One of my favorite things about the Holiday season is are all the amazing treats . In particular, a nice hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows has always been dear to my taste buds. As a little girl I would always save the little marshmallows for the very last sip of hot chocolate. The marshmallows were always the best part. Today, as the first snow of the season falls, I find myself reminiscing of those times.
When I bought the Birchbox Snow Day box, I was suddenly reminded of those times, especially when I saw the Askinosie Chocolate® Single Origin Cocoa Powder. I knew I had to do something special with them, but I couldn’t decide on what. All I knew was that I wanted to try something new. After a while, I finally decided that I should leave the hot chocolate as it is and create a marshmallow that would go great with the rich chocolate powder and the cold chill of winter snow. As I thought it through more, I realized how perfect this was because I never made marshmallows before which would allow me to go through my entire experience and give you some tips that I learned as a beginner marshmallow maker.
Marshmallows, as it turns out, are very simple to make, but boy are they messy. I mean super messy. Like everything that comes in contact with the marshmallow becomes engulfed with the sticky sweet mixture. Fortunately it is easy to wash off and the end results are so worth it. When doing this recipe, be prepared for the mess and have fun with it!
I decided on cinnamon peppermint as my flavor combination for my marshmallow because it felt the most Christmas-y to me, but you can experiment with flavor pairing to meet your own personal tastes. When making the marshmallows, I used my older stand mixer, but next time, I would probably want to use my hand mixer because the mixture ended up riding up my beaters a couple of times creating an even bigger mess. This also gives you more control over the fluff as it expands in your bowl.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 3½ packets of unflavored gelatin (or flavored if you want to be adventurous!)
- 1 cup cold water divided in half
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon of peppermint extract
- 1½ tablespoons of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Make the marshmallow powder by mixing the sugar and cornstarch together in a separate bowl.
- Use half the mix to powder the bottom and sides of your pan. You may need to coat the pan with a bit of cooking spray or oil to help the mix to stick. Be careful not to leave any bare spots.
- Pour ½ cup cold water into the bowl you will be using to make the marshmallows. sprinkle the gelatin over the water.
- In a separate saucepan, mix the ½ cup cold water, corn syrup and sugar together and heat on low mixing until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Increase the heat to medium-medium high and wait for it to boil. Do not mix. The syrup should reach 240°F. If you do not have a candy thermometer, it should take about 12 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the syrup to the gelatin and mix with a wooden spoon until the gelatin as liquefied and mixed with the syrup.
- Beat the mixture on high until it becomes white and nearly triples in volume. This can take between 5 - 10 minutes on average, but don't worry if it takes longer. I would use your wooden spoon to continuously move the mixture toward the beaters until the mixture becomes white and start to expand. I found that if I did not do this, my sugar would harden and not incorporate. *Note this is where things start to get a little messy. Just go with the flow and enjoy the mess!
- Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with clean beaters until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the eggs, peppermint extract and cinnamon to the marshmallows.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture into your pan and smooth out as best you can with your spoon. You won't get out all the mixture - that's okay!
- Sprinkle the rest of the marshmallow powder of the marshmallows.
- Put the marshmallows in the refrigerator and let it set for 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
- To cut the marshmallows into squares, dust your pizza cutter or knife with marshmallow powder and cut. You can also use your favorite cookie cutter dusted with marshmallow powder.
- Dust the marshmallows on the cut sides with the powder. Shake off excess powder.
Tips for Amazing Hot Chocolate:
Having awesome homemade marshmallows is not enough to make your cup of hot chocolate amazing. If you are using powdered cocoa powder like Askinosie Chocolate, it can be tricky to get a rich, creamy treat. Here are some of my tricks for the perfect cup of hot chocolate.
- Use a thick and creamy liquid. I recommend whole milk or even whipping cream. You aren’t drinking hot chocolate everyday, so it’s okay to use the higher calorie stuff.
- Put the powder at the bottom of your cup and slowly add in just enough of your hot cream to create a thick paste. Add in more of the cream a few tablespoons at a time, mixing thoroughly.
- Add a bit of spice. I recommend heating your cream with a whole clove (which you will take out prior to drinking. You could also use a cinnamon stick, nutmeg or cardamom. You could also try amaretto or Kahlua.
- Incorporate some real chocolate. Nothing is better than actual melted hot chocolate. I recommend grating some directly into your cup or sprinkling it over your whipped cream or marshmallows.