i finished my semester this past week. it ended with both a bang (a 20 page report) and a whimper (the sound effects that went along with writing said report). i’ve been celebrating my temporary freedom by sleeping, playing board games, and eating marshmallows.
in other words, regressing back to when i was 5.
the only real difference is that when i was 5 i didn’t make the marshmallows, and also now that i’m 25 i’ve stopped stuffing them in places they don’t belong.
maturity, i tell ya. really takes the fun out of things.
when i was home last month, my youngest sister (kiddo junior) who is a baking aficionado named a ‘secret ingredient’ for me to bake with and blog about. she gave me:
grapes. who bakes with grapes?! seriously. wut the heck kiddo junior. but because i love her, and because i’m also up for new baking adventures, i attempted a grape cake. attempted being the key word.
it turned out more like a grape bread brick, and i pawned it off to my poor unsuspecting friend/neighbour B because the sight of it made me sad.
after that epic fail kiddo junior gave me a new ingredient: MARSHMALLOWS.
but this time i wanted to really be a keener and make the marshmallows from scratch. the perfect special occasion came up this week for me to actually do it with my good friend K finishing her undergrad. i met K three years ago when we were part of the same Bible study group at church, and over the past few years it’s been a joy getting to know her better and i can honestly say she’s one of the most encouraging people i know. she also reads my blog (hi K! *wave* :D) and she’ll probably be mortified that i’m saying this on here.
so to celebrate a sweet friend and an epic accomplishment, i made chocolate-coated vanilla bean marshmallows.
i thought making marshmallows would be an incredibly arduous/complicated process but it was actually very easy and no weird ingredients/fancy candy making equipment were used. the recipe i used is from one of my favourite blogs, How Sweet It Is, and it took all of 15 minutes of active work. the marshmallow goop then sits for at least 4 hours (i left mine overnight) to set. and guys, homemade marshmallows > storebought marshmallows. there’s just no comparison. the flavour, fluff factor, everything.. i don’t know if i can go back to the packaged rubber-y pellets.
these mallows are perfect for s’mores, hot chocolate, dessert bars (*spoiler alert*), or for stuffing up your nose. you know, whatever.
Chocolate-Coated Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is
Makes 1 9″ square pan of marshmallows
2 packets of gelatin (or about 2 tablespoons)
8 tablespoons of cold water
1 to 1 1/4 cups castor sugar*
1/3 cup cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, the seeds scraped
1/4 teaspoon salt
~1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 tsp oil (canola, coconut, whatever you want)
(optional) toffee bits, sprinkles, coconut flakes, anything your heart desires
- Place the gelatin in a small bowl and stir in the 8 tablespoons of cold water. Set aside.
- Spray an 8×8 pan with nonstick spray, then sprinkle some powdered sugar in the pan and shake well, dispersing it all over the pan, covering the entire thing.
- In a small saucepan, combine the remaining cold water and sugar. Heat oven medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved and bubbly, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the gelatin mixture, stirring, and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, immediately remove from heat. Add to the bowl of an electric mixer attached with a whisk. Let sit and slightly cool.
- Add in vanilla extract, beans and salt. Beat on medium-high speed for 10-15 minutes, until white and glossy and shiny and thick.
- Spread in the 8×8 pan and top with powdered sugar if desired (i did this, but i don’t think it’s necessary). Let sit for about 4 hours, or even overnight.
- To cut, I run a knife along the outside of the pan, then turn it over and shake the marshmallow cube out (i couldn’t get the whole cube out so i just used a plastic knife and cut the cubes directly in the pan). Using a knife sprayed with nonstick spray, slice the marshmallows into your desired size.
- Toss the cut cubes in powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking to one another.
- You can enjoy them just as, or you can dunk them in chocolate. We all know which route I vote for. If coating in chocolate, simply melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler with the teaspoon of oil. Dunk the mallows in the chocolate and tap off excess (i found using two forks was effective) and put on to a baking sheet lined with wax paper. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on any toppings you want- I used skor toffee bits.
- Store at room temperature for up to a week.
*the original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups regular sugar. i found this to be too sweet and the texture of the marshmallows were slightly gritty, maybe i didn’t dissolve the sugar completely. i’d suggest using less sugar and instead of granulated, to use castor which is finer and dissolves more easily
yeah. you need to get on this stat.