I’ve been chasing the perfect chocolate marshmallow for what feels like forever (4 years, but still!); by adding cocoa in varying amounts. When I added cocoa they either didn’t taste very chocolaty or they were dry and lost their bounce, when I folded in melted chocolate it made them overly dense. After a while, I gave up and said it couldn’t be done.
But last month I had this idea to make an ‘edible coal’ for Christmas stockings by using black cocoa and the urge came over me to try again. A little digging and researching took me to try out blooming the cocoa for the mallow base (thank you The Flavor Bender!) It worked, the perfect charm! Blooming the cocoa not only draws out the cocoa’s flavor but the paste balances out the cocoa so that it won’t dry out the marshmallow. The marshmallows are bouncy and light, and actually taste chocolatey!
Cocoa: Use a very good quality brand. I used black cocoa in mine for that ‘coal’ look but any dutch process cocoa will work.
Gelatin: I use the knox powdered gelatin packets, four or one box for this recipe. They clock in at 1 oz total.
Sugar: Fine granulated.
Honey or Corn syrup: Use light, organic or non organic. You can also use maple syrup or golden syrup. Use a very dip pot as it will boil up, keep in mind also that the flavor may come through the chocolate depending on how strong tasting your honey is.
Salt: Fine sea salt. Use less if using table salt as table salt is saltier.
Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract. If you’re feeling fancy scrape up a vanilla bean but since chocolate is our goal it’s probably not necessary.
Powdered sugar: I’m going to stress this one very hard, use organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch (NOT cornstarch). If you’ve made mallows before you probably used a mix of powdered sugar and more cornstarch and it’s not very nice. Cornstarch doesn’t melt on the tongue and your mallows will taste chalky.
Oil spray: this is to grease the pan and rubber spatula. Use something flavorless – not coconut oil which is solid at room temperature and will make removing the mallow from the pan very difficult.
Whisk cold water and gelatin powder together until the gelatin dissolves. Set it aside to firm up.
If the cocoa powder is lumpy, sift it into a bowl. Boil some water and then add it, while still very hot and boiling, to the cocoa. Whisk it together – it will become a thick paste. Set aside.
In a pot, add the sugar, salt, honey and water. Set it over medium heat and begin to boil.
Keep a candy thermometer clipped to the pan or an instant read thermometer or a laser thermometer nearby. The sugar mixture will take awhile to candy; it will get up to about 230 F fairly quickly and then take at least 5 minutes to reach 250 F. Keep an eye on it!
Pour the hot sugar syrup into the bottom of a stand mixer bowl, scraping the pan to get all the sugar, and let it cool in the bowl for a couple of minutes. Then add in the bloomed gelatin and cocoa paste.
Affix the whisk attachment and start whipping the marshmallow mixture. It will take at least 10 minutes for it to thicken, lighten in color and begin to pull from the sides. Start on low speed and work up to high.
While this is whipping, grease a large square pan or a large baking pan with canola or any flavorless oil. Grease a rubber spatula too.
When the marshmallow fluff begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and looks sufficiently thickened, pour it into the prepared pan. Use the greased spatula to scrape all the fluff into the pan. Smooth it over into an even layer and cover the pan with foil.
You have the option to leave the pan on the counter at room temperature for about 4-6 hours, or you can set it in the fridge for 3 hours.
When it’s ready to be sliced, whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa. This will be the marshmallow coating.
Spread some of it over the marshmallow then remove from the pan.
Use an oiled chef’s knife to slice the marshmallows. Dust each mallow in the cocoa and sugar mixture to coat it so it won’t be sticky.
Store the mallows in an airtight container.
Can I halve this chocolate marshmallow recipe?
Just use half of all the ingredients listed. You can set them into a loaf pan if you still want tall mallows.
Do these chocolate marshmallows travel well?
Exceptionally well actually, simply put them in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.
If you’ve dug around my marshmallow corner on this site you may have run into a recipe for ‘hot cocoa’ made with caramelized white chocolate. Couldn’t help myself this year either, it definitely seemed like the year of the black cocoa and so I came up with a recipe for black cocoa hot cocoa, here’s how to make enough to serve 2-3 people:
You’ll need: 65g milk chocolate, 2 tablespoons black cocoa, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 ¼ cups whole milk. Pour all the ingredients into a pot and cook on medium low, whisking as needed until the chocolate is fully melted and the cocoa is all dissolved.
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