Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dark Chocolate Covered Stout Marshmallows with Caramel & Crushed Peanut Butter Pretzel Topping

Dark Chocolate Covered Stout Marshmallows with Caramel & Crushed Peanut Butter Pretzel Topping
It's my midterm week, and it's absolutely dreadful. I feel like every single teacher has assigned five projects for me to complete before Thursday. Ugh, c'est la vie. But luckily enough for me, I get to head up to our family mountain house for an extra-long weekend. We're bringing friends with us and it will be filled with cookouts, hiking, drinking, and bonfires. This of course calls for homemade marshmallows for some daggum s'mores. I always make Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, but this time I decided I would also make some beer marshmallows for some variety. I know, beer flavored 'mallows? Are you in heaven yet? They do exist and they are utterly delicious. The ones we will be using for s'mores will be plain, but I ended up making a batch of some geeked out beer marshmallows that would knock anyone's socks off!! I topped the pillowy squares with a homemade layer of chewy caramel, and then dipped them into tempered dark chocolate, so that they were completely coated. While the chocolate was still soft, I garnished them with crushed peanut butter pretzels, a drizzle of white chocolate, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean fleur de sel. And then, I went all crazy and added some potato chips to a few, and they were awesome!! I will leave it up to you with how over-the-top you want to make yours... I mean you could easily just make the beer marshmallows and call it a day. I won't hate!! Anyway, we will be enjoying these this weekend, so I'll make sure to come back and post some of the pictures of these epic s'mores, just you wait!! Enjoy :)
Crushed Pretzels & Salty Potato Chips... The perfect marshmallow topping. 
For some variety, I made some white chocolate covered marshmallows... 
And then drizzled them with dark chocolate :) 
This is one big bite... Do you see the caramel layer??
For the Beer Marshmallows:
3 ½ Envelopes Unflavored Gelatin
1C Chocolate Stout Beer, Divided (It needs to be cold and flat for this recipe)
2C Sugar
½C Dark Corn Syrup
¼t Salt
2 Large Egg Whites
1T Vanilla

For the Caramel Layer:
2C Sugar
2C Heavy Cream
1C Light Corn Syrup
½t Salt (plus a little extra for sprinkling the top of the finished caramel)
4½T Unsalted Butter

For the Dark Chocolate Coating:
10oz 70% Bittersweet Chocolate, Coarsely Chopped
Peanut Butter Pretzels, Roughly Chopped For Garnishing
Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling (optional)

For the Marshmallows:
Prepared Beer Marshmallows
Dark Chocolate Coating 
Melted White Chocolate, Optional
Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling (optional)
Peanut Butter Pretzels, Roughly Chopped For Garnishing (or potato chips can be substituted)

1. To flatten the beer, take the cap off the bottle and leave open overnight, or pour beer into a bowl and whisk vigorously to remove some carbonation… just make sure it is cold.
2.  For the Marshmallows: Oil bottom and sides of a 13x9 rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar. In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over ½C cold beer, and let stand to soften. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second ½C of cold beer, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until fluffy, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out (learning from my mess of a first round). Sift ¼C confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
3. Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.
4. For the Caramel Wrapping: Lightly butter an 18" X 13" sheet pan. In a large heavy sauce pan (the caramel will more than triple in volume, so you need plenty of space) over medium heat combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1C heavy cream. Stirring constantly with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon, bring the mixture to a boil. This will take some time. It is important that you don't turn up the heat because candy requires patience. Once the mixture boils add the remaining 1C cream in a slow trickle so that you do not cool your caramel mixture and it continues to boil uninterrupted. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow it to boil for 5-6 minutes without stirring. Add butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each melts. Clip on your candy thermometer and allow to boil over medium-low heat until the mixture just hits 250°F (or the Firm Ball stage) stirring occasionally. This should take about 30-40 minutes; if your temperature is climbing too quickly you might need to reduce heat all the way to low. By the same token, if you're not hitting 250°F by 40 minutes you might want to increase the heat a bit. Once you've hit the right temperature, quickly remove from heat and pour into your prepared pan or onto the greased stone slab, spreading it out in an even layer. To prevent any crystallization, don't scrape the pan as you pour, just allow what clings to the pan to remain in it (you can scrape it into a smaller dish and eat it later, odds are it won't be crystallized). Allow your molten caramel to cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled, invert the caramel out of the pan onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the caramel into squares (exactly the same size as your marshmallows) and place a caramel square on top of a marshmallows until all of them have been covered. Let the caramel sit on the marshmallows in the refrigerator for about an hour (this will help the caramel stick to the marshmallows). After they have chilled, begin to cover them in chocolate. 
5. For the Dark Chocolate Coating: Melt ¾ of the chopped chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan and add the remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth. Cool the chocolate until a thermometer inserted at least ½inch into the chocolate registers 80 degrees. Return the water in the pan to a boil and remove it from heat. Set the bowl with cooled chocolate over the pan and reheat, stirring, until the thermometer registers 88-91 degrees as necessary. Remove the bowl from the pan. Stick a marshmallow on a fork or skewer and submerge in the melted chocolate, letting the excess drip off and scraping the back of the fork against the rim of the bowl if necessary.  Place the coated marshmallow onto a parchment lined baking sheet to stand until the chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Make sure to top the marshmallows with crushed pretzels and a sprinkle of fleur de sel while the chocolate is still soft. Repeat with the remaining marshmallows until all of them have been coated with chocolate.


  1. Wow!! I always make marshmallows this time of year because they go so well in homemade hot chocolate, and they don't melt as fast as store bought ones, However, making them with a stout beer? I've never heard of that, but this is now on my "to do" list this weekend. Have a great retreat weekend, it sounds like you will need it! Miss B

    1. They are actually really good... and have just this slightly beer/malty flavor to them. We decided to make s'mores this weekend with them, but instead of using graham crackers, we used my gourmet chocolate chunk cookies and a chocolate-caramel square. And they were to DIE for. They definitely be on your "to-do" list for sure :)