|I'll be the first to admit I eat enough chocolate for it to be it's own food group. But is it me or everywhere you turn lately is oozing chocolate? I'm not so much saying that's a bad thing, as it just seems, if only momentarily, the world is chocolate obsessed. I imagine a lot of the oozing of chocolate products, recipes, factoids and such is thanks to the upcoming D-Day. Errr I mean V-Day, yeah that's it V-Day. D-Day, V-Day, what's the diff? I'm kidding!! |
I also imagine I'm noticing so many things around me related to chocolate because of my involvement in Sugar Savvy, the candy and chocolate blog which is part of The Well Fed Network. As a contributing writer for Sugar Savvy, I find that my eyes and ears are always open for new products and interesting ideas or delicious recipes I can write about. I encourage y'all to check out WellFed regularly, as there are a ton of great writers and topics. If anyone is interested in possibly writing for WellFed leave me a comment with your email address. I'll contact you ASAP with some info.
While we're on the subject of WellFed, I thought I would share with y'all a recipe I shared over there. Over the holidays I had planned to make homemade marshmallows to go with the "Homemade Hot Chocolate For Two" I made and included in the foodie boxes for family and friends. I ended up with so much other stuff that I nixed the marshmallows. I was still really curious to try them and had everything I needed so I made them recently. Y'all know how I love pink, so I made pink heart shaped marshmallows. I dipped most of them in white and milk chocolate and coated them in sprinkles and jimmies. The marshmallows were soooo good!! And they actually last a pretty long time without getting hard, which is a really good thing because they make a HUGE batch! I'm dying to make them again using some flavorings and stuff. I've seen this recipe many many places with slight variations here and there. My first memory of this recipe is thanks to Martha Stewart, so I'm giving her credit for the original that has inspired my tweaked version.
2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (about 3 envelopes)
1 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa, sifted (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting
Cooking spray or oil for greasing pan
1. Prepare the pan. For thicker marshmallows, use a 9x13; a jellyroll pan works well for thinner marshmallows. Grease the bottom and sides of pan, then dust with powdered sugar. Set aside for later use.
2. Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Let the gelatin bloom 15-20 minutes.
3. While gelatin is blooming, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/2 cup water in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
4. Raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until the mixture reaches firm-ball stage, 244Â°F on candy-thermometer. Immediately remove from heat.
5. Using whisk attachment, turn mixer on low and slowly drizzle syrup into the softened gelatin. After syrup has been incorporated, add the cocoa if desired. Once mixed in, moving one speed at a time, raise mixers speed to high. Mix on high speed for 15 minutes or until very thick and nearly tripled in volume. Add vanilla and beat in.
6. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan, as evenly as possible. Work quickly as mixture becomes more difficult to work with as it cools. Dust top with powdered sugar, wet hands and pat to smooth. Allow to stand overnight, uncovered.
7. Dust cutting board with powdered sugar and turn marshmallow out onto board (I left mine in the pan so I didn't dirty up an extra surface). Using a knife or dough blade cut marshmallows into desired size squares. You can also use various shaped cookie cutters. Dredge your cutting utensils in powdered sugar periodically.
-Substitute other flavor extracts in place of vanilla, such as peppermint, coconut or lemon.
-Colored marshmallows - When adding vanilla, add gel or liquid food coloring of your choice. Add gradually to get desired color.
-Dipped marshmallows - melt chocolate or white chocolate and dip marshmallows. If desired, dip in sprinkles, shredded coconut, and/or chopped nuts. Place on waxed paper to set.
-S'mores marshmallows - Dip vanilla marshmallow in melted chocolate, then graham cracker crumbs. Place on waxed paper to set.
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