Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate Rice Crispy "Cake" with Homemade Marshmallow "Icing"

Homemade Rice Krispies treats are one of my favorite foods; to me the airy crispness of the cereal combined with sweet and stretchy marshmallow is pure perfection. And I love the fact that the gentlemen bakers from Baked have developed new and interesting ways to use crisp rice cereal in their desserts. So I was delighted to see that one of the holidays they celebrate in Baked Occasions is the birthday of Mildred Day, the inventor of the Rice Krispies Treat. They mark the occasion with a for a Chocolate Rice Crispy "Cake" with Homemade Marshmallow "Icing."  It's a long name to describe a huge chocolate-Cocoa Krispies treat topped with a thick layer of pure marshmallow.

I have made this homemade marshmallow recipe before, as a component of the Campfire Cookie. The recipe calls for 12 sheets of gelatin, but it's not easy for me to get sheets so I always use powdered instead; I substituted four envelopes of Knox. I put corn syrup in my stand mixer fitted with the whisk; incorporated the powdered gelatin that I had softened in water and heated in a double boiler to dissolve all of the granules; and poured in hot sugar syrup (granulated sugar, water, and corn syrup) that I had heated to 240 degrees. After some whipping, I had marshmallow. I divided it between two parchment-lined and oiled loaf pans. I weighed out the yield and I ended up with 730 grams total.

I let the marshmallows cure overnight, and after the marshmallows are ready, the rest of the recipe is easy. You make the cereal treat by melting some butter, adding in 210 grams of the homemade marshmallow and some chocolate, and then stirring in Cocoa Krispies and some more chocolate. I think that it would have been a lot easier to add in all of the chocolate at the same time with the marshmallow, because I had trouble getting chocolate to melt after it was mixed in with the cereal. Eventually I incorporated all of the chocolate and I pressed the cereal treat mixture on top of a layer of marshmallow in a loaf pan.
I apparently failed to do a good job greasing the parchment before pouring in the marshmallow, because when I tried to unmold the finished "cake," some parts of the marshmallow were stuck to the paper. I did the best I could do gently pry it free, but the marshmallow "icing" ended up with some rough spots where I had to scrape it from the paper. Also, the marshmallow layer was a bit crooked. The warm marshmallow mixture was very sticky when I poured it into the pan and I did the best I could to quickly level it with an oiled offset spatula, but I guess I didn't quite get it right.

When I cut the cake, pieces of the cereal treat broke off, and it was impossible to eat a slice without cereal bits and pieces falling off. I would not make this cake again. My tasters liked it and the flavors were good, but I did not like the heavy and crumbly texture of the cereal treat. The thick coating of marshmallow and chocolate obscured the light crispy character of the Cocoa Krispies. I did really like the marshmallow, which was light and springy and tasted great. But I don't think this dessert makes good use of rice cereal. I have loved other recipes that highlight and amplify the crispiness of Rice Krispies -- like Dorie Greenspan's Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars and the Baked Peanut Butter Crispy Bars and Malted Crisp Tart. Getting rid of the chocolate in this recipe might fix the problem. But as it's written, it fell flat for me.

Recipe: "Chocolate Rice Crispy 'Cake with Homemade Marshmallow 'Icing'" from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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Anonymous said…
I need to give these more successful rice cereal treats a try. Sorry this one fell short. I enjoy reading about all of your baking adventures, so thank you for updating your blog so frequently.