Ben the Baker

Just a guy trying to get his kids to eat

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Daring Bakers – Mallowmars and Milanos

Posted by osakaben41 on July 28, 2009

Peppermint, Rose water, Lime/Coconut, & Coffee flavored marshmallows

Peppermint, Rose water, Lime/Coconut, & Coffee flavored marshmallows

July was my introduction to the world of the Daring Bakers, and it was all I could have hoped for.  In short, each month the DBs put forth a base recipe that all members are to attempt.  Throughout the month, bakers worldwide post their experiments, lessons learned, paths not taken, etc.  It’s what the internet is great for, putting people that really care about the consistency of marshmallows together in one space.  I’m just proud and honored to be a part of it now.  So without further ado, the July results:

The July 2009 Daring Baker’s challege was hosted by Nicole of Sweet Tooth.  She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Our challenge was to recreate classic cookies, Mallowmars and Milanos.  Now I have to admit a certain level of ignorance when it comes to Mallowmars.  Just not what I’d chose as a guilty pleasure at the check out line, though I’ve been spotted eating an entire bag of mint milanos.  That said, with no small amount of trepidation  over making Marshmallows, I started with what I knew best.

Milano Cookies

 

What we’re shooting for her is something thin and delicate, but above all as these were to sandwich a chocolate filling, consistent.  For me then, this was not so much about flavor as it was technique, so I stuck pretty closely to the recipe.

First off, anytime something calls for 2 Tablespoons of lemon extract, you have to think twice.  It worked out well however, as the batter was so very thin that a lot of the lemon flavor baked off in the oven.  It’s a lesson worth remembering when playing with tuiles and other garnish cookies.

Milano prt 2

Piping this batter was a nightmare, as it just came out so quickly and spread all over the place.  I foresee a whole series of piping related lessons ahead, but the first batch came out all raged and funny-looking, while the second batch just spread into each other and had to be cut apart with a knife.

The chocolate filling was pretty straight forward, but next time I would avoid the orange zest and just go for the straight orange extract.  It would have worked better as a smoother filling.

So at the end of the day, they tasted alright, but with such a small cookie the blemishes really stood out, ragged edges, overlaps, overly brown crust, with too pale centers.  Fun to attempt, but I doubt I’ll be coming back to this one anytime soon. (recipe listed below)

Four kinds of Mallowmars

The Mallows on the other hand were going to prove great fun.  Weary from the Milano experience, I tried out a stiff Marshmallow recipe from the inestimable Smitten Kitchen, for a camping trip that was coming up.  Used the wrong sized pan and they came out very thin, but got comfortable with the process, and they tasted fantastic.  Straight vanilla flavored marshmallows, check.  Now to move on to the next step.

Peppermint & Coffee flavored marshmallows

Thinking about these, we’ve got three basic elements to work with, a cookie base, filling, and coating.  Doesn’t get easier than that.  Before getting all crazy, I went with the straight Cinnamon cookie across the board, assuming the other elements were going to shout it out anyway.  Marshmallows seem such a great vehicle for subtle tastes though, provided you can get past, or at least work with, all that sugar.

The juicy centers

Clockwise from the far left: Rose Water/pistachio, Peppermint, Coffee, & Lime/Coconut

 

First and foremost, my wife and I are coffee addicts, so somewhere in there had to be a coffee/chocolate cookie.  We had some left over shredded coconut from a mango coconut entremet experiment the other week that I wanted to play with, and couldn’t stop singing that song from the “Resovoir Dogs” Soundtract, “you put the lime in the coconut…” so I went in that direction.  Also found some Rose Water that I picked up recently that I’ve been dying to try out.  Not having worked with it before, I wanted to keep it simple and just cover it with white chocolate.  Turns out I stumbled into a traditional south Asian pairing with the pistachio nuts, that shows up in Bandung, a drink that our friends had over and over again recently at an Indian wedding.  The peppermint well, that was just to round it out as a classic thing to mix with Chocolate.  I threw on some green glaze (powdered sugar, peppermint extract, milk and food coloring), just to announce what was inside. 

melting in the sun

The recipe was to make about 2 dozen cookies but I ended up with over 90 somehow.  Friends that were kind enough to take these off my hands have generally liked the attempt, though some found the Rose Water to smell too much like their grandmother’s soap.  Happy  then to have not skipped the dried lavender I’m sitting on.  This could have easily turned our house into a Yankee Candle shop.

The only other thing worth noting is why I was unable to find store bought Mallowmars for ‘research’.  They don’t make them in July or August, because they melt so quickly.  That was one of the reasons I had to give these away. They took up two full shelves in our fridge.

So overall, this was a successful experiment, though for a sense of what a professional mallowmar looks like, you have to go check out Tartellette.  Not sure how she got such perfect marshmallow shapes, or managed to avoid maring the chocolate with sticky fingers, but the photography alone is worth checking out.  Other experiments that really stood out include work by Audax, a table for two,  bake in Paris, and clumbsy cookie.   Inspiration abounds.

Milan Cookies

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 1 hour or more (shaping cookies and filling cookies)
Inactive Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: About 5 doz. cookies at 1 inch by 3 inch

• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar
• 7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons lemon extract
• 1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour
• Cookie filling, recipe follows

Cookie filling:
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 orange, zested

1.    In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.

2.    Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

3.      Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.

4.      With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.

5.     Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.

6.      While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.

7.      Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).

8.       Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.

9.       Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

SimplePleasure

Recipes from The Food Network Website, Gale Gand

Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 15 min (cookies only)
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hours or up to 3 days (cookies only)
Cook Time: 10 min (cookies only)
Serves: About 4 dozen cookies at 1 – 1.5 inch

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1.      In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.

2.      On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.

3.      Add the eggs and mix until combine.

4.       Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

5.       When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

6.       Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

7.       Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.

8.       Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

9.        Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.

10.      Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.

11.      One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.

12.     Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.

13.     Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Prep Time: 5 min (marshmallows only)
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours (marshmallows only)
Cook Time: 10-20 min (marshmallows only, includes cooking sugar & whipping marshmallow)
Serves: About 4 dozen cookies at 1 – 1.5 inch

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.      In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.

2.      Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.

3.      Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.

4.       Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.

5.        Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.

6.         Transfer to a pastry bag.

Prep Time: 5 min (glaze only)
Inactive Prep Time: N/A
Cook Time: 5-7 min (glaze only)
Serves: Enough to dip about 4 doz. cookies at 1 – 1.5 inch

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.

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One Response to “Daring Bakers – Mallowmars and Milanos”

  1. Jill said

    Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your Mallows are AMAZING!! I love all the flavor combinations you came up with and they are all decorated so beautifully. Well done! 🙂

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