As a Girl Scout I learned to love the combination of chocolate and marshmallows. I learned to love this combination after reveling in s'mores made over an open campfire.
Although s'mores are probably still best made with fire-toasted marshmallows, you can easily make them year-round in the microwave. Just sandwich a big marshmallow and several squares of chocolate between graham crackers, place on a paper towel and microwave at HIGH (100% power) for about 15 seconds, or until the filling is wonderfully warm and gooey.
You can make many more chocolate marshmallow treats in the microwave, too. Perhaps the simplest one is rocky-road candy, which you create with chocolate chips melted with a little butter. To this you add miniature marshmallows and nuts.
A Cool Summer Dessert
A takeoff of this is the popular Frozen Rocky Road Pie, which is made by melting marshmallows and chocolate-almond bars in milk, cooling and then combining with whipped cream. Frozen in a graham cracker crust, it makes a cool dessert on a hot summer evening.
A few other recipes combining chocolate and marshmallows follow. One is the famous Mississippi Mud Cake. This recipe adapts very well to the microwave. Another is a cottage pudding--an "island" of chocolate marshmallow cake-like pudding floating in a "sea" of chocolate sauce. When you're in the mood for a great-tasting, if somewhat decadent, dessert, try one of these. Each is easy to make. And with the speed of the microwave, gratification is just minutes away.
FROZEN ROCKY ROAD PIE
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
4 (1.2-ounce) milk chocolate candy bars with almonds
16 large marshmallows (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
Additional whipped cream, optional
Sliced almonds, optional
Blend cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in medium bowl. Press firmly and evenly over bottom and sides of 9-inch microwave-safe pie plate. Microwave at HIGH (100% power) 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, rotating plate, if necessary for even heating, every minute, until shell is hot. Cool completely.
In 2-quart microwave-safe casserole, place candy bars, marshmallows and milk. Microwave at HIGH 2 to 4 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. When marshmallows can be stirred smooth, chill until mixture is thickened.
In bowl, whip cream. With same beaters, beat marshmallow mixture briefly until smooth, then fold in whipped cream. Pile filling into crust and freeze until firm. Garnish with whipped cream and almonds. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
MISSISSIPPI MUD CAKE
1 1/2 cups butter
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup marshmallow cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Place 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup cocoa in 12x8-inch microwave-safe dish. Microwave at HIGH (100% power) 2 minutes, until butter is melted. In large mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add granulated sugar, flour and butter-cocoa mixture and beat at medium speed until thoroughly blended. Pour mixture back into microwave dish. Microwave at HIGH 7 to 11 minutes, rotating dish half-turn, if necessary, every 3 minutes. When set, immediately top with marshmallow cream, spreading lightly but evenly. Cool 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small glass mixing bowl, place remaining 1/2 cup butter and 3 tablespoons cocoa. Microwave at HIGH 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until melted. Add corn syrup and powdered sugar, stirring well. Gradually stir in milk until smooth, then stir in pecans. Spread over marshmallow topping on cake. Makes about 24 servings.
When this comes from the oven, the chocolate sauce is thin, but thickens as it cools. To serve, spoon some of the cake into a dessert dish and top with a generous amount of sauce. Garnish each serving with whipped cream, if desired. An oversize casserole is used for this because the chocolate sauce boils vigorously.
CHOCOLATE-MARSHMALLOW COTTAGE PUDDING
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 cup butter
1 cup unsifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup broken pecan pieces
Stir together 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa and hot water in 1 1/2- to 2-quart microwave-safe casserole or pitcher-shaped measuring bowl. Add butter. Microwave at HIGH (100% power) 3 to 6 minutes, depending on temperature of water and butter, until mixture is very hot and well combined. Sauce will be thin.
In 3-quart microwave-safe casserole, stir together flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually add milk, stirring to blend well. Stir in vanilla, marshmallows and pecan pieces. Scrape sides of casserole and smooth top.
Slowly pour sauce over top of batter. Sauce will sink to bottom. Microwave pudding at HIGH 7 to 10 minutes, rotating dish a half-turn, if necessary, every 3 minutes. When done, tilt casserole slightly to catch some of sauce in serving spoon and spoon over pudding to moisten. Serve warm. Makes 6 to 8 servings.