So, it’s possible that Cathy asked me to write a few seasonal blog posts and I used it as an excuse to make marshmallows. Possible…
My intermittent craving for homemade marshmallows started when Sharon, who works with me at Kala and is currently taking a two-year baking course at Laney College, brought us some samples of the day’s lesson: Cardamom and Ginger marshmallows dipped in chocolate.
After fantasizing about them for weeks after, I subjected some very sweet dinner guests to my first cardamom and ginger marshmallow attempt, which was basically powdered mini-slabs of viscous cardamom goo. Happily, I’ve learned a few things between batches…
The main improvement came from beating the mixture on high for at least 15 – maybe 20 minutes until the bowl was completely cool. The second lesson was to pour everything into a loaf pan instead of a 9 x 12 pan, since the smaller surface area gives you more height to make cubes instead of slabs.
For this particular batch, I used Alton Brown’s recipe from the Food Network with a few minor changes:
1. substitute 1/2 cup brown sugar for that much of the white for a little nuttiness :)
2. substitute Mexican vanilla for regular vanilla
They worked really well in hot chocolate.
Also, I added a few shakes of cinnamon to the corn starch and confectioner’s sugar de-sticking mixture for a little spice that also worked well in the hot chocolate:
However, I did learn the hard way that if you want to dip the marshmallows in chocolate, it’s a good idea to leave at least one side out of the sugar starch or else the chocolate doesn’t stick very well. (It’s possible that if you have a more professional dipping system it would be fine, but I used the non-foodie microwaved-Nestle-chips method, which is fast and tasty, but definitely less beautiful.)
So, that’s the end of the marshmallow glamour shot sequence. (And just for kicks, here’s a warm marshmallowy palette inspired by these photos.) We are doing so many limited-color projects in the studio these days that it’s always great to have an archive of good palettes to which to turn in a pinch. Maybe a hot-chocolate-themed something is in our future…
Also, we can’t ignore that Monaco blue there on the lower right!