You know what's great about late autumn/early winter? You say, "Hey, anybody want hot chocolate?" and you've immediately got, like, six new best friends. Everyone uses the vaguely scientific excuse of "cold weather burns more calories" to eat whatever the heck they want and when science fails to show up, there's always oversize sweaters. Winter's got your back, babe. Everybody looks cozily enormous in a winter coat and nobody'll know if that's you or actually six layers of clothing under there. Of course there will be backlash if you actually go through the entire holiday season eating as if there was no tomorrow. Which is why when you have a chance to healthy-up an existing recipe, you take it. We're in full-on prep mode for a DIY grilled cheese & s'mores party this Saturday when some of my favorite people come into town. There'll be a bonfire for warming up and marshmallow toasting and a bonfire for cooking our grilled cheese and a hayride or something. It'll be lit. *gales of punny laughter* And to celebrate this fact I'm making a few batches of homemade marshmallows. I started with Molly Yeh's rose-water marshmallows from Molly On The Range. Last night we were out of granulated sugar of all things, so I did a bit of tweaking and came up with an even more classically middle-eastern marshmallow made with palm sugar. I used Molly's hawaij spice recipe for added flair in the hot cocoa which I sweetened palm sugar/maple syrup, using the good old Hershey's cocoa box recipe.
I mean, look at it. They're so cute and floufy. The rosewater really tastes like roses. I mean, that should go without saying, but its almost like eating a cube of hand lotion. Only, way sweeter and less prone to require a call to Poison Control. I love the way these marshmallows melt into a silky sheen over the cocoa. The slightly bitter flavor of the hot chocolate cuts and swirls into the rose flavor and gets held together by the sneezy magic which is hawaij. Want to travel to the middle east but can't afford the plane ticket? Try a cup of this.
24 medium marshmallows
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon rosewater
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3/4 cups palm sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
- In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and cornstarch. Sift together, then dust into a greased 8x8" pan. Pour excess back into bowl and set aside.
- Mix 1/2 cup of water, rosewater, and vanilla in a large bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over top.
- Over medium heat, mix palm sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup of water. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- Start mixer fitted with whisk attachments and mix together the gelatin mixture. Pour a thin stream of the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. When thoroughly incorporated, increase mixer speed and whip until fluffy and lukewarm.
- With a greased spatula, spread marshmallow fluff into greased pan. Sprinkle top with remaining powdered sugar/starch mixture and press the marshmallows into the corners of the pan.
- Allow to rest overnight, then cut with greased knife and toss with powdered sugar.
Hawaij Hot Chocolate
2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon palm sugar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup whole or full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup hot coffee
1/4 teaspoon hawaij spices
- Mix all ingredients together on the stovetop and heat until hot. Serve in a large mug with whipped cream or rosewater marshmallows.