I stopped into VVG Bistro for a coffee break the other day, and tried their chocolate marshmallow cake. When it arrived at the table, I was what my friend Ridhi once said “of two minds.” One mind gleefully thought “Holy moly, what a *huge* slice of cake!” The other mind asked “huh? It’s just a piece of cake on a plate?” Remember it’s the VVG restaurants! The presentation is supposed to be awe-inspiring! But, since there was a delicious aroma of chocolate and a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream just calling for my attention, I gathered my wits and concentrated on the task at hand. First of all, how to navigate this piece of cake was a bit of a challenge. Do I just rudely knock it over and cut it into pieces? Or do I try to delicately excavate it vertically? I tried the second option just to see what would happen and the cake just toppled over. Glad that challenge was out of the way. My first bite was a mixture of chocolate ganache and marshmallow. Yum. The ganache was thick, yet still melt in your mouth, and the marshmallows were simultaneously airy and chewy.
Chocolate Marshmallow Cake’s Anatomy
巧克力＋棉花糖蛋糕解剖圖However, I was a bit disappointed to discover that the cake was dry and crumbly. The first word that came to mind was “sturdy.” Good thing there was a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, which helped balance out the dryness of the cake. But as I ate the cake, I gradually realized that the cake had to be “sturdy” in order to support that towering pile of marshmallows and ganache. So, in short, cake texture had to be sacrificed for the structural integrity of the slice.
As I sat toying with the last few bites, I thought this chocolate marshmallow cake could be reinterpreted into a dessert that was less overwhelming, and more transportable, so I could easily package it and share with others. I vaguely remembered making some combination of chocolate and marshmallow cookies sometime in high school, and after a quick online search I found the original Mrs Field’s recipe.
有一天在東區 辦事情 也剛好在VVG Bistro (好好樣） 附近 所以就進去點了一塊巧克力 棉花糖蛋糕。 吃了第一口覺得好吃，再兩口覺得過癮， 吃到了一半 發覺有一點 overwhelming。 想了一下 其實巧克力跟棉花糖是絕配。如果是變成餅乾的話 應該也會很好吃！ 而且可以比較容易帶著跟周邊的人分享。
Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
(originally from Mrs Field’s Cookies, recipe found on Food.com)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 (12 ounce) cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 8 ounces miniature marshmallows, frozen
Note: We don’t have miniature marshmallows in Taiwan, so I just bought the regular sized ones and chopped them into fourths before putting them into the freezer. I reduced the amount of both sugars to just 1/3 cup each , because I thought combined with the chocolate chips and the marshmallows, it would be sweetness overload.
備註：台灣好像買不到 “迷你” 的棉花糖。City Super 的日本棉花糖貴的嚇死人，所以我就買我家附近超市的，再把他們切成四小塊，就跟食譜中提的mini marshmallows 是差不多的 size 了。 因為食譜裡面有加棉花糖， 也有巧克力豆， 我就把白糖跟紅糖減到 1／3 杯， 免得甜到牙齒發抖！
UPDATE: I found miniature marshmallows in Taipei! They are available in the snack section at Muji! (The price is also very reasonable at NTD$39 per bag)
- Notes: When I got to Step 10, I was met with this sandy, gritty mess in my mixing bowl. My handheld mixer sputtered and groaned and refused to continue. I squelched my feelings of doubt by attacking the mixture by hand and pretty soon it all came together, and turned into a workable cookie dough. 到了這個階段 (第10) 的時候 餅乾會變成一個看起來很沒有絕望的一堆粉末，但是 不要放棄！ 在攪拌一下就可以了。Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Until you are ready to assemble the cookies just prior to baking, keep the marshmallows in the freezer- otherwise they will thaw too rapidly.
- Place the marshmallows back into the freezer between each batch of cookies.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa and baking soda.
- Set aside.
- Combine sugars in a large bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, blend in butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips, and blend at a low speed until combined.
- Batter will be very stiff.
- Gather 4-5 frozen marshallows in the palm of your hand and cover them with a heaping tablespoon of dough
- Wrap the dough around the marshmallows, completely encasing them and forming a 2-inch diameter ball.
- Place balls on ungreased baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes.
- Cool on pan 2 minutes, then transfer to a cool flat surface.
In terms of cookie assembly, I found it easiest to flatten a small piece of dough into a semi-circle, making a hollow with my thumb, and placing the marshmallows into the hollow, and then closing the dough around the marshmallow. 準備把棉花糖塞進餅乾麵團的時候，我發覺用包餃子的技巧比較有效率。 直接把餅乾麵團變成小圓形， 再放入2－3片的棉花糖， 最後再把餅乾麵團捏起來。
Ready for the oven!
準備進烤箱了喔I found that the cookies came out perfectly after 7 minutes in the oven. Just out of curiosity, I tried 8 minutes for the second batch, and had an oozing marshmallow situation on my hands. 餅乾在我的烤箱烤 7 分鐘就可以出爐了。 再久一分鐘，包在裡面的棉花糖就爆漿了！The intriguing part of this recipe is that the marshmallow actually melts and absorbs inside the cookie, leaving behind a pocket of air. This makes the cookie’s texture soft and moist, with almost a cake-like texture. (Next time, to make the cookie even more special, I guess I could whip up a chocolate ganache topping. Hello Christmas, I think we have a cookie)
A friend of mine took a bite and exclaimed: Is it cake? Is it a brownie? Or is it a cookie?! I guess it’s a combination of all three desserts in one bite. 把餅乾切一半的時候， 發覺中間是空的～ 原來棉花糖已經融入了餅乾裡面了。而且奇妙的是 餅乾的口感是蓬鬆， 有那種 “light as air” 的感覺！
These cookies go well with a glass of milk or cup of coffee. Enjoy!