Enjoying my fireplace on these dark cold winter nights has prompted me to break open the marshmallows and my long pronged fork for some roasting. Perhaps sticking marshmallows on a fork and poking them in the fire may not seem like such a complicated endeavor. It certainly doesn’t require special skill or culinary know-how. But patience is key if you want to evolve from your campfire days of simply letting it catch fire, watching the resulting fire ball with amazement until it becomes thoroughly carbonized, and them stuffing it in your mouth.
Roasting marshmallows requires patience, rotating these sweet white confections over a slow burning fire. I find the best results come from a thick bed of hot coals accompanied with some smaller flames still consuming a remaining half burnt log. Placing the marshmallow close to both ambient and active sources of heat provides a high enough temperature for the sweet puff ball to thoroughly soften into the center. It should be fully gooey and not have
a chewier solid interior.
So how do you know when you’ve hit the sweet spot of optimal roasting temperature? First of all, the ideal conditions are fleeting but you’ll know you’ve hit it when as you slowly turn the marshmallow, it rapidly turns golden brown. If you’re seeing too much white after over a minute, your fire isn’t hot enough. As your marshmallow turns darker brown, it will expand to triple it’s initial size. Just when you see that it’s sagging off the fork to the point where it’s about to fall into the fire, place it on your tongue for 30 seconds letting it cool. Then fully envelop your mouth around the morsel and let it melt. The crisp sugary outside skin will have a slight charred bite while the soft gooey interior will have slight vanilla and caramel undertones….as only a marshmallow can.
photos courtesy of Steve Mirsky