This recipe started off as a total caramel marshmallow fail. I swirled homemade caramel into marshmallow batter, but it turned into a bit of a mess. A delicious mess, mind you—but, a mess nonetheless.
Some of the caramel sank to the bottom of the pan, and the rest sort of acted as a swirly knife, dividing the batter into curvy pieces. And, good Lord, was it sweet! But I had an idea…
Why not throw a couple shots of espresso over the whole delicious mess?! I love super strong coffee with something that’s really sweet, and this was uh-maaazing.
I tried a couple more straight-up marshmallow batches where I mixed a half of a cup of caramel with about a cup of marshmallow, then swirled it into the rest of the batter I’d already poured the into the jelly roll pan. This worked great—no swirly caramel knife slices:
But, they are still quite sweet. Too sweet for me.
As it turns out, my favorite batch was still the first attempt that I drowned in espresso. The strength of the coffee cuts the sweetness perfectly, and I think the swirl slices totally work in the affogato version—they make it easy to pull pieces apart and the texture makes it pretty to look at. This would be a great dessert for a large group, or simply freeze pieces and pull them out when you get a craving.
Hope you like this concoction!
Caramel Marshmallow Affogato
Prep time: 35 min | Ready in: 6 hours, 35 min
- Cooking spray
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin (vegetarian substitutions)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup caramel (I made mine from scratch using this recipe—it was surprisingly easy.)
- A candy thermometer
- Tin foil
- 9×13-inch cake or jelly roll pan
- Make caramel sauce if you’re doing it from scratch. You’ll want to let it cool until it’s warm. (You want it cool enough that it doesn’t melt the marshmallow batter, but still warm enough that it pours easily.)
- Line the inside of the pan with tin foil, then coat well with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine a 1/2 of a cup of cold water with the packets of gelatin and allow to sit until gelatin forms, about 15 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan on medium heat, combine the sugar and 1/2 of a cup of water, then stir until sugar has dissolved—about 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to bring mixture to a low boil, and continue to boil until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer—about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- If using store-bought caramel, heat it until warm, but not hot.
- Slowly pour sugar mixture into the bowl with the gelatin, simultaneously using a mixer on low. Gradually increase speed to high and continue whipping until the mix is very thick, about 10 to 15 minutes—imagine the consistency of pourable taffy.
- Pour mixture into the pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula. (Spray spatula with cooking spray as needed to keep it from sticking.)
- Pour caramel into batter using circular or S-shape, then use a knife to swirl the caramel into the marshmallow batter.
- Let the marshmallow sit for about 6 hours, uncovered, until completely set.
- Cover a surface larger than the marshmallow slab with powdered sugar and flip the pan over so that marshmallow lands on the dusted surface. (The sticky, caramel-y bottom will now be on top. Don’t bother dusting with powdered sugar.)
- Cut the slab of marshmallow in half and flip one over the top of the over to create a sandwich-ish situation—the caramel will stay somewhat contained on the inside of the “sandwich.”
- Cut marshmallows into squares. Store in a covered container–refrigerate or freeze the squares if you won’t be serving them within 24 hours.
- To serve, place a marshmallow “sandwich” in a mug and pour two shots of espresso over the top. (You can also use double-strength coffee—it’ll be just as delicious!)