I can’t believe summer is almost over. If I knock on wood does that keep it around a little longer? No? You sure? I am going to do it anyway… for safe measure.
My summer has been amazing. Brian and I did a bunch more triathlons and road races this summer than we did last year, and I am feeling stronger than ever. I got to spend a week in California with my family, soaking up the sun on the back porch with my dad, watching the whales feed closer to shore than I have ever seen, and hoarding every minute of sister time I could possibly get from them. I did some travelling to Florida to see my BFF, to Ann Arbor for her baby shower, to NYC for a wedding and family time, out to western Massachusetts for fun outdoor music with friends… We really crammed a lot into just a few short months.
HOWEVER, I failed to complete one very important summer activity. Something this California girl usually does a few hundred times before the heat dissipates. I did not go to the beach once! Sure I ran down the beach on the way to the open water swim portion of the races, but I took zero time to actually enjoy the leisurely activity of laying out, bronzing, vegging on snacks, binging on trashy summer books, and of course, indulging in more s’mores than my little body could handle. How did I possibly miss any opportunity to roast gooey marshmallows over an open flame and squish that luscious sweetness between two graham crackers and a brick of chocolate? It’s almost sacrilegious. My mouth is watering as I think about that scrumptious treat… chocolate dripping down your hands, prying the last of the sticky marshmallow from your grubby fingers with your teeth, and having an extra graham cracker to, you know, wash it down. The summer just really got away from me.
To make amends to myself, I decided this week was about creating a twist on the classic. I think this is a taste that both kids and adults alike can get behind! I used some juice from thawed frozen raspberries, a dash of red raspberry extract, and unsweetened dark cocoa powder to give the marshmallow goo a flavor all its own. Sometimes marshmallows are a little bland so this just kicks your s’more game up a notch. Don’t be intimidated by making your own marshmallows, it's way easier than you think and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. I paired these with a white chocolate bar and graham crackers for a sweet combo, but I challenge you to get creative! I also have dark chocolate and shortbread cookies waiting in the wings for round two. And maybe I might even get a little crazy and throw some of those leftover raspberries into the melty mix for an extra tart punch. I gotta go.
Happy Eating and End of Summer S’more-ing!!
Recipe: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Marshmallows
yields about 3 dozen marshmallows
The Bits and Bobs:
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup water, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2-3 tbsp juice from thawed frozen raspberries (throw in whatever it will yield you)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate)
1 tsp red raspberry extract
3 tbsp each of cocoa powder, corn starch, and powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment (or hand mixer set aside with whisk), combine all three gelatin packets with 1/2 cup of cold water.
In a pot, combine the other 1/2 cup of water, the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and raspberry juice. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium high. Remove the lid and using a candy thermometer to determine, allow to cook for another 10 minutes or so until it reaches "soft ball" or 240°F. Remove from heat as soon as soon as it hits this temp.
Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the hot mixture into the whipping gelatin mix. After all of this has been incorporated turn the mixer up to high and continue to whip for another 5 or so minutes or until it is light and fluffy. Turn the mixer off and sift the cocoa powder over the top. Return the mixer onto low and whip for a few seconds, then return to high and allow to continue whipping for another 10 minutes or until it has cooled down a bit (you can tell by how warm the bowl is). In the last minute of whipping, add in the raspberry extract.
While the marshmallow is whipping, lightly grease a 13x9-inch pan with oil or cooking spray. Combine the remaining cocoa powder, powdered sugar and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Pour some of this dry mix into the pan and move around until the bottom and sides are well coated. You want some to still be rolling around so the marshmallow doesn't stick when you try to flip out of the pan.
Pour the finished marshmallow mix into the pan and spread with a greased offset spatula, spread evenly. Dust the top with a little more of the dry mixture and allow to set up, uncovered on the counter for at least four hours (better overnight so it dries out a bit).
Once set, turn out on to a dry surface and slice into squares. Dust with more of the dry mix all over the sides to keep from sticking. Can be stored in an air tight container for up to one week.