Think the Mallomar owns the chocolate-covered marshmallow? Think again. The sweet, spongy treat was actually created in Denmark in the 1800s and has gone by several names, mainly the flødeboller, which translates into "cream bun" or more loosely, "snowball." Tall and stacked like a beehive, the flødeboller has a sturdy biscuit or baked marzipan base, and with the first bite, its thin coating of chocolate cracks into a soft meringue filling that's airier, gooier, and arguably more satisfying than the common marshmallow.
I tried my first flødeboller at Summerbird chocolaterie in Copenhagen's upscale Torvehallerne market. Flavored with a sublime passion fruit and rose hip center, it was so otherworldly good that I thought I might never taste anything like it again—until I decided to make my own version at home. Staying true to Summerbird's elegant style, I used a thin baked marzipan base, topped it with a kiss of passion fruit gelée and a tall coil of vanilla-scented Italian meringue, and then enrobed it in bittersweet coverture chocolate.
7 ounces marzipan
Powdered sugar for rolling
Passion Fruit Gelée:
14 ounces passion fruit pulp, seeds removed (You can buy seedless, frozen pulp from Goya.)
2¼ teaspoons pectin
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon butter
1 cup, plus an additional ¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
4 ounces water
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds high quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I use Valrhona 64% cacao.)
For Marzipan Disks: Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust powdered sugar on a work surface and roll out marzipan to about ⅛-inch thick. Cut into one-inch circles (with a cutter or rim of a small jar) and stagger on the baking sheet about a half inch apart. Bake for about 5 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until golden (monitor closely to make sure they don't overcook or burn).
For Passion Fruit Gelée: Place passion fruit pulp in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix sugar and pectin in a small bowl, and then stir into pulp. Cook until a candy thermometer reaches 225⁰ F (watch closely and don't allow it to burn). Take off heat, add lemon juice and butter, and allow to cool. When ready to use, puree gelée in a food processor or blender until smooth, and then place in a pastry bag for piping.
For Meringue Filling: Combine 1 cup sugar, syrup, and water in a small saucepan. Insert a candy thermometer and boil until the mixture reaches 240° F.
Meanwhile, while sugar is cooking on the stove, place egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and then whip on high speed until they form soft peaks. Add remaining ¼ cup of sugar and vanilla, and continue to mix on medium speed. Once sugar mixture on stove reaches 240° F, reduce stand mixer to low speed and carefully pour cooked sugar liquid into the egg whites. Continue whipping on medium until cooled. Put the meringue into a large pastry bag, and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To Assemble: Line up marzipan disks on a work surface. Pipe a dollop (about a teaspoon) of passion fruit gelée in the center of each disk, leaving about a quarter inch of space along the edge. Pipe meringue in a circle around the gelée and keep circling in an upward spiral, getting narrower at the top, until it's about two or so inches high. Refrigerate and allow it to set for about an hour.
One at a time, place each flødeboller on a chocolate dipping fork and gently plunge it into a bowl of tempered chocolate (Valrhona offers detailed instructions on how to temper), covering it completely and lightly tapping it on the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and gently pull the fork out from underneath. Allow to set.