Monday, February 13, 2012

White Hot Chocolate with Vegetarian Marshmallows

Since I made the decision to avoid using gelatin, I had wanted to make homemade marshmallows with a vegetarian alternative. Then, I received a kitchen torch, and the desire to toast homemade marshmallows catapulted this project to the top of the list. I knew there was a vegetarian version of marshmallows made with xanthan gum in Demolition Desserts, but I had read that they don’t set up as firm as marshmallows made with gelatin. I decided to try them anyway. Once I had gelatin-free marshmallows and the ability to toast them, it seemed natural to then float them on top of some rich and delicious hot chocolate. I took a few cues from Ina for the technique and whipped up a white hot chocolate with a little espresso to balance the sweetness and some Kahlua to reinforce the coffee flavor with an alcoholic edge. A sprinkle of cocoa powder before floating the marshmallow added a bit of dark chocolate flavor too.

So, to make vegetarian marshmallows, the process is the same as for making ones with gelatin only instead of dissolving gelatin in a hot sugar syrup, xanthan gum is added after the hot syrup is incorporated into the egg whites. Water, cream of tartar, sugar, corn syrup, and half a vanilla bean were placed in saucepan over high heat and brought to a boil. The heat was reduced to medium, and a candy thermometer was attached to the pan. The syrup was cooked until it reached 248 degrees F, and meanwhile, three egg whites were being mixed in a stand mixer with the whip attachment. The hot syrup was added to the egg whites while mixing, and as soon as all the syrup was added, one and a half teaspoons of xanthan gum was added. You get the same, glossy, sticky meringue. That is then transferred to a cornstarch-sprinkled pan and left to set. I cut some marshmallows into heart shapes, and they did seem softer and a little gooey-er than marshmallows I had made with gelatin in the past. They held their shape well enough for floating on hot chocolate though. For the hot chocolate, I chopped four ounces of white chocolate and heated two cups of milk to a simmer. I poured the hot milk over the white chocolate and whisked until it melted. I poured that mixture through a sieve, just like Ina, into a small, heat-proof pitcher. Then, I added one tablespoon instant espresso, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a splash of Kahlua. After pouring into two mugs, I topped each with a sprinkle of cocoa powder and a toasted marshmallow.

I have to say I was very pleased with the slightly bitter edges of the toasted marshmallow in combination with the sweet, white chocolate. The resulting color of the hot chocolate itself with the added espresso and Kahlua isn’t exactly a beautiful shade of off-white, but the flavor made up for the unremarkable looks.



25 comments:

  1. I really have to make whitehot chocolate. Something I've neverhad...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  2. Adorable marshmallows! Perfect for Valentine's Day. I'm not really a fan of white chocolate but the marshmallows would be great with my "regular" recipe. Thanks, Lisa!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love those heart shaped marshmallows- how timely! That white hot chocolate with espresso and Kahlua sounds divine. Ina's recipes rarely disappoint, do they? I'm going to try making my favorite marshmallow recipe, one by Ina, coincidentally, with zanthum gum. Is the ratio for subbing zanthum for gelatin 1:1 or do you use more/less?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lisa, I cannot believe you made those little cuties!!! My kids have been begging me to make marshmallows forever and now I have no excuse not to give them a try:)
    Happy Valentine's Day to you!
    E

    ReplyDelete
  5. These definitely look like fun Lisa.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very tempting hot Valentine's dessert :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great idea for a treat....love love love those sweet heart shaped marshmallows!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've never had white hot chocolate, but I bet it's delicious! What a lovely treat, especially with the heart-shaped marshmallows.

    ReplyDelete
  9. oh my! I first thought you bought those heart shaped marshmallows. How cool that you made your own!
    Happy Valentine's day Lisa!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Shelley: The ratio of gelatin to xanthan gum is 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon gelatin to one and a half teaspoons xanthan gum. Let me know if you try it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this! Tell me what you think of my cake: http://nomothercookbook.blogspot.com/2012/02/double-chocolate-gateau-with-lime-cream.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. ooh, this sounds delicious! i love the heart-shaped marshmallows!

    ReplyDelete
  13. The white hot chocolate is marvelous! The heart shaped marshmellow is just enough whimsy for Valentine's day.

    ReplyDelete
  14. love the white hot chocolate, love the heart shape. and vegan marshmallows? you go, girl! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. White hot chocolate with espresso & Kahlua?! Oh my, sounds delish :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. In the split of a second, I did not know marshmallows were non-vegetarian :O Now you mention it about the gelatin, it really strikes the conscious chord.

    ReplyDelete
  17. OMG Lisa, thi look ansolutely delicious!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear Lisa,
    This hot chocolate and marshmallows looks so good!!
    Thank you for a visit to my blog. Your blog is beautiful. Your recipes look delicious.
    I hope that we will be blogging food friend. Blessing my dear. Catherine xo

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, I didn't even know Bob's Red Mill sold packages of xanthan gum like that. Good to know for future reference! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. kudos for making your own marshmallows, they look fab! I like the added kahlua too.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The toasted marshmallow looks so great floating on white hot chocolate!

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a great idea. I had never thought of the fact that gelatin is not a vegetarian product! Whoops! Glad you found a great alternative as there has to be a large market out there for vegetarians wanting a marshmallow!

    ReplyDelete
  23. My boys are OBSESSED with marshmallows so I occasionally shell out $6 for a small bag of vegan ones. I knew there had to be a way to make them myself but I have been lazy about researching. I'm glad to know these turned out for you - my boys will be thrilled!

    ReplyDelete
  24. LISA! I was trying to make these all last week! Wish I had of had your recipe :( damn. I wasted a whole bag of agar agar then bought a bag of Vegan marshmallow mix. Cop out. Back into the kitchen to make yours!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is so creative and love the idea of white hot chocolate. The toasted marshmallows are the pièce de résistance! Fabulous. Great site, Lisa.

    ReplyDelete

Blogging tips