Minty wintery marshmallows

Winter has officially arrived in Holland with day temperatures not rising above 8 degrees Celsius and snow replacing the ever dreadful Dutch rain. One thing I always associate with winter, is the classic combination of chocolate and mint. I could eat a whole box of mint chocolates and I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out they actually sell chocolate bars with pillows of a liquid mint sugar mixture in France.
The weird thing is though, I only like mint combined with chocolate. I detest chewing gum and minty fresh toothpaste is a struggle every day. So i decided to translate my love for minty chocolate, into my other vice, marshmallows!

These marshmallows, are according to my mom who's not as scared of mint as I, also delish without their chocolate coats. But since winter has finally come, even marshmallows need a coat! 

Chocolate Dipped Minty Marshmallows
– 15 grams gelatin sheets
– 110 grams water
– 240 grams sugar
– 50 grams honey or glucose syrup
– 100 grams egg white
– 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract (if you can get a hold of peppermint oil, use a few drops)
– few drops of red and green food coloring (optional)
– 250 grams tempered good quality dark chocolate, I used Valrhona's Manjari 64%

First things first, prepare a square baking tin or aluminum pastry square by placing a layer of parchment paper on the bottom and slightly greasing the sides with a neutral vegetable oil.

Soak the gelatin in cold water until it is soft and pliable and reserve until later. Grab a heavy bottomed pan and put the water, honey (or glucose) and sugar on a medium high heat. Boil the strawberry mixture until it has reached 115 °C / 239 °F or until the soft ball stage.

Meanwhile whip the egg whites on a low speed until they are lightly foaming.
As soon as the sugar syrup has reached the desired temperature, it’s time to add it slowly, while the machine is still running, to the egg whites. Be careful not to drop the sugar syrup on the whisk, it will fling the sugar towards the edges of the bowl, which will result in little pieces of hard sugar in your mallows. And crunchy marshmallows, is something we do not want!

Once all of the syrup is added, add the soaked gelatine leafs and the peppermint extract and crank up the volume on your mixer. Let it whip until the marshmallow mix is light and fluffy and has reached about 40 °C / 104 °F (a bit warmer than body temperature) and pour it in your prepared tin. If you want an overal color to your marshmallows, add the food coloring when you add the peppermint extract. I wanted a marble effect and after pouring 3/4 of the mixture into the tin, i colored the remaining mixture with the two desired colors and dolloped them into the rest before it had set.

Let your marshmallows cure for at least 8 hours, but preferably over night.

Once they’re all set, release your big marshmallow by running a warm, slightly damp sharp knife along the sides of the tin. Place the big mallow on a piece of parchment and cut the marshmallows in any desired shape with a hot, damp knife or cookie cutter. Let them set for another hour or so if you want to dip them into chocolate. If you just want them like this, they're awesome as well, just coat them in equal amounts of cornstarch and icing sugar and you're all set!

When your marshmallows are setting for the second time, it's time to temper your chocolate. If you don't have a marble slab to temper your chocolate, there is an easy way to achieve a likewise temper but without the hassle.
When tempering the easy way, it's important you first weigh the total amount of chocolate you want to temper. Divide the total weight into three, reserve one third and melt the remaining two thirds in a bain marie or on a low setting in the microwave. So if you would take 150 grams of chocolate, you should save 50 grams and melt 100 grams. Once the chocolate is fully melted, stir in the reserved chocolate until fully melted and well combined. The chocolate will look shiny and there are super tiny lumps. These are cocoa crystals that will ensure your chocolate will set the right way.

Once your chocolate is well tempered, start dipping your marshmallows and place them on some parchment or a acetate sheet. Before your chocolate fully sets, you can sprinkle any desired topping onto your marshmallows. I added some crushed homemade candy canes, but you could also top them with some sugared mint.
Once all your marshmallows are dipped, place them somewhere cool, but keep them out of your fridge if you want to maintain a good tempered chocolate!

The mixture makes about 25 marshmallows and can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for about a week.

With who would you eat these next to your christmas tree?

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