was
Dominique Ansel's blossoming hot chocolate,
because it was so decadent, so rich.
It was just a very well-balanced hot chocolate.
Emily: Absolutely. Herrine: What about you?
Emily: My personal favorite was Brooklyn Farmacy,
just because it was the least sweet of the three,
and I really liked that.
And also that toasted marshmallow fluff
was to die for.
However, I will say, after much deliberation,
we have decided that the best hot chocolate in New York City
is the Dominique Ansel blossoming hot chocolate.
It really, when it comes down to the technicality of it,
if you're searching for the best hot chocolate,
that was the one.
Herrine: It was thick, it was silky,
it was the most concentrated in chocolate flavor,
and that honey marshmallow was...
Herrine: Like, so subtle but so good.
So, what do you guys think?
Do you agree that the blossoming hot chocolate
at Dominique Ansel is the best in town?
Emily: Or do you think it was a different one?
Do you think we missed a spot?
Herrine: Let us know in the comment section below.
Producer: Oh, God.
Emily: I feel like it's not flattering!
Producer: I'll have some. Crazy looking.