The wonderful, restful, schedule-less mountain mornings and sunny beach afternoons of holiday are officially over. I know this because the loudness of the quiet in my house confirms that my kiddos are back in the hands of their learning institutions. It also affirms that there is now a definite space between me and the nearest person of at least 50 feet. The merry making shall now commence!
I had the pleasure this holiday of spending time with the loveliest ten year old. I particularly enjoy this ten year old because she already shows a passionate love of food and being in the kitchen. She gets that from her dad. She also has a natural eye for photography and colour so I think she would make a great stylist. She gets that from her mom. I think that having your child be interested in something that interests you is a kick that only a parent can understand.
Photogirl and I were working on a shoot this holiday when this petite ten year old said; “Sam, do you know what would be really cool on your blog? Hot chocolate!” Then I said: “Hmmm, I think that would be very cool indeed.”
So my dearest Mia, for all the times you put Handsome in the bath for me; for all the times you dug his favourite Francesco out of the beach sand; for all the times you let him boss you around; for all the times you were gracious and patient with the other little kids too, this recipe for Cardamom and cinnamon hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows is especially for you. I really hope that you like it enough to put it in your recipe folder.
I added the marshmallows to Mia’s suggestion for Hot Chocolate not only because it’s the obvious fit, but also because marshmallows are something which I have been wanting to try again for ages. Some years back I made a batch that turned out to be one hot mess of gloopy guck, so you should know that I am still wearing my smug smile after this particular success.
I would definitely say to give it a bash, because making marshmallows is kinda easy if you keep your wits about you and follow the recipe to the letter. This marshmallow recipe uses Lyle’s golden syrup, which I absolutely love, instead of corn syrup which most recipes call for. I splurged on NOMU vanilla bean extract because I knew that you would taste the vanilla and so I wanted to use the best. You will need a stand mixer to make the marshmallows.
Knowing when the sugar is at the correct heat can be tricky. I do not have a sugar thermometer as I really don’t do a lot of sugar work, so I used the soft ball method of checking.
Hear ye hear ye, hot sugar will burn you in a way that will leave you weeping. On the floor. For hours. PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!
- 125 ml + 30 ml (½ cup plus 2 T) water
- 45 ml (3 T) powdered unflavoured gelatin
- 190 ml (¾ C) water
- 250 ml (1 C) Lyle’s golden syrup
- pinch salt
- 375 ml (1 ½ C) white sugar
- 52 ml (1 ½ T) vanilla extract
- icing sugar for dusting
- 6 cardamom pods, crushed
- 750 ml (3 C) milk
- 250 ml (1 C) cream
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 5 ml (1 t) ground cinnamon
- 15 ml (1 T) vanilla extract brown sugar to taste
- Place the water for the bloom into the bowl of your mixer.
- Stir in the gelatin and leave to stand.
- To make the base place the water, syrup, salt and sugar, in that order, into a medium sized pot.
- Over medium heat, bring the mixture to the boil, stirring to mix well.
- Place a lid on the pot and boil for two minutes.
- Remove the lid and WITHOUT stirring allow the sugar to cook over constant medium heat until it reaches a sugar thermometer temperature of 240F or 115˚C, or until a small amount of the mixture dropped into a bowl of cold water forms a ball that holds its shape but is still pliable. This will take about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the hot sugar into the gelatin in the bowl. The mixture will bubble up so do a little at a time and be very cautious. Whisk well to remove any lumps.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Using the whisk attachment, whisk the mixture for about 10 – 12 minutes. At first the mixture will be watery and sort of beige in colour. As you whisk it will lighten and thicken, increase twofold in volume and it will become white and glossy.
- While it is whisking prepare a baking tray. The one I used is about 30cm by 22 cm, and about 6 cm deep. The bigger the tray the thinner the marshmallows will be and vice versa.
- Spray the baking tray with non-stick spray and then use paper towel to lightly wipe it off, so that only a very thin layer remains.
- When the marshmallow mixture is thick enough to hold a trail on the surface, pour it into the baking tray and smooth the top.
- Allow to stand at room temperature overnight.
- Ease the marshmallow away from the side of the pan and turn out onto a surface dusted with icing sugar, then flip back over.
- Using a sharp knife, or cookie cutters to cut the marshmallows into squares or shapes and toss each piece in sifted icing sugar.
- Place the cardamom pods, milk and cream into a saucepan and heat gently.
- Allow to simmer for 5 minutes over a low heat to infuse the flavour.
- Remove from the heat off and add the dark chocolate. Allow to stand for two minutes without stirring.
- Whisk well and return to a low heat.
- Add the cinnamon and vanilla and a little sugar to taste.
- Whisk well.
- Strain to remove the cardamom pods and serve with a lightly toasted homemade marshmallow.