I am a very lucky person. I am lucky for a whole lot of reasons, for my family, for my friends, for my job. But everyday I wake up and think, how did I get so lucky not only to find such a tremendous person to spent my days with, but also for him to have come from such a terrific family.
The horror stories about mothers-in-law do not apply. Mean sisters are not a concern, and grumpy fathers do not exist. Jordan’s family is a small miracle to me, because not only are they such great people, but they also have welcomed me in with reckless abandon, which is so appreciated when my own family is so far away. (which is my fault, I know.)
So when it was decided that we would throw Jordan’s parents a surprise party for their 40th wedding anniversary, I got excited.
(They were very very surprised!)
Here is something you should know about me- I love throwing parties. Like, a lot.
(Jordan’s Dad, Steve, looking very pleased with a stiff drink and a cigar)
It was held at his older sisters house, because she has an incredible back yard, and as a group we made some pretty fabulous food (halibut sliders on brioche buns anyone?) made some great drinks (last weeks post on cherry bourbon for starters!) and I spent several weeks cutting out triangles of yards and yards of bunting, and spent hours deliberating what to do for dessert.
There was a lot of pressure on this.
In the end, I went with a s’mores theme. It was a backyard party after all. I made s’mores pops, s’mores cupcakes, straight up s’mores (with my caramel marshmallows to get that burnt sugar taste, and smothered in ganache) and laid out bowls of coconut marshmallows and Nutella marshmallows.
Guys, I’m not going to lie, I thought it looked pretty spectacular.
And while there wasn’t a lot left over, the biggest hit might have been the Nutella marshmallows. They were killer.
Actually, everthing was killer, it was a terrific party. His parents were so surprised (and as they’re anniversary is actually in a couple weeks they took several minutes just to figure out what we were yelling “Surprise!” about.) His dad was ecstatic, and his mom was thrilled, we drank, we danced, we played bocci, and we had a really really great time. With a really great family.
2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp Unflavoured Powdered Gelatin
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Corn Syrup
2 Egg Whites
1 tbsp Vanilla
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cups Nutella
Icing sugar for coating.
Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper and oil it generously.
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water.
Put your egg whites in a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
In a medium pot mix together the sugar, corn syrup, and just enough water to give it the texture of wet sand (about 1/2 cup)
Put a lid on it, and put it on a burner with medium heat.
In a couple minutes give it a quick stir and then put the lid back on- this build up of steam in the pot will prevent crystals from forming.
Once the sugar has COMPLETELY dissolved, remove the lid.
Bring the heat up to high and put in your candy thermometer.
When the thermometer reads 230F start your mixer.
When the thermometer reads 240F mix the gelatin into the sugar mixture, and start carefully pouring the sugar into the mixer with the whisk running. It is important not to pour into the middle of the bowl- or all the sugar will splash to the edges. Instead pour the mixture down the side of the bowl, it’s okay if it sticks to one spot, as the marshmallows whip up in size they will pull any left over sugar in.
Keep the motor running for about 10 minutes or until the marshmallows have become big, white, fluffy, and marshmallow-y looking. The bowl should be nearly cool by now.
While you’re waiting for that to happen, warm up the Nutella either in a microwave or in a double boiler, until it is fairly thin.
When your marshmallows are ready, pour them into your prepared mold- move quickly! They will firm up quickly now!- and spread them out with an offset spatula.
Now pour the nutella on top and swirl in with toothpick, or chopstick. It’s important to mix them in really well.
Allow for them to firm up completely, about 4 hours, or overnight.
When they are ready to cut use ample icing sugar on every surface! Cut into the desired shape, roll in icing sugar, and eat!