Flaming Turtle Chocolate Fondue with Homemade Marshmallows

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I absolutely love chocolate fondue! It has been a Valentine’s Day tradition in my home since well before my children came along. My husband and I enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day with our kids. It’s all about love and family and this family has lots of love to give. Before we had kids, I made a full fondue meal for my husband every Valentine’s Day. Last year, we felt that the kids were old enough to handle cooking their own food in the fondue pot, so we enjoyed our Valentine fondue dinner as a family. The kids are hooked! They have been asking repeatedly when we can have fondue again for dinner. It’s a once a year treat. We always finish our fondue dinner with a delicious chocolate fondue. My absolute favorite chocolate fondue is the Flaming Turtle Fondue from The Melting Pot Restaurant. I was so excited when the Melting Pot published the recipe for the Flaming Turtle Chocolate Fondue in their recipe book a few years ago. The book is called, “The Melting Pot, Dip into Something Different.” My favorite part is lighting the chocolate on fire and roasting a delicious homemade marshmallow, then dipping it in chocolate. It’s so YUMMY, impressive, and perfect for a special occasion.

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Oh yes, I said HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW. You will be so pleasantly suprised at how quick and simple they are to make. They are light and fluffy and so much better than store bought marshmallows. They can be cut into squares or you can use a cookie cutter to cut them out into shapes. Of course, I cut mine out in a heart shape for Valentine’s Day. You can get your kids involved in cutting the shapes and rolling them in powdered sugar.

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Homemade Marshmallows
Ingredient

3 packages (1/4-ounce each) (3/4 oz) unflavored gelatin
1 cup (8 oz)cool water, divided
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
1 cup (11 oz) light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
confectioners’ sugar, to sprinkle on top
Instructions
1. Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup cool water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix briefly to combine; set aside.
2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup cool water in a small, deep saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
Raise the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
3. With the mixer set on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase the speed to high, and whip until the mixture is very thick and fluffy, and has cooled to lukewarm, 3 to 10 minutes (depending on the mixer and attachment you use; a stand mixer using the whisk attachment will work more quickly than a hand mixer equipped with beaters). The mixture should be cool enough that you can spread it into the pan without burning your fingers, about 95°F. Add vanilla towards the end of the mixing time.
4. Spread the marshmallow mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan (glass or ceramic is best). Use your wet hands or a wet spatula to smooth and flatten the marshmallows.
5. Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over the top, and let sit for several hours (or overnight) before cutting.  Remove marshmallow from pan onto a cutting board. Use a greased knife or cookie cutters to make squares or other shapes. Dipping the knife or cutters in cold water before cutting helps reduce any stickiness. Shake marshmallows in confectioners sugar and shake off excess.
6. Store at room temperature. For storage, place in a closed container, the layers separated by waxed paper or parchment paper.

Yield: about 4 dozen square marshmallows

Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour 

Flaming Turtle Chocolate Fondue

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 tablespoon 151 rum
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine the chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water.

2. Heat until the chocolate is melted, stirring constantly; or combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 30-45 seconds. Be careful not to burn chocolate.

3. Pour into a warm fondue pot.

4. Pour the caramel into the center of the chocolate mixture. Do not stir.

5. Add the rum to the pot and ignite carefully, using a long wooden match or lighter. Allow the flame to burn out and stir gently to combine.

6. Sprinkle with the pecans before serving. Keep fondue warm over low heat. Serve with assorted fruits, marshmallows or 1-inch cubed pieces of pound cake. Sometimes I also like to serve it with cubed brownies and cut up chocolate chip cookies.

Recipe Source: The Melting Pot, Dip into Something Different cookbook

Baking Tips:

*Use very high quality chocolate for the fondue such as Ghiradelli. Before the cookbook was released, I emailed the chef at The Melting Pot for this recipe. He told me that using high quality chocolate is very important since it is the star ingredient. It will also be able to stand up to the high heat of the flaming alcohol.

*The fondue is safe for your children to eat. The alcohol will burn off when lit. Be sure your guests have their marshmallows ready before you light the fondue. It will only burn for a minute or so. I do not always use the pecans if my kids do not want them.

*You can experiment with the flavor of your marshmallows by adding espresso powder, cocoa powder, or crushed peppermint candy. My son helped me make the marshmallows pictured. I think I have created a monster. He now wants to make chocolate, cookies and cream, and orange flavored marshmallows.

*Roll the sides of your marshmallows in colored sugar sprinkle for a decorative touch. The marshmallows taste more like peeps with the sugar on them! Yum!!!

Bake and Share Ideas
  1. Package a few marshmallows in a clear bag tied with ribbon and give to friends and family to enjoy. You can also attach a valentine card to the bag for a special Valentine treat.
  2. Insert a cookie stick into a heart shaped marshmallow. Cover the marshmallow with a clear sandwich bag and tie with ribbon. I gave these out as Valentine’s from my children one year with a Valentine note attached.
  3. Treat your family and/or sweetheart to a special Valentine’s Day chocolate fondue
  4. Package all of the necessities to make the chocolate fondue in a pretty basket with the recipe attached. Give as a gift to a newly married couple, someone celebrating an anniversary, or to a friend just because!

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