Monday, November 5, 2012

Chocolate Covered Spice-mallows

Marshmallows are funny things. 

There were pallets of them sitting right inside the door of our local grocery today. All sorts. Jumbo, mini, cinnamon-flavored, coconut, and chocolate. There were colors too. It looked like a fluffy sugar explosion. But they all - ALL - taste like chalky sugar foam. Blech. 

Good for rice krispie treats, but that's about it. 

My favorite marshmallows ever came from a tin. One of those fancy brands that you see at Williams Sonoma. They were gifted to us during the Christmas season, many years ago. I can still remember the  crinkly foil that surrounded them, and my disbelief that anything that called itself a marshmallow could be that tasty. 

Only one problem. The good ones are so stinking expensive!! I mean, it's basically just sugar, gelatin, and water. Seriously, guys? Bring on the gelatin. I'll do it myself. 

In fact - I'll make them taste even better by adding fall spices. And two special ingredients. 

 Then covering them in chocolate. 

I think I better start on the next batch. These suckers are going in the candy tins for Christmas.

In a large bowl, mix gelatin, spices, and water. 

You want the unflavored gelatin. This stuff - 

 Let sit. It will harden up almost immediately.

In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, Lyle's Golden Syrup, and molasses to a boil - stirring constantly - until they reach 235 degrees. 

It's going to bubble up like crazy. Stir constantly. Remove from heat immediately after it reaches 235.

Put an electric mixer in the bowl with the gelatin and turn it on low to start breaking it up into chunks. Gently pour the syrup in, beating the whole time. 

Turn the electric mixer up to high and beat for 10 minutes, until it looks like marshmallow fluff. 

Take a 9x13 pan and line with parchment. Dust with a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar. 

Pour the marshmallow fluff in the pan. Use damp hands to smooth it down. Allow to sit overnight.

The next day, line a cutting board with wax paper. Dust with powdered sugar/cornstarch.

Turn the marshmallows out. Peel the paper off. 

Chop into 3/4 inch strips. 

 Then squares.

Set up your double boiler (two pans - one in the bottom boils water, one on the top holds the soon to be melted chocolate).

Grate up some wax - it's what makes the chocolate harden. 

Mix up chocolate and wax. Melt. 

Dip marshmallows into the chocolate. Tap off the excess.

Place on waxed paper and use a spoon to top off and cover your hole mark.

Refrigerate until hardened. Yum!

Chocolate Covered Spice-mallows
Makes ~100
 Adapted from Lyle's Golden Syrup Recipes

3 1/2 packets of unflavored gelatin (~24g)
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 3/4 c. sugar
4 tbsp Lyle's Golden Syrup (look in the British foods section)
2 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 12-oz bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tbsp grated parafin wax

In a large bowl, mix gelatin with ginger, cinnamon, and allspice. Pour in 100ml of water (use that other side of the measuring cup). Stir it together. Let it sit while you do everything else.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, syrup, and molasses. Stir and heat until 235 degrees F. You need a candy thermometer to get it right. Stir continuously, or it will bubble over.  This takes 15 minutes or so.

Once it makes it to 235, remove from heat. Using an electric mixer, beat the now semi-hard gelatin and pour the syrup in in a slow stream, while the electric mixer is on low. Turn it up to high and beat for 10 minutes. You'll whip air into it, and it will look a lot like marshmallow fluff at the 10 minute mark. 

Take a 9x13 pan and line with parchment paper - this is not optional. Do it. Mix the powdered sugar with the cornstarch. Dust half of it on the parchment-lined pan, making sure to go all the way up the sides. Dump out the extra, leaving a lightly powdered surface. 

Pour the marshmallow fluff into the powdered pan. Dip your hands in water, and use your wet hands to pat down the fluff. Cover lightly with plastic wrap (so that it doesn't touch the surface). Allow to sit overnight. 

Use the other half of the cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture to dust out on a wax paper-lined cutting board. Turn out the marshmallows. Use a large knife to slice the marshmallow block into 3/4 inch strips. Chop those into squares. Continue to dust with powdered sugar so that it doesn't stick together. 

In a double boiler, combine 1 bag of chocolate chips with 2 tbsp grated parafin wax. Melt. 

Dip marshmallows in the chocolate, lay on waxed paper. Top with a cap of chocolate to cover the hole. Chill in the fridge until hard. Serve with a smile.

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