Have you seen the latest food fad? A friend sent me this video and I couldn’t stop smiling! Genius!!! These fun little marshmallows, when set into hot chocolate, bloom and reveal fun sprinkles at the center. These are the creation of chef Dominique Ansel (creator of the Cronut, for all you foodies out there) and he serves them up in Tokyo and New York.
So what’s a girl from Indiana to do? Obviously figure out a way to make them herself! And just in time for Valentine’s Day!
It seemed like rule-breaking to use from-scratch marshmallows for this (we are called Easybaked for a reason, you know!). So I melted marshmallows and spread them out to cut. I got REALLY good at this because I made about a billion batches of these before I got them to work well.
I learned a few things.
- Get the off-brand of marshmallows, they all melt the same.
- That marshmallow has to be spread pretty thin (I will tell you how to accomplish this..)
- That cocoa has to be as hot as lava to melt away the chocolate cup these sit in.
- Use tongs to place the bloom into the hot chocolate so you don’t splash yourself with the lava.
I’m not kidding you- this recipe was a labor of love. But now I can tell you how to do these in SUCH an easy way- and you can surprise your family with these fun treats!
Here is how we made these: (printable recipe here)
INGREDIENTS/SUPPLIES: (makes about 10 blooms)
- 1 bag of regular sized marshmallows
- 1/4 stick butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 bag of white Wilton’s candy melts (I used pink on some of these so you could see them better).
- Jimmies or candies to fill the center of the flower
- Hot (HOT!) chocolate
- A flower shaped cookie cutter
- Mini paper nut cups
- Liberally butter the bottom and sides of a sheet cake pan
- In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and cornstarch.
- Place about 1/2 of this mixture into a sugar shaker or sifter (I love my Pampered Chef one!) and coat entire pan with mixture.
- Liberally butter the inside of a large mixing bowl
- Place marshmallows in bowl and melt in microwave for 30 seconds, stir and melt again for 30 seconds- until completely smooth.
- Pour marshmallow mixture down the center of the pan and sprinkle top with sugar/starch mixture.
- Coat your hands liberally in the powdered sugar/corn starch mixture and gently press the melted marshmallows flat across the pan. If you hit a sticky spot, sprinkle it with the sugar/starch.
- Try to get the marshmallow layer as even as possible across the pan. You will have a few holes and maybe not get it all to the edge, but remember that you will be cutting flowers out of this- so you can work around bad spots.
- Allow this to harden for 30 minutes.
- Coat cookie cutter in sugar/starch mixture and carefully cut out a flower. Coat cut edges in powder and set aside while the rest are cut.
- Have some sprinkles or Sixlets candy ready to place into the center of the flowers- but don’t place them yet.
- Melt Candy Melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
- Spoon melts into paper cup and spread up sides. Tip cup to drain out excess.
- Brush excess powder off a flower, add sprinkles/candy to center and pull all petals up to the center, leaving the bottom center open.
- Place bottom center of flower into candy-coated cup (before it hardens). Allow this to harden with the flower inside.
- Once this has hardened completely , use a scissors to clip the top edge of the cup, and peel the paper away.
- Make a cup of HOT hot chocolate. I found that using milk rather than water resulted in the best “openings” of the flowers.
- Use tongs to carefully set the unopened flower into the cocoa and let it bloom!
- I stored my extra marshmallow flowers in an air-tight container and they still bloomed a few days later- but slowly. I think that the more fresh they are, the better they bloom.
Click on the photo below to see my (terribly shot!) video of a not-so perfect bloom. It illustrates the biggest problem I had with this project- getting the flower to bloom without allowing hot chocolate to seep into the center. I’d say about 50% of my flowers had some leakage of chocolate- and, if you watch the “professional” ones, you see this happens to them too.
I think that the key things to reduce this are:
- Use HOT chocolate made from milk instead of water.
- Marshmallows that aren’t too thick, and that aren’t still sticky on the edges (remember to cover those cut edges with powder early on!)
- Placing them into those chocolate cups as evenly as possible. If one side weighs more than the other, the cup will tip when placed in the cocoa, allowing some cocoa into the center.
I have to say though- that even when the centers filled a little with cocoa, people LOVED these! They wanted to drink more than one cup of cocoa to see it bloom again. So-not perfect, but really, really fun.
My thoughts: I feel like I’ve made progress toward figuring out a good DIY method for these. AND I’m pretty excited about how easy it is to take store-bought marshmallows and turn them into ANY shape! There are always unexpected things I learn when I experiment. I hope you get a chance to try these- and even improve on them! If any of you come up with a way to keep the cocoa out of the center on MOST of them, let me know! I feel like we could improve on 50%… Enjoy! ~r
We love marshmallows here- because money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you marshmallows, and that’s nearly the same thing!! Try a few more marshmallow-y recipes: (click on photo to see recipe)