I love a good box of chocolates or almost anything covered in chocolate. Every year on Valentine’s Day my kids and I celebrate with a “tea party” consisting of hot chocolate served with chocolates. My son has a peanut allergy and most boxed chocolates are processed with or may contain traces of nuts, this is why I make my own. Marshmallow is a huge hit in my house so naturally, I make a lot of chocolate-covered marshmallows.
Instead of using a plain marshmallow recipe I decided to flavor the marshmallow. I wanted to use natural flavor instead of artificial flavoring. Frozen fruit is always stashed in my freezer for smoothies. I chose frozen cherries which came out tasting like a chocolate covered cherry without the mess!
At first, this recipe was an experiment. I wasn’t sure if you could substitute pureed fruit for the water in the recipe without ruining it, but it worked perfectly. As you can see in the image above, the blended cherry juice gave the marshmallow a soft cake-like texture.
IS IT HARD TO MAKE HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW?
Surprisingly, no, it isn’t as hard as you think to make your own homemade marshmallow. Once you try and get the technique down it becomes easy. The taste difference is the main reason why I started to make my own.
My kids love store-bought marshmallows, if they come grocery shopping with me more than likely they will sneak a bag in the cart. There is nothing wrong with that, especially the tiny ones you put in hot chocolate. But, if you have the time and are willing I recommend giving homemade marshmallows a try. It will make a difference, especially for this dessert recipe.
TIPS FOR BLENDING FRUIT:
I’ve done this recipe with both frozen and fresh cherries and both work well. Obviously, you thaw frozen cherries before using them. Either frozen or fresh I cut them in half to make sure there are no pits. I blend them up in my ninja blender until they become liquid cherry juice. Cherries naturally have a lot of juice, I didn’t have to add any water to them.
This marshmallow recipe is so soft and easy to cut into shapes. You can make these any size you want or any shape making them easily versatile for any occasion.
TOOLS TO HELP MAKE HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW
mixer, or hand held beater
To begin you will set part of the liquid (cherry juice) in a mixer bowl with the gelatin. This will dissolve the gelatin.
Then you can grease the pan to place the marshmallow with non-stick spray and line it with parchment paper. When the marshmallow is ready to go into the pan it will be sticky, let it sit in the pan covered for 8 hrs or overnight.
Meanwhile, you will begin to cook the remaining liquid with sugar in a small or medium saucepan on medium-high heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side of the saucepan so that the bottom of the thermometer is submerged into the liquid but not touching the bottom of the pan.
Once the sugar mixture in the pan reaches 240 degrees F, remove from heat. You will then slowly start the mixer on low speed and slowly pour the hot sugar into the mixer. Once all the sugar has been added to the mixer, turn the speed to high and blend for 12 minutes.
HOW TO SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS
The best way is to have everything prepped and ready before you start. Preparing all of your equipment beforehand and having it set up will prevent mess and frustration when making marshmallows.
Have the saucepan ready with the thermometer attached to the side.
Prepare the pan or container you plan to put the whipped marshmallow to set by lining with parchment paper, non-stick spray and extra confectioners sugar.
Optional: the whisk attachment or beaters, silicone spatula, and inside of the bowl with non-stick spray before adding the cooked sugar to the bowl to whip. This will help prevent a sticky mess while pouring the cooked sugar into the bowl and whipped marshmallow into the pan smoothly.
TIPS FOR MELTING CHOCOLATE
You can melt chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Either way will work fine. Just be careful not to burn the chocolate in the microwave.
Microwave: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place in microwave. Microwave in 30-second increments stirring and checking the chocolate every 30 seconds until chocolate is completely melted.
Double Boiler: This method melts the chocolate in a metal pan that is placed on top of a small saucepan with simmering water. The heat from the simmering water melts the chocolate. Fill a small saucepan 1/3 full with water and place it on the stovetop. Turn the heat to medium/high to bring the water to a simmer. Once the water is at a simmer reduce heat to low and place a metal heatproof bowl over the top, place the chocolate in the bowl, and stir occasionally while the chocolate melts. Once the chocolate is melted, remove it from heat.
COATING MARSHMALLOWS IN CHOCOLATE
Submerge the marshmallow into the melted chocolate coating all sides. Using a fork, lift the marshmallow out of the chocolate and tap the fork on the side of the bowl. This will smooth out the chocolate and get rid of air bubbles. Using a toothpick, slide the chocolate onto a parchment-lined sheet or tray to set.
Once I made marshmallows from scratch I was hooked and make them instead of store-bought whenever I can. The best thing about them is that they are easy to make ahead of time, and you can store them airtight for over a week.
You don’t have to use fruit to flavor marshmallows. You can also add flavoring to replace the vanilla or add food coloring to create any flavor or color. Since they are so versatile, by simply changing the flavor, shape, or color, you can tweak them to any holiday or event.
Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 corn syrup
- 3/4 cup cherry juice blended cherries, divided into 1/2 cup & 1/4 cup cherry juice.
- 2 packets plain gelatin
- 1/4 cup cherry juice blended cherries
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash of salt
- extra confectioners sugar for coating.
- 2 cups chocolate
- Spray a mixer bowl (or bowl and beaters) and whisk attachment with non-stick cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup cherry juice, vanilla, salt, and gelatin. Let sit while the sugar is cooking.
- In a medium saucepan attach a candy thermometer to the side and add granulate sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup cherry juice. Mix it together in the saucepan and bring the mixture to a slow simmer at medium temperature until it reaches 240 degrees F. This may take 15-20 minutes, watch carefully and adjust burner temperature so that the mixture doesn’t over boil but slowly increases its temperature to 240 degrees F.
- Once the sugar mixture has reached temperature remove it from heat. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the mixer carefully while on low speed.
- Once all the sugar is added increase the mixer speed to high and leave to mix for 12 minutes.
- After 12 minutes the mixture will appear lighter and whipped up into a soft marshmallow. With a silicone spatula that is prepped with cooking spray scrape the marshmallow mixture into the desired pan that is coated with non-stick spray. Spread into the pan and with confectioners sugar, pat down into shape, and coat with additional confectioners sugar.
- Cover marshmallow so that it is airtight and let sit for 8 hrs or overnight.
- Once marshmallows have set, place the marshmallow on a cutting board or parchment paper that is coated with confectioners sugar and cut out into desired shapes.
- Melt chocolate and dip to coat each marshmallow and cut out into the chocolate and set on parchment paper to dry.
- Once the chocolate is set serve immediately or set in an airtight container for up to a few days.
Taking the time to make a homemade treat and packaging it well can add a personal touch to any gift. Or simply topping a cupcake or cake with homemade chocolate-covered marshmallows will take any dessert to a whole new level.