Put Yogurt in Marshmallows (We're Serious)

January 17, 2017

I’m extremely fond of most things tart and tangy and I adore sour and bitter. Give me a sour pickle, a hoppy craft brew, or a pucker-worthy lemon bar. I’m the obnoxious friend that’s always criticizing things for being too sweet.

Meanwhile, and inexplicably, I also have a big, soft (pillowy?) place in my heart for marshmallows and meringues—yes, the sugar bombs of the dessert world.

Out of guilt or to resolve the cognitive dissonance, I’m always looking for interesting and delicious ways to imbue these desserts with a nuance of substance—by introducing a tangy note, rich flavor and/or some other ingredient—to make them more worthy of my devotion, or at least to temper the jolt of pure sugar. Swirls of nut or seed butters turn out to be fabulous in meringue cookies and Pavlova (see here and here), as is the addition of strawberry powder to marshmallows.

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And now, thanks to my recent preoccupation with yogurt powder, we have the spectacular vanilla yogurt marshmallows below. I can’t say the yogurt makes the marshmallows healthy or virtuous, but it certainly makes them extra delicious—especially if you add a little yogurt powder to the dusting sugar as well.

Deceptively tangy (not deceptively delicious). Photo by James Ransom

One final confession: I like my marshmallows on the chewy side, not so moist and ethereal they melt instantly on my tongue. I’m sure this has to do with the marshmallows of my 1950’s childhood. The marshmallows of memory weren’t shoved willy-nilly into plastic bags (which insures they’ll emerge smooshed, dented, or otherwise deformed). They came in a large package that contained several smaller, waxed, cardboard boxes that each held two layers of six perfect marshmallows separated by a sheet of waxed paper. Each marshmallow seemed special; it was soft and delicious, but also chewy enough to avoid insipidity. I say all this to prepare you for these slightly chewy, tangy (wonderful!) marshmallows.

Do you have a favorite way to flavor marshmallows? Tell us about it in the comments.

Alice Medrich is a Berkeley, California-based pastry chef, chocolatier, and cookbook author. You can read more about what she's up to here.

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My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).