Dec 16, 2010

Chocolate Malt Marshmallows

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If you haven’t noticed, I’ve got the candymaking bug lately, people, and I’ve got it bad. And since its coincided with my insatiable need for all things malted, meet my latest love: the Chocolate Malt Marshmallow. These little gems positively scream, “Gift me! GIFT ME!” just in time for you to realize that you really ought to give a little something to the mailman this year.

Impromptu gifts aside, these chocolaty, malt-y, delightfully pillowy cubes are just the thing to fill out your holiday cookie tins and bob happily in your wintertime hot cocoa. Coated in bittersweet chocolate shavings rather than powdery cornstarch or confectioners’ sugar, I sort of love the shaggy look of them, the way they leave little flecks all over the plate or the mug. Much more charming than the wreath we bought this year that has done nothing more than shed all over my mantle all dang day. I’ve been vaccuming my mantle, people. But that is neither here nor there.

At first glance, you might think you’re just getting a plain old chocolate-flavored marshmallow here (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but the toasty flavor of malt is such a nice surprise. The way I see it, malted milk powder is the most genius thing that you can have in your pantry for when those mad scientist moments hit. It pairs with vanilla as beautifully as chocolate, its perfect with nuts of all sorts, dairy products (naturally) and even a few fruits get along well with it. Malt powder’s earthiness and soft, round flavor help to temper the sweetness of whatever it’s paired with, making anything malted instantly addictive and craveworthy. It adds richness and fullness without being heavy. Its magical, basically.

You know what else I think is magical? Marshmallows. And obviously we all know chocolate is totally magical. So throw some malt into the mix and who knows what might happen. If you put some of these out with the milk and cookies for Santa…well. Let’s just say we might all get those fancy new pairs of Spanx that we’re hoping for.

Chocolate Malt Marshmallows

Malted milk powder can be found in most supermarkets either by the hot chocolate mixes, or near the ice cream fixings. That’s right, I said fixings.

For the chocolate shavings, grate bar chocolate on the largest holes of a boxed grater.

The deeper and richer your cocoa powder, the more intense the color and flavor will be, so use the best one you can get your hands on (I like Valrhona).

Makes about 20

For the marshmallows:

2 tablespoons (about 2 packets) unflavored powdered gelatin
1/3 cup cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup, divided
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup malted milk powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For finishing the marshmallows:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely grated

Grease an 8×8-inch pan with shortening, using a paper towel to rub it lightly and evenly onto the bottom, sides and edges of the pan. Set aside.

Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water in a small bowl. Set aside to soften.

Place the sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan and stir gently. Clip a candy thermometer onto the pan, and place it over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil, checking it occasionally–you are looking for it to eventually hit a temperature of 240-245 degrees.

Meanwhile, place the remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Heat the softened gelatin in the microwave to melt it, about 30 seconds or so on high. Start the mixer on low speed, and pour the gelatin into the corn syrup. Keep the mixer running on low speed.

Whisk together the cocoa, malt powder and boiling water in a small bowl until smooth. When the sugar syrup is up to temperature, whisk the cocoa mixture into it, followed by the vanilla. Carefully transfer the syrup to a large, heatproof measuring cup or a similar vessel with a spout for easy pouring. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture. When all the syrup has been added, crank the speed up to medium-high and let it go for about 10 minutes–the candy will become fluffy and the color of a chocolate malt during this time.

Sift together 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. Set aside, and keep the sifter handy.

Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula spritzed with a bit of cooking spray to nudge it into the corners and smooth the top. Sift the cocoa-confectioners’ sugar mixture evenly and generously over the top. Let sit for about 6 hours, or overnight.

Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan and invert it onto a cocoa-confectioners’ sugar mixture-dusted work surface. Cut the marshmallow into squares (a pizza cutter works great here). Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in chocolate shavings, and dab more all over the marshmallows. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

  • Chocolate Malt brings back such great childhood memories. What a great idea for a marshmallow flavor. In hot chocolate sounds oh so decadent.

  • Oh wow! Perhaps it's cos I'm from the UK and we don't get anything other than the bog standard pink/white marshmallows here, but these sound so amazing and different….does the chocolate flavour really come through? I might have to have a crack at these!

  • souperior–Yes! Especially if you use a really high-quality cocoa.

  • What a great idea. I love malt flavor!

  • Love this recipe ! just one question though : how long should i let it boil if i don't have a candy thermometer ?

    • Unfortunately – there are too many variables (type of pan, type of stove, ambient temperatures, ingredient temperature. etc) to guess a time-frame for the correct temp. Candy thermometers are very in expensive and worth their price for hundreds of uses!

      A candy thermometer would be a perfect gift for yourself!

      Happy Holidays!

  • Malt is my husband's favorite! He would be amazed if I made these for him. But it'll have to wait until our pancreases recover from Christmas.

  • What a great idea! This would make an amazing reverse hot chocolate with vanilla milk and chocolate malted marshmallows.

  • […] The recipe can be found on Shauna’s website. […]

  • Have made these a couple of times now and they rock. I don’t buy malt so have substituted Milo for the malt ( with a bit of mesquite powder too ) My kids adore them as does any adult who’s been lucky to stop in when they’re being cut up. Thanks for such a awesome recipe

    • Mesquite!!!

  • My marshmallows turned out such a dull, almost pastel, shade of brown. Is this merely a consequence of the cocoa I used? I note that you said intensity is a result of the quality of cocoa. I just want to make sure the tweaks I make are in the right direction before wasting time and money….

  • This comment is for the “Deeply Chocolate Marshmallows” from the Madness book.

    Has anyone else had any issues with the recipe being WAY too liquid-y? I have been making Alton Brown’s classic marsh. for about 5 years but was excited for the Madness book so I could try something new.

    The ONLY alt. I made to the recipe was not including any of the instant espresso powder. All sugar, corn syrup, and cooking hardware remained the same.

    First batch I tried I made same amount in the book. For the 4 qt. pot l was using, I found that it was too little volume and it didn’t look like my candy thermometer made an accurate reading. I tried to whip anyway with that in the back of my mind = no success. I wasn’t surprised and figured it was me with a too thin layer of sugar syrup in my pot to boil.

    I went back later and tripled everything in the recipe (again, no 3/4 tsp of espresso powder [x3]) to give me more depth in that pot for boiling for the sugar syrup. (Prepped chocolate syrup as instructed in the mixer standing by waiting for the sugar syrup temp. to reach 248-250F.) This time the sugar syrup took a more familiar amount of time to boil up and reach the instructed 248-250F temp. I went back to then microwaving the gelatin right before the sugar syrup hit its temp, had it whisking on low, and then incorporated the sugar syrup to the chocolate syrup. I tried whipping on higher speeds in the same mixer I’ve used for Brown’s recipes in the past, with marshmallows done about a month previous, and noting. Tried whipping on med-high and high speeds in the mixture for over 15 minutes (mixture then became too luke warm/cool to do much), nothing – just a sweet and mildly bubbly chocolate mixture.

    Any one else have this issue? Any thoughts? I am going to try the basic vanilla marshmallow in the book to see if l can get that down but man, I went from using Alton Brown’s recipe since 2012 with dozens of batches without fail to 0/2 for this chocolate recipe.

    – A Deflated Marsh

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