Growing up, one of my major objectives was to see how many marshmallows I could stuff into my mug of hot chocolate without sacrificing any of that delicious drink. Since my mom tried to keep junk food out of the house, marshmallows were a rare treat anyway, usually reserved for the chilly holiday season, so I hoarded them, often sneaking a few from the bag and right into my maw when she wasn't looking.
|The apple doesn't fall far, does it?|
She's just more brazen than I was.
The first time I ever had Lucky Charms, in college, I was horrified at what qualified as a "marshmallow" and was kind of thankful I'd been ignorant of the horrors within the red box for my entire childhood.
As I've gotten older, I have marshmallows more and more rarely, partly because I have fewer occasions to partake in them, but mostly because I'm less and less enthralled with the mallows that are found at the grocery store. While surely my taste buds have changed, I can't help but feel that the commercial marshmallows have gone further and further away from that treat the ancient Egyptians made from the marsh-mallow plant sap thousands of years ago (insert nostalgic sigh).
Cornstarch overload aside, I still yearn, each time I treat myself to a cup of cocoa, to fill the top
Since I'd been obsessing about marshmallows for a good while, when my group of blogging friends, whom I've affectionately come to call The Theme Weavers (prepare for the parody song soon) decided to see how many sweet confections we could put together in a week, I knew that I needed to try my hand at marshmallows.
The Internet let me know that I had made The Right Decision when, a few weeks ago, Jenni Field, the brilliant and wonderful personality behind Pastry Chef Online, hosted a Google+ hangout (think live webchat) on the art of these lovely candies. Even though my old laptop kept freezing on me, I saw enough to let marshmallows emerge from the murky shadows of candy-making, giving me the courage to get in the kitchen.
I followed Jenni's recipe and directions (which are at the same time thorough and entertaining) carefully. I cannot add anything helpful to that recipe, and all the credit of my success is due to my ability to follow Jenni's direction.
I need to point out, however, that I made two minor alterations to suit my needs:
- Instead of cocoa powder, I added 1 Tbsp finely ground lemon zest into the water and gelatin mixture (whenever I use a lemon, I zest it and then freeze the zest, so I have a large stash that's nice and dry and easy to grind up in the spice grinder).
- Instead of vanilla extract, I used my homemade lemon extract.
After the syrup had reached the proper temperature and all ingredients whipping away (Watson, my KitchenAid, has never worked at full strength before, so it was a big night for both of us), I couldn't help it. I had to taste.
|Whip it good!|
These marshmallows are life changing. Seriously. They are going to change everything you ever thought you knew about marshmallows.
Oh, the lemon aroma and flavor is intense, and while I had dreamed of a lemon marshmallow, the citrusy flavor coupled with the marshmallow's texture was a little surprising at first. But then I had a
But what about fitting a whole bunch of marshmallows into my cup of cocoa?
The good news is that with these bad boys, I only need one.
While you're still reeling from all the mallow-y goodness, please make sure that you check out all the other amazing sweets made by my friends. We've got us a sugar fix to please any size sweet tooth.
- Retro Raspberry Divinity - plus a baker's giveaway (Jeanne at Inside NanaBread's Head)
- Red Velvet Marble Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream Icing (Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic)
- Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies (Beka at Kvetchin' Kitchen)
- Mini Meringue Strawberry Pies (Katie at The Hill Country Cook)
- Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti (Madeline at Munching in the Mitten)
- Samoa Crack Dip (Carrie at Bakeaholic Mama)
- Avocado Peppermint Chocolate Mousse (Lauren at Climbing Grier Mountain)
- Cherry Garcia Chocolate Bark (Megan at Wanna Be a Country Cleaver)
- S'Mores on a Stick (Kat at Tenaciously Yours,)
- White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting (Mads at La Petite Pancake)
- Mini Chocolate Mousse Pies (Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic)
- Berry Smoothie Ice Cream Pie - plus another giveaway (Anne at From My Sweet Heart) - this post/giveaway will be up Saturday, so stay tuned!