Homemade Marshmallows and a DIY S’mores Board
Homemade marshmallows and curated fixings make for a perfect al fresco dessert for a cozy California evening
Preparing a S’mores Board
In our al fresco Friendsgiving feature, Hautefête’s Dani Blasena threw a party perfect for a California autumnal evening, right down to a cozy firepit, homemade hot chocolate and delectable DIY s’mores board.
Dani opted to forgo the traditional pies in favor of a do-it-yourself s’mores bar that allowed each guest to customize their dessert. “You want to offer options so guests can come up with their own creative combination,” she says.
In addition to her homemade marshmallows (recipe follows), Dani placed graham crackers, chocolate-covered cookies, Reese’s peanut butter cups, pretzels (hers were dipped in sea salt and lavender), peanuts, walnuts, cranberries and an assortment of different types of chocolate including milk, dark and white, on a wooden serving board.
She introduced various nuts and dried fruits to the platter to add a bit of texture and fun flavor. Who knew dark chocolate, cranberries and walnuts would taste so lovely smushed between graham crackers and toasted homemade marshmallows?
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
TIP: Dani suggests adding 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the sugar syrup portion of this recipe, 4-5 teaspoons of rose water and a drop of red food coloring in lieu of vanilla for a light-rose flavor and pink color.
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Using a sieve, generously dust an 8-by-11-inch nonmetal baking dish with confectioners’ sugar.
Working quickly, scrape the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan using a cake spatula or flexible scraper. Smooth the top using an oiled spatula, and dust with more confectioners’ sugar. Allow it to stand uncovered on the counter overnight or for at least 6 hours, until it dries out.
Turn the marshmallows onto a board and use an oiled knife to cut them into squares. Dust them with more confectioners’ sugar.
Homemade Hot Chocolate
1 oz. semisweet or dark chocolate
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
1 pinch salt
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar (optional, to taste)
Whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate shavings or cinnamon for garnish
In a small saucepan, mix the chocolate, cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of the milk over low heat. Stir continuously until the chocolate is completely melted.
Add the rest of the milk and the salt. Stir, and heat the rest of the way through.
Stir in sugar to taste. Pour into a mug and top with marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate shavings or cinnamon,