The holidays are a time for caring as well as sharing. At Eat Boutique, I feel that each of us takes that extra step when sharing. This holiday season we are sharing a virtual “sweet” exchange with all of you. I tossed around the idea of cookies, but, then decided to make something I really enjoy surprising loved ones with. Homemade marshmallows.
Marshmallows are one of my favorite sweets to make. I remember the first time I decided to make them. Lenny thought I had lost my mind. He waited in the kitchen to “observe” the entire process. Little did he know, he would be become so intrigued with the process, that we would end up making three different flavors that night. He couldn’t stop with the idea, and soon homemade marshmallows were tagging along on every camping trip.
This recipe is so ridiculously easy, that you are going to question why you never started making them sooner. What I love about making my own marshmallows is the control that I have over the quality of the ingredients. After all, they are basically made with sugar. I have changed my recipe over the past couple years, and now I use agave nectar instead of corn syrup. It just makes me feel a little better about eating not one but two, or three. As well I use unrefined sugar, and cage-free eggs. The fun part about making your own marshmallows is how creative you can be with the flavorings.
For our holiday exchange I decided to make Hot Chocolate Dippers out of my marshmallows. I wanted something a little more special, so I made a batch of salted caramel marshmallows which I dipped into deep, dark chocolate. Yes, they are as sinful as they sound.
I cannot think of a better way to warm up after a cold day then to wrap my hands around a mug of Ancho Chili Hot Chocolate, with salted caramel marshmallow dippers. To make your marshmallows dippers into a special gift, wrap small bundles of marshmallows in cello-wrap, tie with a ribbon, and nestle into a mug; makes a very special gift for someone you love.
Salted Caramel Marshmallow Dippers
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 2 packets of gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon grey salt
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
- large box of cornstarch
- lollypop sticks
- parchment paper
- candy thermometer
- Line a square 8” x 8” baking pan with parchment paper, and then heavily coat with cornstarch, all over the bottom, and the sides.
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the all of the sugar less 2 tablespoons, 1/2 cup of water, and the agave nectar; let cook until it reaches a temperature of 265 on a candy thermometer. As well it should be golden brown. Try not to stir the mixture until it turns golden, otherwise when the splatters from stirring touch the sides of the hot pan, they tend to smoke. Be sure the mixture does not burn or smoke.
- In a small bowl add the gelatin and the 1/4 cup of water; set aside.
- While your sugar mixture is cooking, beat the egg whites, and cream of tarter in a very clean mixing bowl, until medium peaks form. Add the 2 tablespoons of sugar, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. With the mixer running on the lowest speed, slowly drizzle in the hot sugar mixture; continue to beat at a medium high speed, about a 6 on my mixer.
- Heat the gelatin mixture, over medium heat, in the same saucepan that the sugar just came out of, until it melts. It will only take a couple seconds. Remove from the heat, and drizzle into the egg white mixture. Add in the grey salt. Continue beating at a medium speed for 7 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the baking pan, and smooth. Gently tap the pan on your counter, to release any air bubbles. Using a sieve, sprinkle the top of the mixture, heavily with more corn starch. Do not be afraid to use a lot; this will help set your marshmallows. Let set at room temperature for 48 hours.
- Before serving, remove the marshmallows from the baking pan, and set on a cutting board. Cut into squares. I put a few marshmallows at a time in a sieve, and shake gently over the sink, to remove all of the corn starch. Repeat in batches.
- Melt the chocolate. Stick a lollypop stick or straw into one side of the marshmallow.
- Dip one side of a marshmallow into the chocolate, and set on wax paper to dry. Once the chocolate is dry, wrap the dippers, to give as gifts, or make a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy.
All photos styled and taken by Denise Woodward.
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