Tuesday, January 3, 2012

chocolate covered beer marshmallows

We had big plans this past holiday season. We bought a candy thermometer and were planning on whipping up some homemade marshmallows for family and friends. We were going to wrap them up with some hot cocoa mix. Cute, right?

Then work got crazy. And there were umpteen holiday parties. You know - life happened. So there were no marshmallows. And the candy thermometer stayed in the packaging. Tear.

A few days ago, I came across this epic recipe for beer marshmallows on The Kitchn. Then - because beer marshmallows doesn't already sound amazing enough - they're dipped in chocolate and topped with crushed pretzels. These absolutely had to get made.

While the recipe does take a few days to make - since you need to let the beer flatten and the marshmallows set overnight - the actual steps are really straightforward. I am by no means a candy expert. I've made caramel, like, once in my life. And I swear this was an approachable project.

We had some homemade chex mix lying around the house (a gift from Josh's Mom), so I hand picked out a bunch of pretzel sticks and corn chex. We crushed these up for the topping. And then, since I'm obsessed with all things sweet and salty, I added a baby pinch of Maldon salt on top of each marshmallow.

I have a fabulous idea of how to turn this into a wonderful Valentine's Day gift for friends. It may or may not involve Cabernet marshmallows. I am so excited. (You should be too!)

Chocolate Dipped Beer Marshmallows
Recipe from The Kitchn
makes 18-22 marshmallows

For the bloom
1/2 ounce unflavored gelatin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup flat dark beer (we used an oatmeal stout)

To flatten the beer, pour the bottle into a glass and let sit overnight.

Line standard loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5) with parchment paper and tape down to the sides of pan. Spray with nonstick oil.

Sprinkle the gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix vanilla and flattened beer in a separate bowl. Pour vanilla and beer mixture over the gelatin and whisk until no lumps remain. Set bowl into your mixer and fit mixer with a whisk attachment.

For the sugar syrup:
1/4 cup flat dark beer
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons corn syrup
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt

Combine the flattened beer, corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a 4-quart saucepan or larger. Clip a candy thermometer to the side. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the sugar mixture to a boil. As the syrup heats, it will foam up to nearly fill the pan. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil over. When the mixture is between 245-250 degrees, take the pan off the heat.

With the mixer on low speed, carefully pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin bloom. Turn the mixer to high once all the syrup has been added and let it ship for 8-10 minutes, until it looks like glossy meringue and is very thick. Pour the marshmallow into the loaf pan and let it cure, uncovered for 10-12 hours or overnight.

When the marshmallows are cured, rub the top with a little powdered sugar and turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board. Rub the top with more powdered sugar. Cut into squares of equal size.

For coating and topping
1 bag (10-11.5 ounches) milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup mixture of stick pretzels and corn chez
2 tablespoons Maldon salt

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Mix in the canola oil so that the chocolate is thin enough to coat the marshmallows. Coat each marshmallow entirely and set them on a piece of parchment. I used a dinner fork to turn the marshmallows in the chocolate and lay them on the parchment. Immediately sprinkle the tops with the crushed pretzels/chex mix and a pinch of Maldon salt. Let chocolate covered marshmallows set in fridge for a few hours or overnight to let them chocolate harden.

Keep in covered container for several weeks in fridge.

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