Yield: 6 large hearts/16 large squares
Active Time: 2 hours
Inactive Time: 4 hours - overnight
1 cup cornstarch, divided
½ cup water
2 (0.25 ounce) packets of gelatin - approx. 2 tablespoons
1 ½ cups freeze-dried strawberries1
¼ cup water
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate:
1 (10 ounce bag) dark chocolate melting wafers, melted2
½ cup white chocolate chips, melted
Prepare a 9” square baking dish. Grease just the sides of the dish and dust the bottom and sides with ½ cup of cornstarch, until completely covered. There should be no bare spots.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the ½ cup water and gelatin powder. Mix to make sure that all gelatin granules are soaked. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow gelatin to bloom.
Place the freeze-dried strawberries into a Ziploc bag. Remove the air from the bag and seal tightly. Using a rolling pin, or a heavy object, crush the strawberries into a powder. Alternatively you can process them in a spice grinder, or food processor. Combine with the bloomed gelatin after 5 minutes.
In a saucepan, combine the ¼ cup water, granulated sugar, and corn syrup. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches 240℉3. Do not stir the sugar once it is boiling. (You will need a candy thermometer or another high temperature thermometer for this4). Once the sugar reaches this temperature, immediately remove it from the heat and transfer it to a pyrex5 measuring cup.
Starting the mixer on low speed, pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow and steady stream. Do not allow the sugar to touch the top of the whisk. Once all the sugar is in, increase the speed of the mixer to the highest possible setting. Mix until the bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 - 13 minutes. The mixture should look very fluffy
Add the vanilla 1 minute before the mixing is done.
Grease a rubber spatula and immediately scoop out the mixture and spread it as evenly as you can onto your prepared pan. Dust the top of the marshmallow with the remaining ½ cup of corn starch. Let sit for at least 4 hour to overnight prior to cutting the marshmallows.
Cut the marshmallows as desired. Dust the cut sides with additional cornstarch.
Melt the chocolate wafers and chips according to packet directions. Transfer the dark chocolate into a small container that is wide enough to easily allow you to dip the marshmallows, but small enough to increase the volume of the chocolate. Transfer the white chocolate into a small piping bag or cornet. Make a very small incision at the tip.
Coat however you would like. Dip the entire marshmallow or half the marshmallow into the dark chocolate and drizzle with white chocolate. Garnish with sprinkles or bits of freeze-dried strawberries, etc.
Freeze-dried strawberries are much different from dried strawberries since they retain their original color and flavor. Additionally, they have a low water content which is ideal for this recipe since sugar is hydrophilic. You can find these at your local store such as target: Freeze-dried Strawberries
Melting chocolate is much different from bakers’ chocolate, chocolate chips, and vegan chocolate. If you are using chocolate chips or vegan chocolate, you may need to add additional fat such as butter or coconut oil in order to get the same consistency as melting chocolate. About 2 tablespoons of fat or oil per 1 cup of bakers/chocolate chips
Sugar syrup is very hot and can cause serious burns. Please be very careful not to get any sugar on you while pouring it from one vessel to another. If you and a child are working together, please allow the adult to handle this part of the process.
If you do not have a candy thermometer, or other high temperature thermometer, you can test the sugar for the soft ball stage (234℉ - 240℉) once the sugar is boiling. Using a metal spoon, scoop a little bit of the boiling sugar syrup and pour it into a bowl filled with ice water. Allow to cool for a few seconds. Pick up the sugar from the ice water and see it you can roll it into a soft ball. If it is pliable, sticky, and easy to mold with your hands, then the sugar has reached the soft ball stage. It can now be removed from the heat and added to the gelatin.
I recommend a pyrex measuring cup for this part of the process since it is tempered glass. Pyrex is capable of handling extreme temperatures. Do not use regular glass or ceramic as it may crack from the temperature of the sugar syrup.
As for the scraps, you can cut them into smaller pieces. Add them to your hot chocolate, popcorn, s'mores, or just enjoy them as is.