Wednesday, February 10, 2016

All Natural Raspberry Marshmallows, Plus a Raspberry Hot Chocolate Recipe!

I recently learned how to make homemade marshmallows, and I can say this: MY. MIND. WAS. BLOWN.  I had no idea how simple it was to make marshmallows!  And yet I've been complaining for years about the terrible ingredients in store-bought marshmallows and wishing I could buy more natural or organic ones. Little did I know they would be so simple.

So once I made the first two batches of plain marshmallows, I immediately started changing it up and made flavoured ones.  First I did festive holiday ginger spiced ones, then cherry, lemon and mint. But the best of all was raspberry.  I could achieve the greatest natural flavour and colour with real raspberry juice! I simply thawed a bag of frozen raspberries and used the juices from it to make a batch of marshmallows.  The remaining raspberries were eaten, put on yogurt and used in smoothies, so there was no waste at all.

So with some modifications to a February 2011 Chatelaine Magazine recipe for homemade marshmallows, I created this recipe:

All-Natural Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows:

You need:
1/3 cup organic corn syrup (I used organic, vanilla-flavoured by Wholesome Sweeteners)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used raw, organic cane sugar by Camino)
1/2 cup (split into 1/4 cup measurements) juice from thawed frozen raspberries, sifted to remove seeds
1/8 tsp salt
21 gram of unflavoured gelatin powder (3 7 gram packets)
1/4 cup organic icing sugar (I used Wholesome Sweeteners - it's the only organic icing sugar I could find)
1 tsp cornstarch

1. Prepare a 8-inch square brownie pan by greasing it with coconut oil or cooking spray. Then line it with plastic wrap, ensuring it comes up all sides about an inch. Grease the plastic wrap as well. Set aside.

2. Stir together 1/4 cup of raspberry juice, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and place on the stovetop. Heat on medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring the ingredients together.

3. While waiting for the syrup to boil, warm the other 1/4 cup of raspberry juice in the microwave for 20 seconds. Then place in the bottom of a stand mixer bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over top and give it a stir. Let rest for 2 minutes to soften.

4. Set your mixer on high, with the whisk attached, and pour in your hot syrup, letting it stream down the sides steadily. Use a spatula to scrape in the rest.  Beat on high for 4 minutes, until it is thick and light pink and peaks form.

5. Immediately pour into your pan and quickly spread around to even out the top.

6. Let set on the counter for about two hours.

7. Place the cornstarch and icing sugar in a bowl. Grease a long straight-edged knife. Remove the marshmallow from the pan and slice into 1-inch cubes. Roll in icing sugar mixture, coating all sides.

8. Seal in bags or airtight containers. These seem to keep for well over a month when sealed airtight (if you only use plastic wrap, they will harden from air exposure).

Here are two chocolaty ways to enjoy raspberry marshmallows:

Dip them in or drizzle on Madagascar dark chocolate!

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Recipe

Madagascar chocolate most often tastes citrusy, and has raspberry fruit and blackberry flavours in it, which makes them pair well with these raspberry marshmallows. I tried Medecasse's 80% Madagascar dark chocolate which was nice.  But Lindt's Madagascar 70% dark chocolate was a perfect pairing.

Simply melt and temper some Madagascar dark chocolate. Using a toothpick stuck in the marshmallow, dip it into the chocolate, carefully tap off the excess chocolate and place on a piece of waxed paper to set. Alternately, drizzle the chocolate over the raspberries for a hint of chocolaty flavour.  Seal well. Chocolate-covered marshmallows are a fun treat for kids, and delicious as a hot chocolate topper (they make your hot chocolate even chocolaty-er!).  And they
 are especially fun to serve to your Valentine because of their pink colour.

Toss these on a Raspberry Hot Chocolate!

Raspberry Hot Chocolate Recipe
Ingredients from Shari's Berries infographic on gourmet hot cocoa. Instructions devised by me (Lisabeth).

You need:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips, or finely chopped chocolate
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp. raspberry jam

Place your milk, cocoa powder and jam in a saucepan on the stovetop and heat at medium-high. Place your chocolate in a large mug. Then bring the milk mixture just to a simmer on the stove. As soon as it begins to bubble, remove from heat and pour 1/4 of the mixture over the chocolate. Stir until it looks smooth, but still with a few lumps.  Pour the remaining milk over top and stir until smooth.  Enjoy!

Note on Chocolate:
The thing about this recipe, and all recipes involving chocolate, is that the taste can change depending on the flavour of the chocolate.  I made raspberry hot chocolate a few ways, with different kinds of chocolate.  And one of the chocolates that I used had over 70% cocoa solids, but it had a very floral flavour and the resulting hot chocolate was not as good as another that I had made with no floral flavours. If this happens to you, add some agave syrup, which will help the flavour immensely.

Happy Valentine's Day!