I'm not sure about other food-bloggers, but I am always on the lookout for new cookbooks.
After spending 5-6 hours a day in the kitchen, I often need something new and exciting to drag me in again the next day. New cookbooks keep me inspired, baking and blogging.
Every now and then, I stumble across a really unique cookbook, one that will be supplying today's recipe. The simply titled "Marshmallows: Homemade Gourmet Treats".
At first, I wondered if such a subject could really warrant almost 200 pages, but after flipping through the cookbook, I realized I had found something really, really sweet. Knowing that the gift giving season is rapidly approaching and that candy is always welcome, I snatched up the book of fluffy confections.
I tested one of the recipes in my kitchen this morning and I'm very happy with the results. It's unique not only for the absolutely wealth of marshmallow-related recipes--who wouldn't be tempted by Honey-Lavender, Lemoncello, Margaritta, or Dulce de Leche--, but for recommending invert syrup (called "marshmallow syrup" in the book) instead of corn syrup. Which is great, since it makes the recipes accessible to those outside of the U.S.. For convenience though, you are welcome to use corn syrup and invert syrup interchangeably in the recipes.
Marbled Chocolate Malt Marshmallows
yields a 7 x 11 x 1-inch pan
from Marshmallows: Homemade Gourmet Treats
For the cocoa slurry:
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa*
3/4 cup malt powder (plain malt flavor Ovaltine)**
2/3 cup boiling water
For the base:
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup invert syrup*** or corn syrup
1 1/2 cup granulated pure cane sugar
For the bloom:
4 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional marbling/flavoring (optional):
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 cup chocolate sprinkles
* Use natural unsweetened cocoa that contains less than 1.5g of fat per tablespoon (check the nutrition info). Cocoa with more fat could result in heavy marshmallows.
** To make plain chocolate marshmallows, substitute the malt with a tablespoon of instant espresso powder or coffee crystals (this will boost the chocolate flavor)
***You will need to double the invert syrup recipe contained in the link. Any extra syrup can be stored in your refrigerator and used to make more marshmallows later, or other candy making purposes.
Prepare your 7 x 11 x 1-inch pan with a little oil or nonstick spray. Wipe out the pan to remove the excess.
Prepare the cocoa slurry by combining the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisking until no lumps remain. Set aside near the stove.
Prepare the base by placing all the ingredients into a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Place over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula until all the sugar is moistening. Once it boils, quickly wash down the sides of the pot with a damp pastry brush and cover. Allow to boil undisturbed for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and attach your candy thermometer. Boil without stirring over medium-high heat until the syrup reaches 260°F.
While the base is cooking, prepare the bloom.
Measure the water and vanilla into a shallow bowl. Slowly sprinkle the gelatin across the surface, making sure it is moistened and evenly distributed. Set the mixture near the stove (the mixture will eventually turn into a solid lump of gel, that's okay).
Once the temperature of the base reaches 260°F, remove from heat. Gently stir in the lump of gelatin. The mixture will foam up a bit here. Then add the cocoa-malt slurry mixture. Stir until smooth and then pour the mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
Gradually bring the mixture to high speed, using the splash guard if you have one (it will splatter!), or just drape a towel over the mixer until the marshmallow begins to solidify. Beat on high speed for 18 minutes.
When the batter has finished beating, it will be light and fluffy, like marshmallow cream. If using the additional chocolate, drop dollops of the melted chocolate onto the batter and fold in with a large spatula. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula and allow to stand at room temperature for at least four hours or overnight. Drape the pan with a lightly oiled piece of foil to protect your marshmallows while they cure.
Cut and coat the marshmallows (a pizza wheel works great) with the chocolate sprinkles. (Other coating options: tempered chocolate, sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder, shaved chocolate, rice flour.)
Store the marshmallows for up to two weeks in a air tight container (with the corner ajar).