Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chilly July Nights...

Much to Northwest Montana's surprise - we experienced a bit of a cold snap last night...and by cold, I mean below freezing. The low was 30 degrees in Whitefish. Yikes. By 9:00 pm my toes were like ice cubes and I had to put on a sweatshirt. I thought this was Summer!

Huddled on my couch under a fluffy down blanket, I thought to myself, "What's the perfect beverage to warm up with on a cold mid-summer night?" (light bulb)...Home made hot chocolate - WITH marshmallows. Much to my dismay, I didn't have any milk, or marshmallows for that no tasty hot cocoa for me.

Despite the weather last night, this morning when I got up for work, it was quite nice, balmy even. The temperature eventually climbed to a warm 83 degrees. With the brief cold snap gone and forgotten, I decided to for-go the hot chocolate idea - but was still fixated on marshmallows. I've never made them before, so I decided to do a little recipe research, picked one that looked like a winner, and got to work on project marshmallow.

Rose - Coconut and Chocolate Marshmallows
adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini

- 1/2 ounce sheet gelatin - Silver.
- 4 egg whites (save your yolks for Vanilla Ice Cream!)
- 2 rounded tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 4 teaspoons rose water
- 4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, dissolved in a small bowl with 5 teaspoons hot water

To Finish:
- 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch, sieved
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Grated, toasted coconut can also be used for either marshmallow)

On day one:

Line a square 8 by 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper (leave some over hang to ease removal on day two)

Place the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water to soften. Have the egg whites ready in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Combine the corn syrup, sugar, and 6 tablespoons of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve, and keep at a simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Squeeze the gelatin sheets with your hands to drain them as thoroughly as you can. Add them to the syrup, and stir with a wooden spoon until completely dissolved. Cover and keep warm.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks just begin to form. With the beater still on, add the hot syrup in a slow, steady stream, and keep whisking until the mixture cools down to just above room temperature. (You may want to transfer the hot syrup into a liquid measure with a spout - this makes pouring much easier).

Transfer half of the egg white mixture in a second mixing bowl, and fold in the rose syrup quickly, being careful not to deflate the whites. Add the dissolved cocoa powder to the remaining egg white mixture and whisk it in without overbeating.

Pour the rose mixture on one side of the prepared pan, the chocolate mixture on the other (they will meet in the middle, that's okay), and even out the surface with a spatula. Cover lightly with a sheet of parchment paper (without pressing on the surface) and let stand somewhere cool for 24 hours.

On day two:

Combine the confectioner's sugar and corn starch in a wide, shallow bowl. Put the cocoa powder (or toasted coconut) in a second bowl of similar shape.

Have a glass of hot water ready. Lift the parchment paper to remove the marshmallows from the pan, and transfer the whole thing carefully to a cutting board. Cut the marshmallow into squares, using a sharp knife that you dip into the hot water to keep the blade hot, and prevent sticking.

Transfer the cubed marshmallows three at a time, using your fingers to separate them delicately, into one of the prepared bowls (I rolled the rose-flavored ones in the coconut ; the chocolate-flavored ones in the cocoa powder), and coat them well. The cubes will have a tendency to stick to one another, your hands, the bowl, and anything else the come into contact with - the top surface is especially sticky - so keep them separate and handle them lightly.

Once coated, set the cubes aside on a plate, and leave them out to dry for 2 or 3 hours, flipping them halfway through. Transfer them in a fine-mesh sieve a handful at a time, and shake over the sink to remove the excess confectioner's sugar or cocoa powder. Enjoy!


* My marshmallows never really dried. This is probably because Whitefish, and my apartment, are really humid. I did place a fan on them for a couple hours just so they could form a skin. This helped a little, but not much.

* The cocoa-powder and water mixture will be pasty, you may need to thin it out with a little extra water.


EAT! said...

Oh my does those marshmellows look amazing!!! Eventhough temperatures have been in the 90s around here, I could still eat a few of those. Your photos are mouthwatering.

Gina said...

In the 30s? In July?! In my dreams!!!!! Wow! I knew I wanted to visit Montana for a reason! :) (I live in the Southern US where it'll be 90-degrees at 10p.m. - ugh)

Our family made marshmallows over the weekend, too. They were so much fun and so yummy! Love the idea of coating them w/cocoa.

cindy* said...

so pretty! i haven't tried my hand at this yet, but i have been wanting to. these look like perfection.

Leslie said...

those look out of this world!
I sure wish we had a cold snap here!
Tampa is Crazy hot and humid

Y said...

I love the look of that cocoa marshmallow. Very decadent :)

diva said...

i don't particularly like marshmallows but that cocoa-mellow is way too dreamy!! love it!