Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Marbled Chocolate Malt Marshmallows




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
pinch salt

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

For coating:
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).

Enjoy!

31 comments:

  1. Don't worry, I too suffer from a cookbook addition. (I bought three this weekend...) I might have to get this one too since I had such a hard time finding marshmallow recipes recently! Your chocolate marshmallows look amazing!

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  2. I buy at least 1 cookbook every week, also just about every cooking magazine I can get my hands on...the marshmallows look fabulous!!!

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  3. You would probably find Heston Blumenthal's experimental approach to cooking very interesting. He's famous here in the UK but I don't know if the US know of him. If you google his name plus popping candy you'll find the cake recipe I'm going to try. His cook books are in the luxury buy category!

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  4. Now this is something out of the ordinary. I'll bet you have alot of fun trying the recipes in this book. Thanks for sharing, chocolate, marshmallow, and malt. Yummy!

    Barb

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  5. First of all, five to six hours a day in the kitchen? I'm impressed. No wonder you're blog is so amazingly cool.

    Secondly, I had a huge kitchen disaster last Christmas trying to make Martha Stewart's marshmallows. I vowed to never try them again. However, yours look so good, I'm going to give them another shot. Please do some more.

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  6. This is so perfect because I'm having a s'mores roast tonight! I didn't have time to make my own so I just bought giant marshmallows but next time I'll definitely try the rainbow ones. So pretty.

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  7. I guess now would be a good time to admit that I'm a marshmallow addict. These just look so fabulous, you may tempt me to actually cook instead of just look.

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  8. I am soooooooo making these this holiday season. I made the peppermint ones you posted a long time ago, and fell in love with homemade marshmallows. They were the perfect addition to the care packages I made last year, and I'm sure these will be as well.

    ~ Cheri

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  9. LOL! What perfect timing for me to find your post - I have been working on making different variations with store bought marshmallows - coating and decorating them in various yummy items. I'm to the point now I want to make my own marshmallows so I can try different flavors. Thank you for showing the book - I am going to add that to my birthday book list for sure.

    Brandy
    www.partiesandcupcakes.blogspot.com

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  10. Oh no. I saw this post in the morning and now it's 5pm and I have been thinking about them ALL DAY. I have to make these!!

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  11. Looks absolutely heavenly! Perfect texture!

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  12. They look like lamingtons. Am I obsessed?

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  13. Do you leave the corner of the container slightly ajar so that you can get your hands in and out quicker?

    8-)

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  14. Wow those do look good, but I still can't believe there is a cookbook just for marshmallows! At the same time, the titles you quoted from the book do sound delicious, and marshmallows sure could use some sprucing up!

    Looks amazing!

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  15. How fun and unique! What a gift that would be! I never knew there could be so many marshmallow options!

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  16. I often take care of my cookbook fix with the small recipe booklets at the grocery store.

    These marshmallows look gorgeous! Must resist the urge to make them...

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  17. Does the book have any vegetarian, gelatin-free recipes?

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  18. Repeating DMc's question: Does it have any gelatin free recipes or suggestions on what to replace gelatin with, proportions, etc?

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  19. For the folks asking about veg options for the marshmallows, i will answer you all soon I am just having a bit of computer trouble today and answering comments on my cell phone isn't easy.

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  20. Okay, vegetarian marshmallows. You guys don't ask the easy questions, do you.

    While the gelling agent in marshmallows was once 100% plant derived (the marshmallow plant, hence the name), a good vegetarian marshmallow recipe is one of those veg/vegan holy grail recipes.

    This post from Serious Eats sums up the difficulty of finding one:

    "I told a friend that I would make anything for her birthday that she wanted. She chose vegetarian marshmallows. Not being a vegetarian, I had no idea how to approach this, and so far an internet search has revealed that 1) Agar-agar is a great alternative to animal-based gelatine. 2) No, it totally isn't, especially in marshmallows. 3) But there's this stuff called Emes Kosher Gel that totally works! 4) Except it was revealed that their gelatine had animal products in it, and a bunch of vegan candymakers almost went out of business. Back at square one."

    I do have a recipe though, one that appears reliable.

    The recipe I'm linking originated from a molecular gastronomy collection calledTexture: A hydrocolloid recipe collection and can be found reproduced by bloggers here and here.

    It appears to work well, though this is not a recipe I've personally experimented with. I may someday though, as I do have the necessary ingredients on hand.

    I buy my xanthan gum at a local bakery supply store, but it can be found at other specialty and health food stores. Well stocked grocery stores may also carry it and of course there is always online:Xanthan Gum

    To turn a ordinary marshmallow into a flavored one will require experimentation. The slurry I use here might contain more moisture than the vegetarian recipe can handle.

    To adapt it, I suggest limiting the amount of boiling water used. Just enough to remove the taste of dry, uncooked cocoa and then dissolve the malt powder. You could probably accomplish that with a few tablespoons of water.

    Best of luck!

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  21. I have a marshmallow question that is a little strange. I made marshmallows once, but it seemed to me that I really could taste the gelatin . . . in other words, the marshmallows tasted a little animal-y to me - something I've certainly never tasted in store-bought marshmallows! So many people rave about homemade marshmallows, but I've never heard any complaints like mine!
    Am I crazy? Is there something I could change to reduce the creepy animal flavor?

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  22. Not strange at all, Jessie.

    I think gelatin tastes/smells like a wet dog and I really don't like desserts where you can detect the gelatin.

    How strong the gelatin flavor is may vary from brand to brand. I use Knox in my kitchen and find that so long as it's relatively fresh and I keep the amounts used to a minimum, I can get the gelling property without any trace of wet dog.

    Even if you're very sensitive to the flavor, you'll find that in marshmallows like these, even the slightest gelatin flavor would be masked by the chocolate and the malt.

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  23. i'm not sure if i'm just missing it, but do you use a whisk or paddle attachment?

    ps: i'm a cookbook addict too! i have 4 cookbooks in my cart at chapters.ca but don't tell my husband!

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  24. The whisk is used. I just updated the post to clarify which attachment is used to whip the marshmallows.

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  25. I love the textures. They are really very extraordinary. I can't wait to make something like this.
    tables

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  26. Hi, Thanks for your sharing. these looks absolutely delicious. thanks again.
    http://www.gourmetfree.com/

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  27. I made these a few days ago and for the work and money I put into them I was quite disappointed. They basically taste like cocoa. I didn't really like the flavor of the chocolate sprinkles either.

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  28. I'm sorry you didn't like them. They are one of the better chocolate marshmallows I've come across in my baking. Then again, I enjoy the taste of chocolate sprinkles.

    Merry Xmas!

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  29. I ordered my sister to buy me this book for Christmas 2010 after reading your post! But alas I had to no stand mixer. Fast forward to Christmas 2011 and I finally got a Kitchenaid! I just made these malt ones to test it out and they came out great.

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