Hey chocolate, fuck off.

I decided to attempt a new culinary feat this weekend, homemade marshmallows.

What was going to be an easy peasy weekend turned into the cooking weekend from hell. I just couldn't win.

Friday I started the marshmallows and realized that my 9x13 Anchor Hocking blue glass pan (a gift from my grandparents) was missing. How, you ask? Well, my living situation is unusual and I thusly sort of have a lot of roommates. I can't go into specifics for various reasons but if you have a burning need to know you can email me and ask. Sooo, one of these roommates took my fucking pan and I was pissed (they have also taken my blender). Then I couldn't find my candy thermometer so I had to head back out to the store and $30 dollars later I had a new 9x13 pan (not blue though), a new candy thermometer, and the most recent copy of Martha Stewart living (from whom all good things come).

Back at the house I fired up the sugar, corn syrup and water and watched it boil away till it reached 240 degrees. Finally it all got combined in the mixer with the gelatin. Of which I accidentally purchased enough to fill a swimming pool. 82 packets of unflavored gelatin anyone?

Here is what is looks like when you first mix it up:

And then what it looks like after about 15 minutes:

Then you spread the molten marshmallow into a non-metal pan that has been dusted with powdered sugar and dust the top. Let it sit for 24 hours before cutting.

Two bite marshmallows:

It was extremely easy to make, but then I decided to cover them in chocolate for a super fancy treat for my friend's birthday. That is when things really went downhill, like a kid who just learned to ride flying down a steep mountain side.

The first batch of chocolate seized up on me. I've never had chocolate do that to me before, it was like it was giving me the big FUCK YOU. So I pitched that into the trash since I had an industrial bag full of chocolate chips and heated up some more. This batch too seized up on me, and again I pitched it. The third batch didn't seize but was oddly thick and made it difficult to coat the marshmallows, but at least it was a start. The fourth batch (yes, there was a FOUTH batch) is where is really went off the rails. The bottom of the bowl that I had been using melted and started to burn. My kitchen was filled with noxious smelling smoke pouring from my microwave.

The completely fucked bowl:

Yes, I melt my chocolate in the microwave rather than the double boiler to prevent seizing and plus it gets super hot in my kitchen and standing over my chocolate in front of an enormous open flame (gas stove represent!). Also my food science guru Alton Brown does it in the microwave. If it is good enough for him it is good enough for me. I've melted chocolate this way for EONS, in fact when I do my marathon chocolate covered strawberry sessions that last 8 hours every fall I use the microwave almost exclusively. So it wasn't a failure in method, rather I think it was a failure of the chocolate I purchased.

So the fifth and final batch seized on me. At this point I'm near suicidal, "Hello, suicide hotline, my chocolate won't stop acting like a bitch and I'm about to take my very sharp knife and do something dangerous. I may not hurt myself but I've got a Sam's club size bag of chocolate chips that might meet a very violent end."

I've now been attempting to melt chocolate for 3+ hours and have dipped exactly 10 marshmallows.

I decide to google my problem and see that if you add enough water/cream/butter that you can get the chocolate to un-seize maybe. But all I end up with is lumpy chocolate. Very, very lumpy chocolate. I coat a few more marshmallows so everyone at the dinner party can have two, pop them in the fridge to harden a bit and disgusted walk away from the chocolate bomb that has enveloped my kitchen. I get ready, and I must say I looked pretty foxy, mid-getting ready I pull the chocolate covered marshmallows from the fridge so they can come back to room temp before being put in the pretty little box I bought just for them.

About 20 minutes later (and 37 outfit changes) I find the marshmallows have come to room temp but are oddly melty looking. Like if you picked one up, you would come away a sizable chunks of chocolate on your fingers.

I'm standing in my kitchen and I loudly exclaim "FUCK IT". Grab my purse and walk out the door sans marshmallows.

This afternoon I grabbed the offending marshmallows from my house and brought them into work. I explained to everyone that it was a disastrous day for the chocolate but they all say they taste wonderfully. Truthfully, I think they are being kind.

I still haven't been able to put one in my mouth because the smell of chocolate makes me feel nauseous.



  • At June 21, 2007 9:12 PM, Blogger Alan the Great said…

    I only had to melt chocolate once, for an espresso mousse I made.

    I ended up with like 7 liters of mousse... which lasted approximately 12 hours. By the way, if you see this and reply to it, I won't see it. I'll be off making marshmallows.


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