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by Sarah Steimer

The "gourmet" chocolate makes all the difference in the world.

For marshmallows:

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (I was out and substituted honey)
  • 4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin (they’re usually sold in four-packs anyhow)
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • water

Coat a 9-by-13 pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and coat the parchment with cooking spray (the first spray actually just helps the paper from curling off the pan). Set aside.

Put sugar, corn syrup and 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and let the mixture come to a boil. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until mixture registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer (somehow had one of these in the basement).

Work it... quickly. Otherwise it'll start setting and you'll have a gloppy mess.

Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract. Set aside.

Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. You may have to whisk them by hand a little bit to get it going, because most stand mixers’ whisks don’t touch the bottom of the bowl. You’d think with today’s technology we’d have figured that out along with a cure for cancer.

Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar/gelatin to the egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 10 to 12 minutes.

Pour mixture into lined pan (I actually ended up needing two pans but who knows). Working quickly, drop dots of red food coloring across surface of marshmallow. Using a toothpick, swirl food coloring into marshmallow to create a marbleized effect. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares. Roll the cut marshmallows in powdered sugar to prevent sticking and store in a ziploc bag or airtight container.

For hot chocolate:

  • 2 1/2 ounces 70 percent cocoa chocolate (this is about four squares of a Lindt chocolate bar)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon five spice
  • pinch of salt

Combine everything but the milk in a pot and heat over low until the spices combine with the melted chocolate to make a paste. Add the milk and bring to just a boil, stirring often. Serve with the peppermint marshmallows.

Marshmallow recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart via What Megan’s Making

Hot chocolate recipe adapted from: Lisa is Bossy (weird?)

Photos by: Sarah Steimer

*During the month of January, we’ll post six hot chocolate recipes as part of Loving Cup, all of which can be found here.

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