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Monday, February 12, 2007

The Chocolate Class

This post is dedicated to Julie, the most brilliant person I know. She may turn me into a regular blogger yet. Well, if I can stop being intimidated by her blog, that is. Julie has helped me figure out how to post pictures more easily and now to see that people actually had left comments. I apparently had some blogger feature turned on that didn't post comments until I had "moderated" them. Hopefully I've got that turned off now. At least I'm relieved to know that I have had a few readers here and there....

At any rate, here's a photo from our chocolate class.

As you can see, I've had a lot on my plate lately! :-) Despite careful planning and my grandest of intentions I found myself up at 5:30AM the day of the class to do some quick recipe testing. What if I could make the truffles just a little better?!? I'd scanned various recipes online the night before and decided to give one a try. Oh my stinking Hanna! I think these were the best truffles I have ever made. I'm pleased to have a new base recipe that I can use and can move on to experiment with new flavors and enhancements. This version had a touch of Vietnamese cinnamon. I can't wait to try it with a bit more cayenne.

We packed a lot into a 2 1/2 hour class. we made 4 kinds of truffles, caramel and chocolate covered pretzel rods, dipped oreos, dipped pink peppermint marshmallows and caramel s'mores cookies. We never really made it to the molded chocolate hearts, but I don't think anyone cared.

At any rate, now that I've perfected the marshmallow recipe I'm happy to share. Oh, and by the way, I did remake them the day after my last post - with 1/2 the amount of water!

Homemade Marshmallows

3 tablespoons (3 packets) powdered gelatin
1 cup cold water
2 cups sugar
2 egg whites
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting pan and marshmallows
Butter, for greasing pan

In a medium sized saucepan soak the gelatin in the cold water. After the gelatin has softened, approximately 10 minutes, add the regular sugar and then gently dissolve over low heat, approximately 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks and then fold in the sifted confectioners' sugar. While the mixer is on low, slowly pour in the cooled gelatin mixture. Increase the speed and beat until white and thick. The volume should double in size and should form between soft and firm peaks.

Line an 12 x 9 inch baking dish with high sides with foil, grease slightly with butter, and coat with confectioners' sugar. Alternatively, you can use a baking sheet, but the marshmallows will not be as tall. Pour marshmallow mixture in and top with more sifted confectioners' sugar. Leave out overnight or for at least 3 hours to set. The marshmallow should be light and spongy when set.

Loosen marshmallow from edges of tray and invert onto a large cutting board. Peel off foil and use a large knife to cut the marshmallows into cubes. Dredge each piece in confectioners' sugar.


Pink Peppermint Marshmallows – add 1 tsp peppermint extract and 6 drops neon pink food coloring after you pour in the cooled gelatin mixture.


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