Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me for a fair and honest review. The giveaway book is also supplied by the publisher. All opinions are 100% my own.
With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time for me to start brainstorming for homemade holiday gifts. I usually make dozens of various cookies, but this year, since we’re in the process of building a house, things will be scaled back a bit.
Sure, I’ll probably bake up a few things, but I want to try to branch out a little bit. So, when I was approached to review a book about candy-making, I was totally eager to try it. Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction just released a new cookbook: Sally’s Candy Addiction.
Now, while candy-making can be fairly intimidating, I’m noticing that most of these recipes are fairly approachable. There’s a section which explains candy-making basics, to help you understand the supplies that are needed, as well as the different stages of cooking sugar. As far as the recipes go, there’s a nice variety of recipes included…from fudge to caramels to truffles and taffy. I think it would be an awesome cookbook to have if you want to get started with candy-making, especially with the holiday season coming up!
While sifting through the cookbook, these chocolate-dipped cocoa marshmallows caught my eye. I thought that they would be perfect to try before the holidays, since you can pretty much top them with any candy or sprinkles after you dip them in chocolate. For the upcoming holidays, I thought it would be festive to crush up some peppermint candies!
Chocolate-Dipped Cocoa Marshmallows
Source: Sally’s Candy Addiction
(Recipe shared with permission from the publisher.)
- 2/3 cup natural unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder, divided
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 1/3 cups cold water, divided
- 3 x 1/4 oz. packages unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- sprinkles or crushed candies (for topping)
- Prepare a 9×13 inch glass or ceramic baking pan by lining it with non-stick foil or parchment and spraying the inside with non-stick cooking spray (just an added step to make absolutely sure that nothing will stick). Set the pan aside. Sift half of the cocoa powder (1/3 cup), confectioners’ sugar, and cornstarch together in a small bowl, and using a fine sieve, very lightly sprinkle some of the mixture around the prepared pan. There will be a good bit of the mixture left for later on in the recipe.
- Place the remaining 1/3 cup of cocoa powder and 1/3 cup of water in a heatproof bowl or mug. Microwave the mixture on high power for 90 seconds. Stir the hot mixture very well until combined and set aside.
- Place the gelatin and 1/2 cup of the water in a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk the mixture on low speed for 1 minute to briefly combine. Add the hot cocoa powder/water mixture to the gelatin mix and whisk on low speed for another 30 seconds. Allow the mixture to sit in the mixer as you cook the sugar syrup, being sure to stir the mixture for 20 seconds every 3 minutes or so.
- To cook the sugar syrup, place the last 1/2 cup of water, corn syrup, granulated sugar and salt in a 3 quart heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then, attach a candy thermometer to the pan. Make sure you don’t let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan, as that can give a false reading. As the sugar syrup begins to cook, brush down the sides of the pan with a water-moistened pastry brush to prevent crystallization. Cook the sugar syrup, being sure not to stir the mixture, until the temperature reaches 240°F (116°C; soft ball stage).
- Turn the stove off and remove the pan from heat. Turn the mixer on the lowest speed and slowly (and carefully, since the syrup is extremely hot) pour in the hot syrup to the gelatin/cocoa mixture.
- Gradually increase the mixer speed until the mixer is on high speed. Whip the marshmallow mixture for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is light brown, thick and appears to be shiny.
- Working swiftly (since the mixture cools down and sets fast), pour/spoon the marshmallow mixture into the prepared baking pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered at room temperature for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Once the marshmallows are completely firm and set, get a work station ready for cutting the marshmallows. Cover the surface of your counter with wax or parchment paper. Sprinkle the cocoa/confectioners’ sugar/cornstarch mixture on the surface, as well as on top of the marshmallow.
- Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife coated with some of the cocoa/confectioners’ sugar/cornstarch mixture, cut the marshmallow into 2 inch squares. If it starts sticking even more, run the blade of the cutter under hot water and wipe dry with a paper towel. Roll the cut edges of the marshmallows in the cocoa mixture to ensure that they will no longer be sticky.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Melt/temper the chopped semi-sweet chocolate, and dip each marshmallow halfway into the warm chocolate. Lift out the marshmallow and gently shake off the excess chocolate. Carefully place the marshmallow onto the prepared baking sheet and top with the toppings of choice. Repeat with the rest of the marshmallows, and allow the chocolate to completely set before serving. (If you don’t eat the marshmallows immediately, layer the marshmallows between sheets of parchment or wax paper in an airtight container and store at room temperature in a cool/dry place. They will keep for about a week.)
Would you like to win a copy? The publishers of this book are offering ONE lucky reader of The Nifty Foodie a copy of “Sally’s Candy Addiction”!
To enter the giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter widget below.
Note: This giveaway is supplied by the publisher and is open to readers in the continental US only. Entries will be accepted until October 20th, 2015 at 11:59pm (central standard time). Winner will be emailed (make sure you leave an email address in the form), and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.