Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows

Marshmallow Tray

Have you ever had a homemade marshmallow?  The first time Joe suggested we make them, I couldn't imagine their being worth the trouble.  Storebought marshmallows are all right in hot cocoa or crispy rice treats, but otherwise spongey and kind of like styrofoam.  Homemade marshmallows, on the other hand, have a creamy texture inside and are flavored with vanilla or whatever else you put in them.

Chicky Closeup

This chocolate-drizzled chick is nesting in toasted coconut.  It was a fun switch from my blog posting last year, where the marshmallows were just covered in colored sugar and sprinkles.  You can also submerge the bunnies and chicks completely in chocolate.  The thin layer of chocolate will crack and give way to the soft marshmallow, and the two flavors melting in your mouth are incredible.  Give them some Easter flair with colorful nonpareils, or sprinkle the coconut over the chocolate for some fuzzy bunnies and chicks.  Bag them up or tuck them in Easter baskets, and you'll have some happy campers.

Marshmallow Quad

For this look, dip a spoon in melted chocolate and let most of the excess drip off.  Then wave the spoon around in zig-zags or swirls, and sprinkle with nonpareils.  For the eye, dip a toothpick in the melted chocolate, then spin the toothpick to get off most of the excess.  Use the toothpick to make a dot on the marshmallow, avoiding any drips.  To cover the marshmallows in coconut, dip them in melted chocolate and then sprinkle with the toasted coconut flakes.  Set aside to dry.

Marshmallow Collage
A marshmallow syrup is made, then cooked later with more ingredients to make marshmallows; when that mixture is added to a gelatin mixture in the stand mixer, it steams and bubbles up furiously; after 10 minutes of whipping, the mixture has billowed into white marshmallow; the marshmallow is extremely sticky and must be spread out quickly in the pan before it begins drying and setting.
A couple more tips.  Don't even try to get every last bit of marshmallow off that beater and bowl -- it ain't gonna happen.  It's also not worth it.  You'll get marshmallow strings everywhere, and your marshmallow slab will begin to dry and set.  Also, when smoothing out your marshmallow into a slab, wet hands are your best friend.  Get your hands very wet with water, then use them to smooth the marshmallow out quickly.









This post was shared with:
Bunny Hop Easter Link Party
Tea Party Tuesday
Sweet Treats Thursday
Sweets for a Saturday






Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows
Read the recipes below and plan in advance, giving yourself enough time to complete the tasks and let the marshmallows dry.  Make your marshmallow syrup and marshmallows, and cut them into squares or shapes using cookie cutters.  If using cookie cutters, make sure your marshmallow pan is shallow enough so the marshmallows will not be taller than the cutters.

1 batch marshmallows, recipe below
10 oz. chocolate (chips, or chopped if using bars)
Nonpareils, colored sugar, or sprinkles
1 bag flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spread the flaked coconut over a baking tray lined with a silicone mat.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes for even browning, until most pieces are golden brown.  Let it cool completely before storing in an airtight container until use.

In a bowl, microwave the chocolate in 30-second intervals until it is just melted.  Stir it each time, as the chocolate may hold its shape but be molten.  Do not burn the chocolate or let it seize.

You can submerge the marshmallows completely in the chocolate or dip them halfway, then lay them on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat.  Sprinkle with nonpareils, colored sugar, sprinkles, or flaked coconut. Alternatively, dip a teaspoon in the chocolate and drizzle over the tops of marshmallows, then sprinkle immediately with any of the decorations.  Give the marshmallows a half-hour to dry completely.

Marshmallow Syrup
From Marshmallows: Homemade Gourmet Treats by Eileen Talanian

2 cups water
5⅓ cups granulated cane sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt


Place the ingredients in a heavy 4-quart pan, stirring gently with a heatproof spatula until the sugar is moistened.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cover the pan for 2 minutes to allow steam to wash any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan.  Then uncover the pan, insert a candy thermometer, and increase the heat to high.  Do not stir it at all once you have removed the lid or the syrup will crystallize as it cools. Continue cooking until it reaches 240° (this can take up to 15 minutes).  Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool for 15 minutes.  Ladle it into clean jars (I used empty spaghetti sauce jars) and attach the lids.


Store it at room temperature for up to 2 months.  If the syrup begins to form crystals at the bottom of the jar, don't be alarmed; pour out the remaining amount of syrup you need when you use it, without scraping the jar. Discard any crystallized part that is left in the jar.  (I find the syrup solidifies, but you can microwave it for 2 minutes before making your marshmallows.)


Vanilla Marshmallows
From Marshmallows: Homemade Gourmet Treats by Eileen Talanian


For the bloom:
½ cup + 2 tbs cold water
1½ tbs pure vanilla extract
3 tbs unflavored gelatin
For the base:
¾ cup water
1¼ cups Marshmallow Syrup
Pinch of salt
1½ cups granulated cane sugar


Spray the bottom and sides of a 9x13x2-inch or 11x15x1-inch pan or another mold you will be using for the marshmallow batter with a pan coating such as Pam, and wipe it lightly with a paper towel, leaving only a thin film of oil.


Make the bloom.  Measure the cold water into a measuring cup and add the vanilla.  Place the gelatin into a small bowl and pour the water and vanilla over it, stirring with a whisk or fork until there are no lumps.  Set the bowl near the stove.


Make the base.  Place the water, Marshmallow Syrup, salt, and sugar, in that order, into a 4-quart pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.  Then place a lid on the pan and boil it, covered, for 2 minutes.  This step is essential in order to eliminate sugar crystals on the sides of the pan that may cause the marshmallows to crystallize.


Remove the lid, insert a candy thermometer, and continue boiling until the thermometer reaches 250°.  Do not stir the mixture once the lid has been removed.  Remove the thermometer and gently stir in the bloomed gelatin.


Pour the batter into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.  Beat it on high speed for 10 to 12 minutes, using the wire whisk attachment or the paddle beater.  It will take a little longer to beat with the paddle.  You can cover the mixer with a clean kitchen towel for the first 3 or 4 minutes to avoid splattering hot liquid on yourself.


At first, the marshmallow batter will look very watery; as it beats, it will become thick, white, and glossy, and will increase in volume by two- to threefold.  Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and spread the marshmallow batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top with a spatula, or wet your hand and smooth the marshmallow with your palm.  Let the pan set out at room temperature, uncovered, for at least 4 hours or overnight.


When you're ready to cut the marshmallows, prepare the cutting surface.  (If you will be coating with sugar or sprinkles, I recommend using a surface of waxed paper lightly sprayed with oil; otherwise, a surface covered with a confectioners sugar/cornstarch mixture is used).  Ease the marshmallows away from the sides of the pan and flip the pan over, gently releasing the marshmallow slab onto the cutting surface.  Cut into squares, or other shapes, or use cookie cutters to cut the marshmallow into fancy shapes.  Toss the cut marshmallows in your coating mix (sparkling sugar or cornstarch/sugar), shaking off any excess coating.
Place the coated marshmallows in an airtight container, with wax paper between the layers, and leave a corner of the lid slightly ajar.  The marshmallows will keep this way for up to 2 weeks at room temperature.

16 comments:

  1. thanks so much for the helpful tips! i hope you don't mind that i've quoted you on my blog:
    http://spilledmylk.tumblr.com/post/20561072040/for-those-peeps-kitchen-tip

    i've given your blog credit but pls. let me know if you want me to edit/remove the post. i just thought others would like to know your tips as well. thanks so much!

    spilledmylk

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    1. I don't mind at all, since you credited and linked back to my blog. I'm so glad you found the tips useful! :)

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  2. Really cute...I'd want to try greenish coconut though for more colors. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. These are adorable! Of all the Easter treats I've been seeing on blogs lately, these are definitely among the most original (and cutest!). I hope you have a Happy Easter!

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  4. These are so cute and more fun to eat them! Thanks for your sweet comment dear!

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  5. Those are gorgeous! I've been wanting to try making my own marshmallows forever. Thanks for the recipe!

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  6. This is incredibly cute. I love easter, it brings out the cute in food. I love it!

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  7. Wow this is so cute! Happy Easter

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  8. these are so cute and yummy looking. My kids would have loved me if I made these.

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  9. These are darling! I've made marshmallows before, but can't imagine cutting and decorating them so perfectly! Hope you had a wonderful Easter~

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    1. Thank you! The cutting and decorating were the easy parts.

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  10. I am so interested in marshmallow syrup! I had no idea such thing exists and of course I've never made homemade marshmallows. What a fun (but time consuming) process! I think this is a very fun project with the kids. Your marshmallow rabbits are SUPER cute! Hope you had a wonderful Easter with these special treats!

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  11. Thanks! I never knew it existed either before the first time I made them. It sounds like a complicated process, but once you get the hang of it, it's manageable.

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