Monday, February 28, 2011

Hot Chocolate Brownies topped with Homemade Marshmallows

Last week my son celebrated his 9th birthday. He doesn't usually care for cake with frosting, so his birthday treat of choice is brownies. Last year he chose Mint-filled Brownie Cupcakes
and these Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies (in cupcake form).

This year we stumbled upon this Hot Chocolate Layer Cake with Homemade Marshmallows,
and my son decided his b-day treat should be a hot chocolate brownie topped with marshmallows.

Of course when I went to find a Hot Chocolate brownie recipe, I found two and had to do a comparison.
The Hot Cocoa brownies from NY City Dish were definitely very fudgy, gooey, and a little bit sweeter than the Hot Chocolate Brownies from Sugar Plum, which were firmer, and had a little bit more of a dark chocolate flavor. They were not cakey at all, but definitely the sturdier of the two. My neighbor tasted both and requested the recipe for the Hot Cocoa Brownies. It just depends on what your personal brownie preferences are.
I made the marshmallows from the cake recipe and they turned out amazing. I usually avoid recipes that require gelatin, but used it here. The texture was lovely and they were a lot of fun to make. Not scary at all. Although my sugar syrup did require 10 more minutes than the recipe stated, to come to the right temperature.
I cut some rounds out of the brownies and placed the marshmallows on top, then gave them a dusting of cocoa powder.
Then I realized I had some dipping chocolate in the fridge that was leftover from something and I warmed it up, dipped the marshmallows in it and stuck them to the brownies. This worked better for keeping the marshmallows in place.

I also cut some brownies into little squares and took them to my son's school for a special treat. They were enjoyed by all.

Hot Chocolate Brownies adapted from Sugar Plum
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with foil; coat foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar and egg until well combined. Whisk in dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in milk chocolate chips until combined. Scrape batter into prepared dish.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until set and crusty looking around the edges.

Hot Cocoa Brownies
adapted from HERE
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan. (I used an 8x8 metal pan)

Stir together butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add eggs and beat well.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add dry ingredient mix to the egg mixture and beat until blended. Add chocolate chips if desired. Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake the brownies for roughly 20 minutes, until almost baked through.

Cool completely and sprinkle with decorative sugar, if desired. Should make roughly 16 brownies.

For the marshmallows from Fine Cooking
Three 1/4-oz. envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar; more as needed

Make the marshmallows

Pour 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment.

Clip a candy thermometer to a 3-quart saucepan; don’t let the tip of the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. In the saucepan, boil the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water over medium heat without stirring until it reaches 234°F to 235°F, about 10 minutes (mine took about 20 minutes to hit the right temperature). With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin in a slow, thin stream.

Add the vanilla, carefully increase the speed to high, and beat until the mixture has thickened and cooled, about 5 minutes (the bottom of the bowl should be just warm to the touch). Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. (I sprayed a 9x13-inch glass pan with cooking spray, instead of using foil. It worked great) Sift 1 Tbs. of the confectioners’ sugar into the bottom of the pan, then pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and sift another 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar on top. Let sit at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours.

Use the foil overhang to lift the marshmallow from the pan. Using a knife that has been dipped in cold water, cut along the edge of the marshmallow to release it from the foil. Transfer to a cutting board and remove the foil. Put the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Cut the marshmallow into cubes of different sizes, from 1/4 to 3/4 inch (you will need to continue to dip the knife in cold water as you cut the marshmallows). The marshmallows will be very sticky—dip the cut edges in the confectioners’ sugar to make them easier to handle. As you work, toss a few cubes at a time in the sugar to coat, then shake in a strainer to remove the excess.

Idea came from this Recipe for Hot Chocolate Cake topped with Homemade Marshmallows


Jamie said...

These look so good Mary Ann! We love brownies around here. I need to make both versions with my daughters soon.

Holly said...

What an awesome idea:) I love doing comparisons too:)

Eliana said...

What a fun birthday treat! These look delicious.

Valerie said...

Those look really delish!

Nicole said...

Thanks so much for checking out our hot cocoa brownie recipe! Your treats look wonderful. I hope your son enjoyed them!