The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.
The challenge for july is my second as a daring baker, and a bit more of a real challenge than my first. I chose to make the marshmallows, because I’ve always wanted to try making that at home, but I never got around to actually do it. But a kick in my ass from the DB was just what I needed. So today, on a lazy Sunday, I made marshallows for the first time! I’m glad I did it today when I had the enitre day free, because it turned out to be quite time consuming. At least for me. But hey, I’m not a pro! It was a little messy, the dough was sticky and there were chocolate all over the kitchen and my legs at one point, but it was worth it when I look at those pretty little things now. They look so sweet!
There were three stages of this challenge.
1: The cookie. 2: The marshmallow. 3: The chocolate.
First I started to make the cookie dough. I reduced the amount to 2/3, because I wanted a smaller cookie to marshmallow ratio. More of the good stuff! The dough making itself was no problem. I wrapped it in cling foil and put it in the fridge. Meanwhile, me and my boyfriend went for a walk. Picked some flowers, spotted some raspberries I had to taste, and when the sun appeared, we had to have ice cream. I was given a giant soft ice, oh man, it was so big, even for me. 15 cm height from the cone? Needless to say lunch was excluded. Back home, the dough was nice and chilled. On a floured surface I started to roll out the dough, trying to get it as thin as possible. This was a problem because the dough stuck to the bench and my fingers. I added more flour, but it was still very sticky. With a whisky glass I cut out small rounds of dough, and did my best to transfer them to a baking sheet, still as a round. After a while a started making balls with my hands and pressing them flat instead. It was just easier. And some time later I had many, many cookies. I think I made about 40 small cookies. I baked them until golden brown, and allowed them to cool on a rack.
The marsmallow was a little challenge as well. But after all, it is called daring baker challenge. I replaced the corn syrup with golden syrup, and combined it with water and sugar in a saucepan and brang to the boil. I don’t have a candy thermometer, and really not much experience with candy making, so I didn’t really know exactly when it would reach soft ball stage. I had an idea about how it would look, though, and trusted my instincts. It boiled for a few minutes, but when it started to colour, I removed it from the heat. It had thickened a lot, and was a lot more sirupy then before, but not quite firm enough to shape a ball. But I didn’t want it to caramelize either, so I let it be like that. I added the gelatine and poured this mix and vanilla into my already whipped eggwhites. Then I continued whipping until it would turn stiff. But it wouldn’t. So I added one more eggwhite. Uh uh, still not. I added more gelatine. Noooo. And after some more gelatine I finally saw it starting to thicken, and gradually turning stiff. I transfered it to my dessert decorator (pastry bag) and piped a marshmallow kiss onto each cookie. They looked so sweet at this point and I had just enough marshmallow for my cookies! Hooray! 2 down, 1 to go!
This should be easy enough. Chocolate and oil in a bowl over simmering water. When it was completely melted I was ready to start dipping. I was a little afraid the marhsmallows weren’t stiff enough, and that this would turn out even messier than the cookie dough, but it was no problem at all! They were all stiff, so that was easy peasy. When done, I sprinkled some of them with coco, and waited for the chocolate to set. It was said to take about 1 to 2 hours, but after that time they still weren’t completely set. So I put it in the fridge. It seemed to help, at least as long as they were chilled. Once they reached room temperature they started to melt again. But after all it’s summer, and what’s the problem storing them in the fridge anyway? Fine by me. Nevertheless, I decided to try making them firm. You see, I had a lot of excess chocolate, so I thought I would give them a double dip. I just added some more chocolate, cause I have a feeling I might have used too much oil. So once again, I gave them a little chocolate bath, and put it in the fridge. They seemed a little firmer, but I can’t really say whether they set or not, because I put them in the fridge right away. So with a little extra effort they came out really well! They were so cute, looked quite professional (some of them, anyway) and tasted absolutely delicious.
This was a great challenge that I really loved. Finally I’ve made marshmallows at home. And it wasn’t as hard as I imagined, so I’ll probably make these again. I was a little sick of everything sweet when they finally were done, but the next day they tasted divine. It was the perfect after dinner sweet. Perfect size, just a mouthful. I have a feeling I’ll be munching on these the rest of the evening, and the evenings to come. There’s really no other way. Chocolate covered marshmallows are all I see when I open the frigde. They’re everywhere! And there’s 40 of them. I’ll just have to work my way through everyone of them. Well, I guess worse things could happen.