Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Work has me on the strangest schedule, closing one night, opening the next morning.  I do love my new job and enjoy going to work, but it's making it hard to keep up on my blog and I apologize for that.  The weather in DC is finally cooling down, and when I say cooling down it hits high 70's, low 80's,  And I already feel like it's cold and have started bringing a light jacket with me when I go out now - somehow I've adapted to the southern weather faster than I imagined and can't believe I think that 80 degree weather is a little cool and need a jacket.  I would of never of done that in MA. 

It was nice and cool last week, fall is in the air here.  I had some egg whites in my fridge that needed to be used, why not make some marshmallows.  And then I remembered I wanted to make these.  A delicious treat - marshmallows topped with a layer of caramel then dipped in chocolate.  I learned while doing these that if you dip the whole thing in the chocolate, it melts.  Next time I will freeze them first and then dip the whole thing in chocolate.  So for now just the tops are dipped. 

Not the prettiest thing, but they are kept in the
fridge so the caramel doesn't go all over the place
So if you are a lover of marshmallow, caramel and chocolate, then these are a must make.  And yes, they do take a while - split it up over 2 days. 

For the Marshmallows:
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup room temperature water
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cornstarch, sifted

1. Coat a 13-by-9-inch pan with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment cut to fit, and then spray the parchment.
2. Pour 1/2 cup of the water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and set aside for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
3. Put the sugar, corn syrup, the remaining 1/3 cup water, and the salt in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Attach a candy thermometer and cook over medium heat until it reaches 240°F. Remove from the heat and whisk in the softened gelatin until dissolved. Cover the pot and leave on the stove with the burner turned off, to keep warm.
4. In the clean, grease-free bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites on low speed using the wire whip attachment until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, turn the speed to medium-high, and whip until soft peaks form. Pour a thin, steady stream of the sugar syrup directly over the meringue with the mixer running. Do not pour any on the whip or the sides of the bowl. Whip the meringue until cool to the touch; this could take 5 minutes or more. Beat in the vanilla. The marshmallow should be thick and glossy and form medium-firm peaks.
5. Immediately spread the marshmallow in the prepared pan with an offset spatula, pressing down into the corners and smoothing the top. Lightly dust the top with a thin veneer of cornstarch. Let sit at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight.

Make the caramel:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or bean paste
Heaped 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1/2 cup light corn syrup or golden syrup
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter, cubed, at room temperature
Prepare the caramel
Place cream, vanilla, salt and butter in a small saucepan and gently heat, stirring every now and then until the mixture just comes to the boil. Cover and set aside, keeping it warm while you prepare the sugar syrup. In a medium or large heavy based saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, place golden syrup and sugar and place on medium heat, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture is melted together and the sugar is evenly moistened, only stir is as necessary to keep it from getting any hot spots. Cook until the syrup reaches 300°F. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the warm cream mixture (take care as it will bubble up a lot) until it is smooth and even. Return to the heat and cook the mixture to 245°F. Remove the pan from the heat and stir until smooth.  Remove extra cornstarch from top of marshmallows, then pour caramel all over marshmallows, spreading evenly.  Let set, at room temperature or in fridge. 

Cut into desired size pieces, set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Freeze for 15-30 minutes.  Melt 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or candy quick and stir until smooth.  Dip each square into chocolate, coating it evenly.  Return to sheet and dip remaining squares.  Let set in fridge 15-30 minutes.  Keep in fridge so caramel doesn't ooze out if you don't cover the whole thing in chocolate.

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