There are lots of kinds of desserts in this world. There are ridiculous desserts. There are cute desserts. There are delicious desserts. This one is all three: ridiculous, cute, and delicious. My wife found this recipe, and I thought they were too cute to pass up. As I alluded to last week, I made these for a BBQ we hosted. I thought they would be fun, a crowd pleaser, a large volume dessert (important for big crowds), and since I was making them for an event at home, I wouldn’t have to worry about transporting them.
They looked pretty straightforward. I started on them late the night before the BBQ. I’ll chalk that one up to equal parts naiveté and being busy. They weren’t difficult to make, but I definitely underestimated how long they would take.
I had recently bought some baking chocolate in bulk chunks. I had miscalculated how much I needed for the recipe at the time, so I ended up with enough to feed a small army. I found a chunk that was enough for this recipe and I cut it in two. I cut the one half into small crumbly bits to use for the ganache. I didn’t heat the cream in a saucepan as suggested. Instead, I used the beverage function on the microwave. (Don’t hate me for cheating.) I almost made a big mess of it because I wasn’t watching closely, and it bubbled up and almost bubbled over. However, it still mixed with the chocolate as expected. (I did not use any of the optional bourbon.)
Roasting the marshmallows took a while. I had the feeling that they would take a while, so I enlisted my wife. (Thanks hon!) We put them on forks and roasted them one by one over the flame of one of the burners in the kitchen. Roasting them over the grill would have been quicker, but that wouldn’t be ready till the next day. Roasting them was harder than you think. We had to get them close enough to brown without them catching on fire. We got the hang of it after a while, but many of them did catch on fire in the process. Even with both of us, it still took over an hour. Most of them turned out okay. Some of them less so. The latter ones had to be manually cut open a bit, which was challenging. (Have you ever tried to carve out the inside of a semi-roasted marshmallow?)
I then moved on to the second batch of chocolate. I melted it in the microwave, and after both it and the marshmallows had cooled, I tried spreading it on the marshmallows with a knife. Unfortunately, that was way too slow. I ended up dipping the marshmallows in the chocolate, then the graham cracker crumbs. Then I flipped them upside down and repeated. It was as messy as all get out – I got almost as much chocolate on me as I did the marshmallows – but it was much, much quicker.
Actually, the whole recipe was pretty messy. For instance, during the marshmallow roasting we had to clean off the forks several times because of marshmallow build up. (Great band name, by the way.) And during this part, I had to clean the chocolate off of my hands more times than I could count. There was chocolate to the left of me, chocolate to the right. There I was, stuck in the middle with
you a whole bunch of teddy bears in hot tubs. But I digress.
I then moved on to the ganache. I used a plastic bag with the tip cut off for piping the ganache into the marshmallows. I learned my lesson from previous times and cut the hole very small. For the marshmallows that turned out right, the piping was easy. But for those marshmallows that hadn’t really opened up (maybe they have trust issues?), it was difficult to fill them. I had cut them open, but it wasn’t easy to keep them open to get the ganache in. They all got filled, however the difficult ones got less filled.
With the hot tubs ready, I put in the teddy bears. (Why teddy bears have hot tubs in the first place, I don’t know, but I think that’s a story for another time.) There’s no way around it. They were the most adorably cute dessert you’ve ever seen. I’ve seen my share of desserts, and I’m not exaggerating. They were not quite as pretty as the picture on the recipe, but at the risk of tooting my own horn, I thought they looked pretty darn good.
The recipe was supposed to make 36. However, we had roasted all 40 marshmallows in the bag in case some of them didn’t turn out as well. (For all my fellow linguists out there, I realize that this sentence could be construed to mean we had roasted the marshmallows while they were still in the bag, but given that I already described the roasting process above, I hope you’ll forgive me.) And since I still had graham cracker crumbs, melted chocolate, ganache, and teddy bears left, I decided to use up the remaining 4 marshmallows.
I have much respect for people who work in the candy, chocolate, and confectionary fields. I can see it involves a lot of hard work, and a lot of detail work at that. It’s kinda fun, interesting, and challenging, and it’s a lot of work.
The recipe didn’t look that difficult, and it wasn’t really. However, since some of the marshmallows didn’t get done as well as they should have, their tops didn’t sink, which made filling them difficult. Other than that they worked out okay. It just took a lot of time and patience. A lot more time and patience than I thought.
I think it was all worth it though, as they ended up being the star of the show (as the recipe indicated they might be). As soon as people saw them, they couldn’t stop talking about them, taking pictures of them, Instagramming them, figuring out movie franchises for them, etc. People who left before dessert asked to have some, people took some with them when they left. You get the idea.
Besides being really cute, they also tasted really good. In all the hubbub I didn’t get to have one till the next day. (Although I had sampled the parts while making them.) They’ve got interesting textures. There’s the chewy marshmallow, the smooth chocolate(s), and the crunchy graham crackers. Plus there’s the mix of flavors. You have the roasted, smokey marshmallow, two different chocolates, and two different graham crackers. They are yum and fun and wow all around.
If you’re at all thinking about making them, they are a lot of work, but they’re totally worth it. Taste, texture, presentation, and a very large cute factor make them rank very high. This recipe further encourages me to come up with my own fun ideas. My one question is, I don’t even have my own hot tub, and here we have 40 teddy bears each with their own hot tub. How in the world did that happen?
If you make them, I’d love to hear your experience and everyone’s reactions. But tell me, do you have recipes which are just as cute or even cuter? I’d love to see a cute-off.
Recipe courtesy of foodelicious at Allrecipes.