Monday, 20 January 2014

Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Marshmallow Hearts

Marshmallows have always been something that I hated even as a child, I could never understand why all my friends liked those horrid chewy cotton wool things that masqueraded as sweets and flumps were my nemesis. This all changed when I stumbled across a recipe for gingerbread marshmallows in an issue of Good Food magazine last year, I was intrigued as the flavour combination sounded delicious but I was apprehensive given my childhood loathing of marshmallows. I decided to make them as a birthday gift for a friend so I could sample them. Over the years I've learned that most things taste better when homemade and I was absolutely amazed at how good they were. I almost didn't want to give them away as they were so good. The recipe for those gingerbread marshmallows had come from Sweet Things by Annie Rigg and after discovering that the book had a whole chapter on marshmallows I had to have it. My boyfriend who has the sweetest tooth of anyone I know also prefers my homemade marshmallows to shop bought so it looks like I will be making these more often as a treat. If you've ever made an Italian meringue before you will be familiar with the much of the technique, and don't worry if you haven't as these are so easy to make, the hardest part is being patient waiting for the sugar syrup to get to the right temperature.

Another one of my friends got married on the 11th and I knew I was going to make an edible gift but I wanted to make something different from the macarons I've made before. My friend and her husband both enjoy their sweets, so much so that the bridesmaids organised a surprise gift for them of a pick and mix stand at the wedding reception. I knew that these marshmallow hearts would be the perfect gift for them. The marshmallows were dipped in chocolate and topped with a few freeze dried raspberry pieces. When I posted photos of these on Twitter someone asked me how I achieved the distinctive shape. Each one looks a little like a heart shaped mushroom. This wasn't intentional but I think it makes them look extra cute. I used a small metal heart shaped cutter that was shallower than the depth of the marshmallow slab so I think that when I was cutting through this caused the top of the heart to pop out and create the ridge effect. I'm guessing that if you used a deeper cutter then you'd get a smooth finish to the hearts.

By cutting these out into heart shapes there were quite a few offcuts leftover which me and my boyfriend made fairly swift work of after dipping them in the last of the chocolate. The marshmallow was so soft and not at all chewy with just the right level of sweetness and the vanilla flavour was delicious. When the chocolate was set it gave a good texture contrast to the soft marshmallow below and the tart raspberry pieces worked very well with the chocolate. We don't really bother with Valentine's Day but if you wanted to make something a bit different this year for your Valentine then why not give these a go?

Ingredients - makes 20 small hearts or about 30 if cut into squares - adapted from Sweet Things by Annie Rigg

For the marshmallows:
Sunflower oil for greasing
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
6 leaves platinum grade leaf gelatine - I used Dr Oetker
2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
350g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
To decorate:
65g dark chocolate
65g white chocolate
freeze dried raspberries

  • Use the oil to lightly grease a 20cm square baking tin and line it with non stick baking parchment and grease the paper too. Alternatively you can use a 20cm square silicone pan lightly greased. Mix the icing sugar and cornflour together in a bowl and use some of it to dust the inside of the tin, tip the excess back into the bowl and reserve for later. 
  • Soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes until soft. Put the egg whites, salt and 1 tbsp of the caster sugar into the bowl of a free standing mixer. 
  • Make a syrup in a medium sized saucepan with the remaining caster sugar, golden syrup and 150ml water. Place over a medium heat and stir gently until the sugar is dissolved then increase the heat and bring to the boil. Get a sugar thermometer ready and continue boiling until the temperature reaches 120C then remove from the heat.
  • Turn the mixer onto a medium speed, then drain the gelatine and add it to the syrup and stir well to dissolve. By this time the egg whites should have reached a stiff peak and while the machine is still running slowly and carefully pour in the hot syrup in a steady stream. Once you've poured in all of the syrup add the vanilla and continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes until cool. The marshmallow should look white and very glossy, it is ready when the whisk leaves a firm ribbon trail when lifted from the bowl. 
  • Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared tin and spread level with a palette knife. Leave it to set for at least 6 hours or overnight if you can. 
  • Once the marshmallow is set spread the reserved icing sugar mix onto a baking tray and turn out the marshmallow onto the tray. If like me you used a silicone pan it may look like the marshmallow is stuck but with a bit of persuasion it should come out in one piece. 

  • Pour a little oil into a small dish and dip a small heart shaped cutter into it to cut out heart shapes, dip the cutter into the oil regularly to prevent sticking. Alternatively use a greased kitchen knife to cut out squares. Toss each marshmallow in the icing sugar mix to coat and set aside ready for decorating. Reserve the offcuts as a chef's perk and feel free to dip these in chocolate too if you like. 
  • Melt the chocolates in separate bowls over a pan of simmering water and then dip the marshmallows in the chocolate and top with a sprinkling of freeze dried raspberries. Leave on a tray in a cool place for the chocolate to set then pack into a cellophane bag finished off with a pretty ribbon if giving these away. 


  1. Great job. They look really good. So far I have never tried to make marshmallows myself. Well, there is still much to explore ...

  2. These look so good!! Great idea for valentines!:) Thank you for the inspiration.. and straight forward recipe!:)
    I'm a baker myself and would love if you could have a look at my recipes too??
    thank you:Dx

  3. It seems like to make it not so hard, i will try at home right after work.Thanks for the recipe


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