Posts tagged marshmallow
Tipsy Mexican Hot Chocolate Bark

I didn’t intend to blog again until after Christmas but I just couldn’t help myself.  Once I make a really good recipe, I have a hard time not sharing it immediately.  And I definitely can’t help myself when it involves booze and chocolate. _12188_300edit2

Last night I had a massive candy making session and had every intention of making some tasty dark chocolate peppermint bark.  I spent that morning gathering ingredients but couldn’t find candy canes anywhere!  I went on with my candy session and made tons of salted chocolate almond coffee instead (we will talk about that later).  I was really craving some dark chocolate though and was determined to make some sort of bark, even without peppermints.  They say that necessity is the mother of invention and last night, I think I proved that statement true.

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Since I was out of pretty much everything you would add to a traditional chocolate bark, I decided to wing it and make something different. I love the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate and I love marshmallows so putting the two together seemed like a great idea.  Then I decided to add some booze because, well, chocolate and booze together just make me a happy girl. The result? A kicked up dark chocolate bark with a layer of Grand Marnier marshmallow fluff that is nothing short of life changing.  Oh friends, it is boozy chocolate heaven.   I would say this makes a great gift to give to someone you love, but you may just end up wanting to keep it all to yourself.   If you do decide to share, you will certainly bring some holiday cheer to your friends and family.

Happy holidays!

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Tipsy Mexican Hot Chocolate Bark

Yields: one baking sheet full of bark!

20 oz (or 2 bags) good quality dark chocolate chips

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

4 cups marshmallows (regular sized)

3 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or other liquor like whiskey, bourbon, or coffee liqueur

good quality sel gris, sea salt, or fleur to sel for garnish (optional but recommended)

1.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2.  Fill a large pot with an inch or so of water and bring to a slow simmer.

3.  Set large glass bowl filled with chocolate the water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. You’ve just made yourself a double boiler.

4.  Stir chocolate until just about fully melted, there should be a few whole chunks left.

5.  Remove chocolate from heat and stir to finish melting all the chocolate.  Your chocolate should be silky, smooth, and lump free.

6.  Pour half of the chocolate over the parchment lined baking sheet.  Use a silicon spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer.

7.  Place in the fridge or freezer to set while you make the marshmallow layer.

8.  Add marshmallows and booze to a medium sized pot and heat over medium- low heat.

9.  Cook, stirring often, until all of the marshmallows have melted and you are left with marshmallow fluff.

10. Once your fluff is done and your chocolate is set, pour fluff layer over chocolate.  To do this, spray an offset spatula with cooking spray and spread around evenly.  It’s going to be sticky but do your best.

11. Place bark back in the freezer for the marshmallow fluff to set.  You want to the marshmallow layer to be firm but not frozen.  You should be able to touch it with your finger without your finger getting sticky.

12. Once your fluff layer is set, pour the remaining chocolate and spread evenly.  You want to work very quickly here since the cold fluff layer will start setting the chocolate immediately. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt.

13. Place in the fridge or freezer to set.  Once fully set, use a knife sprayed with cooking spray to cut into large pieces.  Store in an airtight container with parchment paper.  It will be sticky, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Pumpkin & Chocolate Mousse with Maple Soaked Marshmallows

This post will be short and sweet – just like these little individual desserts. Really, there isn’t much to say about these: pumpkin mousse + chocolate mousse + maple syrup + toasty marshmallow brulee = delicious. Brad and I have been thinking about this dessert for a few weeks now. We talked about making some other desserts for Thanksgiving but could not get these guys out of our heads. We haven’t had time to make them until now and let me say, they are worth the wait.

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If you think pumpkin and chocolate sound like an odd combination – you’re not alone. I was a bit unsure of this combo at first as well. I love chocolate and obviously love pumpkin but I wasn’t sure how I felt about both of them together in mousse form. The combination works though – in fact, it works so well, you may not want to stop eating it. Add a marshmallow soaked in maple syrup that’s been hit with the kitchen torch and you get some serious dessert magic.

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These desserts may seem like a far cry from traditional Thanksgiving desserts but really, they are just a mash-up of traditional desserts in individual serving form. If you’re looking to introduce a little something new to your holiday dinner or simply want to put a twist on tradition, give these a shot.

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Pumpkin & Chocolate Mousse with Maple Soaked Marshmallow Yields: 10-12 servings, depending on your serving size A quick note – these have to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight, which makes them a perfect make ahead to dessert for the holidays.

Chocolate Mousse

7 oz. of bittersweet chocolate, chopped or bittersweet chocolate chips 7 egg yolks, beaten 7 egg whites 2 Tbsp. sugar 1 ¼ cups heavy cream pinch of salt

1. Melt chocolate in a double broiler over medium heat. (You can make your own double boiler by pouring a bit of water in a sauce pan, simmering it, and placing a glass bowl on top of the pan). Whisk constantly until just about melted then shut off the heat and continue to stir. This only takes a minute so watch carefully to ensure that your chocolate doesn’t scorch. Set aside to cool. 2. Whisk your egg yolks together and set aside in a small bowl. 3. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream until you medium stiff peaks – not quite whip cream, but close. Set aside. 4. In a separate, clean bowl whip eggs with salt until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue to beat until you have stiff peaks. 5. Fold in yolks to egg white mixture until completely combined. 6. Fold in melted chocolate until completely combined. 7. Fold in whipped cream until fully incorporated and refrigerate mixture.

Pumpkin Mousse

1 15oz. can of organic pumpkin 3 cups of heavy cream, divided ¾ cup of sugar ½ tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. allspice ¼ tsp. ginger a touch of freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a medium saucepan combine pumpkin, 1 cup of cream, spices, and sugar over medium heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Set aside to cool completely. 2. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. 3. Once pumpkin mixture has completely cooled, fold into whipped cream until completely incorporated. Set aside in the fridge.

Maple Soaked Marshmallow

½ cup pure maple syrup 1 tsp. vanilla extracts 10-12 marshmallows (1 per serving)

1. Combine maple syrup and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add marshmallows and toss to coat all sides. Let soak for 30 minutes.

Assembly:

1. When your mousses are made, fill up serving dish halfway full with chocolate mousse. 2. Fill remainder of serving dish with pumpkin mousse. 3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to set completely. 4. After soaking marshmallows, place one marshmallow on top of each serving and hit it carefully with the kitchen torch to brulee. If you don’t have a torch, simply roast it over your gas stove.

Using What You Have: G-free S'more Cake

This cake needs no introduction. Or perhaps it just requires an introduction that goes something like: Gluten-free devil's food cake + moist graham cracker crumbs + marshmallow fluff for days = heaven. Yup, that would do.

While this cake needs no introduction, I will tell you how it came to be.

Late Saturday night, Brad and I were preparing to go out of town to have dinner with my future in-laws the next day and we realized that we hadn't thought of dessert yet!  We needed something substantial since my family, his sister and her boyfriend, and his family would be there and cupcakes weren't going to cut it.  My thoughts immediately turned to chocolate cake.  Then again, more often than not, I'm thinking about chocolate cake. Oh well. After debating for a bit about what kind of cake to make - buttercream frosting? chocolate frosting? fruit filling? Then, I thought about my s'more cupcakes and decided to make a s'more cake for a few reasons:

1.) I had everything I needed in the house already

2.) Um, s'mores are delicious!

3.) If it can be done in cupcake form, why not in cake form?

I would be lying if I said that the first reason wasn't my main motivation for dreaming up this cake.

I almost didn't make this cake because I didn't have any gluten-free graham crackers and I didn't want to go to the store, to buy some boxes of g-free graham crackers, and walk out with $15 less than I walked in with. But I almost did -  even though I hate to venture out to the store for one or two items, I do it more often than I should. Jumping in the car and going to the store is convenient and easy, but doesn't really foster creativity and frankly, it makes my bank account a little sad.  Instead of defaulting to the formulaic run to the store, I decided to make my own graham cracker substitute. And it was easy, and delicious, and a bit more healthy. And didn't cost me an absurd amount of money.

Conceptualizing and baking this cake made me realize that we are often tempted to become slaves to convenience at the expense of our creativity.  I'm really going to try and create things from what I have on my pantry shelves, in my garden, and in the fridge.  Lackadaisical baking and cooking just will not cut it anymore.  Plus, it is much more fun to think, create, and experiment than it is to succumb to easy solutions. Sure, I can go and grab ingredients for a whole new dish anytime I want, but where's the fun in that?

Gluten-free S'more Cake

Yields: more than enough for a  2 layer cake!

adapted from Joy the Baker

Cakes:

280g g-free flour mix (I used the one I posted here).

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch-process)

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup hot brewed coffee

1/2 cup buttermilk (or whole milk  or coconut milk- I just happened to have buttermilk)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Generously butter two round cake pans.  Line bottom of cake pans with parchment paper and butter the paper. Dust with a bit of g-free flour and shake out excess.  You don't want these cakes to stick!

2. Sift together the flour mix, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

3. Mix together cocoa powder and hot coffee in a medium bowl and whisk until there are no lumps and you have a smooth, velvety mix.  Add in vanilla and buttermilk. Whisk to combine.  Set aside.

4. In your stand mix, cream together the sugars (brown and white) with the softened butter until pale and fluffy.

5. Add in eggs, one at a time, making sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next egg.

6. Add in flour mix and chocolate mix alternating in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour mix.

7. Divide mix evenly between two pans, shake out air bubbles, and bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

8. Cool cakes completely on a rack.  Run a butter knife around the edges to loosen before layering.  Cut a little bit off of the top of one cake to make a flat surface and turn out onto serving dish, cut side up.

Moist Graham Cracker Filling:

2 cups almond meal

1/2 cup of honey, scant

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Melt you butter and set aside.

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together until fully incorporated.

Viola! A moist almond filling that tastes and looks like graham crackers. So easy! -------------------

9.  Spread filling on bottom layer with your hands by gently placing the crumbs down and pressing until they form a layer.  Be gentle, you don't want to rip the bottom cake!

10. After you a distributed the filling on the bottom cake, place the other cake, right side up, on top of bottom cake with filling.

Use this Marshmallow Fluff recipe to make the frosting!

11. Frost cake with fluff (I recommend putting a thin layer of frosting all over the cake first, wiping your spatula between each spread to crumb coat the cake then go back and spread a generous layer on the top and sides of cake).

12. Break out that kitchen torch and toast some fluff!

Refrigerate and let come to room temperature before serving.

* You can also make the cakes and filling the day before and make the fluff the day you plan on serving the cake!