Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Covered Coconut Marshmallows

Wow, I apologize for the enormity of the name, but I really don't know what else to call these babies! Chocolate and Toasted Covered Coconut *home-made* Marshmallows says it all. I've been wanting to make this creation for several weeks now, ever since I saw this post on Bakerella on making various different flavours of marshmallows. The peanut butter and jelly ones definitely caught my eye, but I wanted to try out the coconut chocolate combination first.

I had made marshmallows once a few years ago, but I forgot how easy and fast it is! All it is, literally, is softening some gelatin, boiling some sugar, corn syrup and water to a certain temperature, and then beating it all together until it reaches the right consistency! The most difficult part of the whole process is spreading the very sticky warm marshmallow goo into a pan without getting it everywhere, including your face *ahem*.

I chose to use a bittersweet chocolate to coat them, because the marshmallows are pretty sugary on their own. The bitterness of the chocolate evens them out a bit, and the toasted coconut gives some wonderful texture.

Somehow though, dipping into chocolate has never become easy for me. I always find whatever is on the stick is trying to slip it's way off, and the coating is uneven. It was probably even more difficult with these marshmallows, because they are SO light and fluffy, they are basically a cloud that melts in your mouth! What I ended up doing was keeping the toasted coconut on the pan that it came in, so that I could place the chocolate coated mallow to rest on the coconut. I took a small steel spatula (you know the kind that you use to smooth cake icing) to coat all of the sides except for the back, which I was holding with my fingers for extra support. I finished the back off after I placed the mallow on the coconut. By doing it this way, you can smooth the chocolate out and really decide how much chocolate you want on the mallow.

Yield: Approximately 20 large rectangular mallows (more or less depending on how big you cut them)
2 1/2 tablespoons unflavoured gelatin (about 1 1/2 packets)
1/2 cup cold water, divided
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
nonstick spray
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening

Place 1/4 cup of the cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer, an sprinkle the gelatin over top for it to soften. In the meantime, combine the other half of the water, sugar, corn syrup and salt into a small saucepan, making sure to have a candy thermometer close by. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F (5-10 minutes). Once the temperature is reached, immediately remove from the heat.

With the whisk attachment on the mixer moving at low speed, add the hot liquid in a slow and steady stream down the side of the mixer bowl. Doing this helps a) to cool it down slightly, and b) to avoid it getting hit by the whisk and whipped around. Once all the syrup has been added, crank up the mixing speed to high and whip until the mixture is very think and has cooled, but still is warm. This should take about 12-15 minutes of mixing. *You can do this with a strong hand mixer; I made marshmallows the first time with a hand mixer. However, be prepared to have a tired arm afterwards.

While the mixture is whipping, combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk together. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 8 x 8 pan (with shortening or spray) and thoroughly coat the pan with the sugar-cornstarch mixture, reserving what is left. Once the marshmallow mixture is finished whipping, spray a spatula with nonstick spray and spread the mixture in an even layer into the prepared pan. Sprinkle a layer of the sugar-cornstarch mixture over top to coat lightly. Let the pan sit, uncovered or at least 4 hours or up to overnight before cutting.

Remove the marshmallow slab onto a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter or cookie cutters to cut the desired shape. At this point, if you want plain marshmallows, dip the pieces in the remaining sugar-cornstarch mixture to prevent sticking.

Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Evenly spread 1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut. Toast for 5-10 minutes, or until a nice golden brown is achieved. Remove and let cool.

Add 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon shortening into a heat proof bowl. Heat in the microwave at reduced heat for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate and shortening, and return to microwave at 30 second increments until a smooth melted chocolate is achieved. Be careful not to overheat! Once you have scorched the chocolate there is no going back and it must be thrown out.

Use popsicle sticks, candy sticks, or whatever you have on hand to insert into the marshmallow. Dip, or spread the chocolate onto the marshmallow and lay the chocolate coated marshmallow onto the bed of toasted coconut.

Let harden, at least 1 hour or 1/2 an hour in the fridge. Serve and enjoy!

Source: adapted from Food Network via Annie's Eats

P.S. These are seriously delicious. You should make them. Pin It

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