Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate Covered Stout Marshmallows

For the superbowl, Jo and I decided to make these chocolate covered stout marshmallows. While this is the actual recipe, I originally found it here on Pangaea Beer & Food when James posted about it. I figured it wouldn't be too complicated based on the recipe. Plus, how could homemade marshmallows covered in chocolate not be delicious?

So you start with two packets of unflavored gelatin, generally Knox as I don't know of any other brands. It gets mixed with some of the stout and vanilla and then you let it sit until it's ready. Looks sort of like this.
Doesn't look like much, but it'll become something delicious eventually.

After that, it's time to make the sugar syrup. The recipe says to use at least a 4 quart pot and really you should listen to it.
It starts looking something like that, not much to see. However, the recipe isn't kidding when it says it expands a lot. After a minute or two, it looks like this.
See, it's already starting to grow up the sides and is filling about half the pot. After another few minutes, it boils up completely and fills the rest of it.
See, my pot almost wasn't big enough at 3 quarts. Luckily it didn't foam over but there's no reason to risk it so just use a bigger pot than you'll think you need. I'm not sure how long it took overall but I just used a thermometer (I have this neat one that you just point at stuff and it reads the temperature, so useful) and when the syrup hits around 250, I took it off the heat. I did have to move the pointer around a little though as the center wasn't quite as hot as the sides so take that in mind when taking readings. I guess if you don't have a thermometer you could wait until it's a nice dark brown like above but it'll make the recipe much more difficult.

After that, you slowly pour the sugar syrup into the bloom you prepared earlier while the mixer is on low. I guess you could do this by hand, but man that would suck. Now, realize that this will make a huge mess on the sides of the mixing bowl. The syrup cools really quickly while pouring so you'll get some caramel crystals on the side instead of in the bloom. But whatever, it's no big deal, just a mess. Once all the syrup is poured, turn the mixer up to high and let it mix until it is glossy and thick. It'll be pretty obvious when it's ready. I put it in a bread pan which had parchment in it, making it much easier to get out the next day. Oh and realize you won't get all of the goo out of the mixing bowl. It's too sticky. Just do your best and get out as much as you can. A little lost won't matter in the end. At this point, just put the bread pan aside, away from any animals or pesky roommates to solidify overnight.

The next day, the marshmallow stuff should be pretty solid. It was still a little sticky but not so bad. Kind of solid but yielding. Good description, I know. I gave it at least 12 hours the first time I made them and an entire day the next but it's up to you on how long to wait. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on the top and spread it over the top of the marshmallow especially where it is most sticky or slimy. Once done, flip the pan over on to a cutting board and cut the marshmallows apart into reasonably sized pieces. I put a little powdered sugar on the knife to avoid having it stick to the marshmallows but I figure if you've made it this far you know how to cut things. Even if you haven't made it this far, I hope you know how to cut things. My first batch ended up looking like this.
I cut the second batch a little smaller but it's really up to you. Once done, I used chopsticks to dip each one into the bowl of melted chocolate. You can sort of see the chocolate in the background of the above picture if you're curious. Again, I figure you can handle this part if you have hands so I won't bother going into too much detail. You'll end up with a delicious pan of chocolate covered marshmallows.
Now, this version we covered with crushed up pretzels but we didn't the second time. The topping is obviously up to you but a word of warning about the pretzels. The marshmallow part lasts a lot time, but after a few days the pretzel pieces get stale. So, if you're like James and making them for a party where they'll get eaten immediately, not a big deal. But if you're like Jo and I then they'll last for a few weeks since we eat dessert slowly so you want to avoid things that will go stale. The second time we put a little kosher salt on them but we haven't tasted them yet. Figure they'll be just as delicious though.

As a side note, the stout used isn't that big a deal though the stronger the flavor of the stout, the more it will come through in the marshmallows. I chose two different imperial stouts for my batches, Green Flash Double Stout and Weyerbacher Old Heathen, but James used Southern Tier Creme Brulee. His marshmallows probably got a bit more flavor from the stout than mine just because his choice is a bit stronger and much sweeter. It doesn't really matter in the end, though, as long as you use something decent.


  1. Beer marshmallows are an awesome idea! I was thinking one of the JW Lees harvest ales would be a great flavor addition.

  2. That would probably work pretty well. I'd say anything that isn't hoppy would be an interesting addition. Other than color I don't see a big difference in cooking with a stout versus something else and since you cover the marshmallows in chocolate, the color wouldn't even matter.

  3. Hey Rich. Dig the article, the marshmallows look awesome. Thanks for the shoutout.