Sheila’s definition of marshmallows: White sticky “globby” things that come from the grocery store and are delicious ONLY if used for making rice crispy bars, smores – or fully melted within a cup of hot cocoa.
While reading blogs a while back I stumbled across this book on Nikki’s site, Notes Of Life. A book entirely about marshmallows caused me pause and at the end of her post about the book, she had a giveaway for a copy. Finding it hard to believe there was a WHOLE BOOK about marshmallows, I signed up. Imagine my surprise when I was the winner of this book!
When Marshmallow Madness arrived I was thrilled with the puffy cover. Ok that is just fun, I thought, but a cute cover in not going to sell me on this….
then I opened that puffy cover…
It was fun to read that author Shauna Severs relationship growing up with marshmallows was much as mine… so how does one go from there, to the point of making delicious flavored marshmallows for family and friends who anxiously await for holidays to receive one of these gift packages?
Shauna takes us through the simple ingredients that make up a marshmallow:
vanilla extract (100% pure)
coating made from powdered sugar and cornstarch
Grab a sauce pan, candy thermometer, measuring cups and spoons, whisk, spatula, stand mixer (heavy-duty mixer is recommended), cooking spray, a bowl for the coating, food coloring, and an 8×8 pan and you are ready to get your mallow on!!!
After the basics for making marshmallows is done, you enter into a section of the books that is all about mastering your new skill with fun recipes and idea…
How about chocolate malt marshmallows? Key lime pie flavored? Lemonade? Apricot? How about flavored with alcohol to make margarita or Malibu flavored marshmallows? There is even a recipe for homemade graham crackers so the next time you make smores – you are going to be the hit of the party!
By the time I was done with this book I knew marshmallows went far beyond what I thought they were used for prior to the reading. The marshmallows in this book are lovely and delicious enough to serve as dessert! A treat at place settings! Weddings! Kids and adult parties!
In the end there is an entire chapter on gift giving which I am particularly excited about. I am always looking for that kitchen goodie I can make for party hosts and for holiday giving that isnt what everybody else is doing. I think I may have found that thing!
I have not made any of the recipes in this book yet but I plan to. And if I were to be asked where I would start I would say the Chocolate malt marshmallows and those delicious looking Key Lime ones are calling my name….
Malted milk powder can be found in most supermarkets either by the hot chocolate mixes, or near the ice cream fixings. That’s right, I said fixings.
For the chocolate shavings, grate bar chocolate on the largest holes of a boxed grater.
The deeper and richer your cocoa powder, the more intense the color and flavor will be, so use the best one you can get your hands on (I like Valrhona).
Makes about 20
For the marshmallows:
2 tablespoons (about 2 packets) unflavored powdered gelatin
1/3 cup cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup, divided
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup malted milk powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For finishing the marshmallows:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely grated
Grease an 8×8-inch pan with shortening, using a paper towel to rub it lightly and evenly onto the bottom, sides and edges of the pan. Set aside.
Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water in a small bowl. Set aside to soften.
Place the sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan and stir gently. Clip a candy thermometer onto the pan, and place it over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil, checking it occasionally–you are looking for it to eventually hit a temperature of 240-245 degrees.
Meanwhile, place the remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Heat the softened gelatin in the microwave to melt it, about 30 seconds or so on high. Start the mixer on low-speed, and pour the gelatin into the corn syrup. Keep the mixer running on low-speed.
Whisk together the cocoa, malt powder and boiling water in a small bowl until smooth. When the sugar syrup is up to temperature, whisk the cocoa mixture into it, followed by the vanilla. Carefully transfer the syrup to a large, heatproof measuring cup or a similar vessel with a spout for easy pouring. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture. When all the syrup has been added, crank the speed up to medium-high and let it go for about 10 minutes–the candy will become fluffy and the color of a chocolate malt during this time.
Sift together 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. Set aside, and keep the sifter handy.
Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula spritzed with a bit of cooking spray to nudge it into the corners and smooth the top. Sift the cocoa-confectioners’ sugar mixture evenly and generously over the top. Let sit for about 6 hours, or overnight.
Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan and invert it onto a cocoa-confectioners’ sugar mixture-dusted work surface. Cut the marshmallow into squares (a pizza cutter works great here). Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in chocolate shavings, and dab more all over the marshmallows. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Be sure to check out Shauna Severs blog, Piece Of Cake for her fun posts and great recipes! Oh and of course, if you know a marshmallow lover (or even a skeptic like me!) this book would make a lovely gift!
Posted as part of Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking