We had a nice little sprinkling of snow the other day, so I took full advantage in my own special way. In other words, I baked a cheesecake. I will use any excuse possible to turn on my oven. I also used it as an excuse to make marshmallows. As I was listening to the news report on school delays, I thought about how fun it would be to get the kids involved in cutting out the marshmallows and tossing them in powdered sugar then floating them in some warm cocoa after playing in the snow. Unfortunately, my foodie daughter lives in Germany and my son is 24, so he doesn’t get excited about these things anymore.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and generously grease a springform pan.
Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the melted butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1 pound Quark, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa mix, and the corn starch. Starting on low, mix for one minute, then increase to medium and mix for 2-3 minutes or until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the quark, sugar, and cocoa mix. Mix for one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping after each addition. Add the vanilla and whipping cream and mix just until incorporated. Transfer to the springform pan and bake for approximately one hour. The center should be set, but slightly jiggly. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for another hour. Move to a rack and cool completely, then chill for 2 hours or overnight.
Lightly spray a 12 x 17 pan** with cooking spray, line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of the paper hanging over the side of the pan. The paper makes it easy to lift the marshmallows out of the pan. Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour in 1/2 cup water and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let sit for 5 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt to a rolling boil, and boil for one minute or until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F. Do not stir the mixture while mixture is cooking and be careful. This mixture is extremely hot, and keep this part away from children.
Using the whip attachment, mix the gelatin for a minute to break up the clumps.
Slowly drizzle the hot sugar syrup along the side of the bowl, did I mention be careful?
Turn the mixer to high speed and whip for 8-10 minutes or until thick and fluffy.
Immediately pour into the prepared pan, and spread out with an offset spatula. It will be messy.
Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and press, greased side down, over the marshmallow mixture to smooth it out.
Allow to sit for 6 hours or overnight.
Mix together the powdered sugar and corn starch and sprinkle over a work surface.
Turn out the marshmallow slab and cut into desired shapes using a greased knife or cookie cutters.
Toss with additional powdered sugar mixture to keep them from sticking together.
*I have used both the kind of cocoa mix that you add water and the kind that you add milk. Both work fine. The kind you add milk has a more chocolatey flavor, while the kind that you add water has a creamier flavor. Both are delicious.
**A 12×17 pan makes thin marshmallows. For thicker marshmallows, use a 9×13 or 9×9 pan.