Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 10 & 11 - Coffee, Chocolate, & Marshmallow Sundaes

I am a sucker for marshmallows.   Whether an easter peeps, a fire-toasted marshmallow with chocolate and some graham crackers, or the little mini ones in a nice cup of hot chocolate, nothing beats a great marshmallow.  And in my current health-kick phase, I should give them up (like the hotdog).  But it ain't going to happen.  I owe too much to the marshmallow.

Back in the days when I was a restaurant pastry chef, I would make homemade marshmallows all the time and stick them in a slew of different desserts.  (There is something about a marshmallow that makes you feel like a kid again.)  Oh and believe me, it is so easy (and messy) to make them!  They would be a fun project for older kids, but you have to be careful because the sugar syrup you make is dangerous.    The process is pretty fun to watch.

So here is my recipe that I found on the internet for marshmallows that I used to use.   They store pretty well in an airtight container.  The best thing about homemade marshmallows is that they taste much better than store bought and they don't contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives.  I hope you give them a try!


Ccombine 3 tablespoons of gelatin (a professional-grade concentrated gelatin would be a good choice, but generally is available only to the food industry) with 1/2 cup of cold water and let it stand for an hour. In the meantime, heat 2 cups of sugar, 3/4 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring it to a boil and cook until the firm-ball stage (244°F; 117°C). Remove from the heat and pour it slowly over the gelatin, beating it constantly in a stand mixer. Beat it for a good 15 minutes. When it’s thick but still warm, add 2 tablespoons of vanilla or other flavoring (mint, strawberry, orange, flower water, etc.), if desired. Spread the mixture in a pan that has been lightly dusted with cornstarch. Let it dry for 12 hours, then cut it into squares with scissors dusted with cornstarch, and store them in an airtight container.


Whipping Cream: $1.29
Marshmallow creme: $0.99
Bittersweet chocolate: $1.19
Coffee Ice Cream: $3.99
Almonds: had

Total: $7.46


FAST: The sauce takes at least 20 minutes to make (10 minutes for prep and 10 minutes to let it cool enough to put over the ice cream).  I let my sauce cool for 25 minutes so that it wouldn't instantly melt my ice cream.

EASY:  Peesy.  Can you simmer and melt stuff in a saucepan?  Then, you can make this sauce.

FRESH:  Does it taste as fresh as a salad of garden vegetables?  No.  But it is a fresh take on the classic chocolate sauce (and ice cream sundae).  

OVERALL:  OMG BTW IMHO THIS ROCKS!  Yummy goodness is all I can say.  The coffee and the chocolate/marshmallow sauce are divine together.  Add some marshmallow cream and some toasted almonds and you've got a bunch of different textures working on this one.  I love it.  You could serve this with some graham crackers and do a "smore" thing.  It reminds me a little of tiramisu.  Maybe a sprinkling of cocoa powder on the top of the marshmallow creme and a lady finger to stick out from the top?  I wouldn't mess with this recipe too much.  It's great the way it is.

So, I'm off to eat the rest of this beautiful creation and read the Sunday paper.  Tuesday we've got a stir-fry.  See ya then!

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