Dark Chocolate Marshmallows

It finally snowed a little bit in Eastern Massachusetts.  And then, in the span of one day, it melted and it rained.  Oh, New England.

When I was younger, snow was always a happy event.  Snow meant school closures, romping with friends, sledding and hot chocolate.  Nowadays, snow elicits two reactions from me.  Scenario 1: It’s nighttime, and I’m all bundled up in my pjs.  “Oh look, snow!  It’s so pretty.”  And then I return to whatever I was doing.

Scenario 2: It’s the morning of a busy day, “Oh shiz, I have to drive in that mess?!  Crap.”  Where did the magic go?  Maybe one day if I have a yard and a working fireplace, the snow will become my friend once again.  I hope so; I really do love winter.

Who doesn’t love a cup of hot cocoa after playing in the snow, or as is the case now, shoveling out the car.  And what cup of cocoa is complete without a few choice marshmallows floating listlessly on top?  And what if you yourself made those fluffy little clouds with your own two hands (and some kitchen equipment)?

Homemade marshmallows have swept through the food blogging world, leaving a trail of very satisfied people in its wake.  I made this batch as Christmas presents for my family.  At first glace, they all thought it was fudge.  WRONG!

These marshmallows are the opposite of fudge.  They are light and airy, while still maintaining a super chocolaty flavor.  Amazing.  They’re a little less chewy than the store bought variety, and more like an ethereal little bite of heaven.  I’m really excited to make other kinds of marshmallows to adorn my cocoa cups.  Bring it on winter.

Dark Chocolate Marshmallows

Adapted from U Try.It

1/2 cup cocoa powder, divided
3/4 cup cold water, divided
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 (1/4-ounce) packets unflavored gelatin
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Line an 8 by 8-inch baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder on the bottom and the sides of the parchment paper, set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, add chopped chocolate, salt and instant coffee, heat on high until chocolate is melted.  Stop and stir at 30 seconds intervals.  When chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 cup cocoa powder.  Set aside to let cool.

In a medium saucepan, add 1/3 cup of the water, the sugar and the corn syrup and heat over medium heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, do not stir the mixture and continue to cook the syrup until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites. In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Then heat the gelatin in a microwave for 25 to 30 seconds to liquefy it.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed with a hand mixer until firm.  As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat.

With the mixer on medium low speed, slowly add the syrup to the egg whites.  Pouring it between the spinning beater and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes.  When the ingredients are fully incorporated and slightly cooled, beat in the vanilla and chocolate mixture until well combined.

With a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread the mixture into the corners and smooth the surface.  Dust the top of the marshmallow with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
Leave it in a cool, dry place to set.  It takes about 2 to 3 hours.  Once the marshmallow is cooled and set, cut into small pieces with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife.



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