2.14.2012

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Marshmallows


Do you like marshmallows? I have always liked s'mores, but beyond that I've never been a huge fan of marshmallows. I can't see ever wanting a snack, running to the pantry to rip open a bag of marshmallows, and chowing down. But when I worked at Flour and I learned how to make the five-spice marshmallows for Myers + Chang, I realized that homemade marshmallows can be really, really good. So good you might actually develop cravings for them. So when I received a review copy of Shauna Sever's Marshmallow Madness!, a cookbook focused specifically on making marshmallows, I couldn't wait to try out some recipes.


Let's talk about the book first. It is adorable. The puffy (literally) cover features a pile of pastel-colored marshmallows in different shapes and forms, from flowers to multicolor twists to mini marshmallows. It definitely gets you excited about all the different marshmallows you can make.


In the introduction, Sever details all of the ingredients involved in marshmallow making (namely sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, water, salt, flavorings, and a coating made from corn starch and confectioners' sugar) and why you need them. She also describes all the tools you'll need (a candy thermometer is key) and offers helpful hints and techniques. And probably most important, she covers the three steps of making marshmallows in detail.


First, you make the bloom, which is basically softening the gelatin. Then, you make the syrup: A combination of sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt is brought to a boil and cooked until it reaches a certain temperature. (The syrup can be flavored.) Last is the mallowing. This is when the gelatin and syrup are combined and the marshmallow is formed and billows up in the mixing bowl. The introduction is so thorough that you'll be ready to jump right in and start making your own marshmallows after you read it.


But then as you flip through the pages looking at all the marshmallow recipes and pictures, I bet you will have a hard time deciding what to make first. I definitely did. In true Megan form I almost started out with a recipe for mini marshmallows. And then I was swayed by the deeply chocolate marshmallows. But, knowing that Valentine's Day was coming up, I soon changed my mind and opted to make strawberry marshmallows. But I couldn't stop there. I wanted to make heart-shaped marshmallows and dip them in chocolate to resemble a favorite Valentine's Day treat: chocolate-covered strawberries. Whether you love or hate Valentine's Day, I'm pretty sure you'll love these chocolate-dipped strawberry marshmallows.




Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Marshmallows (slightly adapted from Marshmallow Madness!: Dozens of Puffalicious Recipes)

Ingredients

The Bloom
1/2 cup strawberry puree*
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin

The Syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup strawberry puree*
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt

The Mallowing
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Classic Coating**
Pink sugar
Bittersweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Spray an 8- by 8-inch pan with baking spray.

For the bloom: Whisk together strawberry puree and water in a small heatproof bowl. Whisk in the gelatin, and let it soften for 10 minutes.


For the syrup: While the gelatin softens, combine the sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup, strawberry puree, water, and salt in a large saucepan set over high heat.


Boil until the syrup reaches 240 degrees. Stir the syrup occasionally with a stiff rubber spatula. You may need to adjust the heat to keep the syrup from bubbling over.


Meanwhile pour the remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk.

Microwave gelatin on high until completely melted, about 30 seconds.


Pour the gelatin into the corn syrup. Turn the mixer on low and keep it running.

When the syrup has reached 240 degrees, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl (with mixer running). Increase speed to medium (6) and whip for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high (8) and whip for 5 to 7 more minutes, adding vanilla in the last minute.


Spread the marshmallow in the prepared pan, using an offset spatula to smooth the top.


Sift the classic coating generously over the top. Let set for at least 8 hours. (I left mine overnight.)


Use a knife or offset spatula to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of pan. Invert the pan onto a cutting board.


Pour some pink sugar into a shallow dish. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out marshmallows. Because the marshmallows are so thick, I halved each cutout to get two flatter hearts from each. Save scraps for snacking. Toss the hearts in the pink sugar, making sure to coat the sticky sides.


Lay a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet. Melt the chocolate chips, stir until smooth, and let chocolate cool slightly. Then dip the hearts into the chocolate or pour the chocolate into a paper cone and decorate the hearts. Place the hearts on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until chocolate sets up, about 10 minutes. Serve.


*To make strawberry puree, simply process fresh or frozen and thawed strawberries in food processor until smooth and then strain through fine-mesh sieve into bowl. I used a 12-ounce bag of frozen strawberries and had a little leftover puree.

**To make Classic Coating, sift together 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1/2 cup cornstarch in large bowl. (Any leftover Classic Coating can be stored in an airtight container and used another time.)


Happy Valentine's Day!

27 comments:

  1. Emily @ A Cambridge StoryFebruary 14, 2012 7:22 AM

    Megan, these are incredible!!! What I wouldn't give for one (aka: ten) of these!!

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  2. these look fantastic! i would love a strawberry marshmallow right about now :) oops, it's only 8am! ha. i need to try making marshmallows soon!!

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  3. FunandFearlessinBeantownFebruary 14, 2012 8:34 AM

    Oh my gosh, these look PRECIOUS!

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  4. These are beyond cute! They definitely brightened my day. Making marshmallows is so much less finicky without egg whites.

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  5. These are too cute! I am not a marshmallow person at all, but those ones at Myers and Chang are to die for - so maybe I will give homemade a shot!

    Happy Valentine's Day

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  6. Like you, I love my smores but can't imagine just eating marshmallows for the heck of it. However... a smore with these strawberry or marshmallows or your five-spice marshmallows sounds even more fantastic!

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  7. So, so, so cute! Happy Valentine's Day!

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  8. sounds like a fun book and these look lovely. happy valentines day

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  9. I'm in love with this book too! And your pretty marshmallows!

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  10. I think I need that cookbook... off to add it to my Amazon wishlist. I just whipped up a batch of blueberry marshmallows for Hubby's birthday last weekend and they were amazing. I need to tweak the recipe some more before I post them, but I have to agree, homemade marshmallows are awesome. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  11. ahh wish i'd been there to eat the edge pieces! yum!! :)

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  12. I am a total sucker for homemade marshmallows and all things pink :) These are beautiful!

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  13. marshmallows are on my to do list for this year. I hear and read they are so easy and how much better they are compared to store bought ones. must make! thanks for the book suggestion.

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  14. I have never in my life craved a marshmallow either...until I had a stepped up cardamom marshmallow from a specialty store here in NYC. I imagine biting into one of htese would be a similar revelatory experience!

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  15. oh my goodness - these are so beautiful! i'm a little terrified to make marshmallows at home, but they look perfect.

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  16. I love the pink sugar and chocolate. I'm not huge into marshmallows except in s'more form or a really good one in hot chocolate like at City Bakery.

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  17. Marshmallows are on the list of things that I really want to make sometime!! I don't often crave them, but if I'm around a freshly opened bag I'll totally eat one! So good when they're nice and fresh!!

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  18. These are really cute! ^^ I love making my own marshmallows (I make them vegan-style, of course).

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  19. These are absolutely adorable! Hope you guys had a great Valentine's Day.

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  20. You're so brave to attempt marshmallows, and so skilled to have had such good success with them! They look perfect. Great job!

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  21. These are absolutely adorable! I still have yet to make marshmallows, but they are at the very top of my to-make list. I love the heart shape and addition of chocolate (of course) - and the pink sugar!

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  22. How cute are these Strawberry Marshmallows? I love it! :) Hope you had a great Valentine's Day!!

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  23. Oh these are really darling!!! Never made marshmallows before but now we are inspired :)
    J & C

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  24. I don't know where to leave a comment because you've put up so many amazing desserts and 'delicious dishings' since I was last here. I LOVE these marshmallows, and think I'd love to plop them on top of one of your cherru cream cheese brownies below, then dig in. What wonderful Valentine desserts! Oh, the shabby chic cupcakes? To.die.for.

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  25. These are so beautiful! And strawberry marshmallows? I'm so intrigued. I guess I'll just have to try them!

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  26. These are so pretty! I've never had strawberry marshmallows before!

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