Years ago when I was teaching, I had arranged a Valentine’s party for my students. Valentine cards were being exchanged, little cupcakes and cookies were being enjoyed, music was playing and fun was being had by everyone. At one point, one of my students proclaimed to me with such excitement in her voice, “This is the best day of my life!” It still brings a smile to my face, to this day, to see such joy on a 7 year old’s face. I’m not sure what part of the day was the highlight, but it didn’t matter. Valentine’s Day is what you make of it, and this year it gives me a reason to create sweet treats! I really wanted to try something different from cakes and cookies. Marshmallow has always been a mystery to me. I was never quite sure how I felt about the stuff. So I read about marshmallows and how easy it was to make your own, and I thought, well if I’m going to eat this stuff twice a year, I might as well figure out how to make them, so I can control what goes in them! And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, getting creative with marshmallow just sounded fun to me!
Once you’ve heated your sugar mixture to 240 – 260F, then slowly add it to the prepared gelatin and beat until creamy.
Once you’ve achieved the desired consistency, you’ll need work quickly and transfer the marshmallow mixture to a buttered and sugared foil lined pan to let it ‘cure’. As you can see above, I was unable to achieve a perfectly smooth surface because the mass was starting to cool and harden a bit!
After letting the marshmallow ‘cure’ for 8-24 hours, you are ready to cut the stuff into cubes! Look at those fluffy clouds of sugar!
I used cookie cutters to cut out shapes for the hearts. It’s important to butter the cookie cutters before cutting out marshmallow shapes.
One heart cut out, many more to go! Each need to be lightly dusted with powdered sugar mix so they are easier to handle!
Oh chocolate, how I love thee on everything….
The finished treat. Mocha Crunch Marshmallow Hearts. Chocolate covered espresso beans are crushed and are the topping for the fluffy, chocolate laden marshmallow hearts!
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup water, ice cold, divided
- 3 packets of gelatin
- 1¾ cups of granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 150 grams (5 ounces) good quality chocolate, melted
- ¼ cup chocolate covered espresso beans, crushed
- In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Line 9" x 13" pan with foil and lightly butter bottom and sides, leaving no unbuttered spots. Take a tablespoon of the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture and pour it into the buttered pan. Shake the pan until it is completely coated with sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl (or the mixing bowl of your stand mixer), pour in ½ cup of the ice cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it hang out and do its thing.
- In a small sauce pan, over medium high heat, add the rest of the water, sugar and corn syrup. Let it cook for about 4 minutes. Do not stir.
- Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan (be careful! The mixture is hot!) Let the mixture cook until it reaches 240 - 260 degrees F, about 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches the desired temperature, remove from heat.
- Add the whisk attachment to the stand mixer. Turn the mixer on low speed and while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the sides of the mixing bowl in to the gelatin mixture. Increase the speed to high, add salt and continue to whip the mixture for about 15 minutes. Add vanilla at the last minute of whipping.
- Transfer the marshmallow to the prepared pan, and using a lightly buttered spatula, smooth the top, and let it cure for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Turn the marshmallow mass over onto a powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture dusted surface.
- Using a lightly buttered knife or cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes (I used a 2" cookie cutter - I tried using a smaller one, but it didn't hold its shape).
- Melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with water or low heat or use a double boiler.
- Chop the espresso beans, set aside.
- Once the chocolate has melted, wait about 5 minutes before dipping marshmallows (I was too excited and began dipping when the chocolate was too warm...resulting in melted marshmallow).
- Coat the marshmallow completely in chocolate, using a toothpick or candy stick.
- While still cooling, sprinkle espresso beans over the marshmallows!
- Place chocolate covered marshmallows in fridge to set and serve with your favorite beverage, or adorn a sundae with a marshmallow! You can easily use the scraps to make marshmallow cream by melting it on low! Enjoy! Store in an airtight container for up to a week.