1.19.2012

Hot Chocolate and Homemade Marshmallows.

The weather is changing here in Northern California from warm, sunny, and 65 to cold, rainy, and 50. True Northern Californian weather for this time of year is what I am told. My Florida/Colorado sunny self is not too excited for this change.

I've also come to the conclusion that I will probably never have a good tan again. Check out this photo from college of Abbie, Brianne, and I. That tan is probably unhealthy, but it looked good to me.
Needless to say, good sun tanning weather is not the near forecast so I am trying to get prepared with warm beverage options and soups galore.

I think I found a hot chocholate recipe that is super yummy and the homemade marshmallows make this cup of comfort even sweeter.



Hot Chocolate
Inspired by Alton Brown
Print this recipe!
Makes about 6 ½ cups of dry mix
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
3 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender to they are well mixed. (I’ve even worked in batches and used my cleaned out coffee grinder to do this.)
Mix a heafty ¼ cup of the dry mix with warm milk or hot water. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows and enjoy!

Now on to the marshmallows.

Since making them back in December, I’ve made several batches and it is truly super easy and delicious. Plus, you will totally impress people when you tell them you made them on your own.

Marshmallows
Again inspired by Alton Brown (he just does good stuff, what can I say) and Smitten Kitchen
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups of vanilla sugar or regular granulated sugar (I’ve also used 1 cup granulated and ½ cup vanilla to test they vanillaness. Any way makes them yummy, so its up to you.)
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup confectioners' sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray

Now…onto how ya do it.

You can use a stand mixer, or hand mixer. Hand Mixer may take longer to whip.
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water (or regular bowl if you use a hand mixer). Use the whisk attachment for the stand mixer.
In a saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and cook for about 3 minutes.
Uncover, and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F (use a candy thermometer for this), approximately 7 to 8 minutes.

Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture.

Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. It’s hot, and may splash, so use caution!
Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick, approximately 12 minutes (15 or so with a hand mixer).
Prep the pan somewhere in between the sugar cooking or whipping.
Using a pyrex or cake pan (if you use a cake pan, line it with parchment paper), coat the entire pan with non stick stray. Combine the sugar and corn starch mix and sift over the entire pan coating everything. This will help everything not stick as much. Don’t use all the mix, because you will need it later.
Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping and it should turn out looking something like this:
Once your mixture is light and fluffy, move it to the prepare pan as soon as you can.
Helpful hint: Spray a spatula with non stick stray and it is easier to spread the mixture.
A little bit of a fluffer nutter snack :)
After it is all spread out, coat the top with more of the sugar/corn starch mix and let it sit for about 2 hours. Then after that you can cut them with a knife, kitchen sheers or a dough knife. When it is all cut up, coat again with the sugar/corn starch mix so everything doesn't stick together.
All done! Seal in an air tight container and they should be good for a few weeks at least (if they last that long).
Bowl of marshmallows anyone?
{Erica}

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