We may not end up with a white Christmas this year (even with the ice and frost outside, chances are looking slim), but there’s some sweet, puffy goodness in town that’s sure to satisfy the gaping hole where the falling white fluffy stuff should be: soft, pillowy, snowy white homemade marshmallows sprinkled with crunchy peppermint candy cane snow! These homemade, hand-cut, preservative-free, gourmet marshmallows are lovingly made by marshmallow sweets queen Mai Ha of I ❤ (Love) Puffy Love! I Love Puffy Love is a Toronto-based business specializing in homemade, gourmet marshmallow desserts. Goodbye rock hard mini marshmallows in the plastic baggies; say hello to fresh, toasted coconut marshmallow cubes and vanilla raspberry mallow pops!
One of the most rewarding things about being a food writer and blogger (and scrapbooker!) is learning about new businesses and blossoming entrepreneurs with all the passion, creativity, and love to give to their craft and their brand. I love getting to know people’s stories – how they started their business, what they love most about their work, what drives them to get up at the crack of dawn and finally calling it a night in the wee hours. Whether it’s talking to and getting to know the ambitious men and women behind the business in person, or reading about their journey and experience through their Twitter accounts and blogs, it’s how I make these blog posts more real, more personal.
It’s how I fell in love with the farmers’ markets (and all markets for that matter), Earth & City, Jen’s APieCalypse Now! vegan bakery, and so many others. I love the aspect of storytelling and concept building and it gives me an immense amount of joy lending my support to those who are truly passionate about their work. I can see the love and joy in these marshmallows; everything from the packaging, to the logo, to the bright and happy pink and red sticker, to the sweets waiting to be devoured inside.
I’m going to backtrack a little and give my marshmallow discovery a little context though. I landed on a goldmine several weeks ago when I stumbled upon The Depannuer on College St. just east of Dufferin. The Depannuer is everything I love about food rolled into one space. Even though I’m saving my huge Depanneur write-up and photos for tomorrow and the day after and focusing specifically on Mai’s I Love Puffy Love’s marshmallows today, there’s no way I can discuss the story behind my finding these marshmallows without first mentioning my discovery of The Depannuer first. The Depannuer was selling Mai’s line of I Love Puffy Love marshmallow products and I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. It was fate.
I saw packages of adorable and delicious-looking soft and squishy marshmallows and marshmallow pops sitting on one of The Depannuer’s counters by the front window and I instantly fell in love. I picked up a package and thought, “it’s pink and red and white and oh my god, do I see sprinkles and toasted coconut?!” I needed them in my life. I have never felt more strongly about marshmallows in my entire existence. I have wanted fun, flavoured marshmallows for the longest time but the gourmet versions always left me feeling dejected and wistful because of the price. But these! These I could manage! Small bags for $3 and large ones for $6. Sure as hell beats the $8-$10 I normally saw! And they were so beautiful and colourful and fun! These were the answer to my long sought marshmallow dreams.
They were delicious. I snatched up a large package of peppermint candy cane marshmallows during my second visit to The Depannuer (you know you want something very badly when you pass on it the first time and can’t stop thinking about it afterward) and scarfed down a pillow-soft marshmallow with its coating of crushed peppermint candy cane. The marshmallows are cut into large cubes and lightly rolled in confectioners sugar and sold in baggies with cellophane windows on the front.
The candy cane was sweet and minty refreshing, the marshmallow didn’t have that awful chalky texture and taste, the inside had that wonderful lightness and airiness to it that gives you that subtle yummy “I have creamy marshmallow bubbles in mouth” feeling, and the crushed candy cane just adds that extra dimension of texture. I can’t even imagine how amazing these would be in s’mores! Just think, candy cane marshmallow s’mores with chocolate and graham cracker! Now there’s an idea 😀
In addition to straight up marshmallows in tasty flavours and mallow pops, Mai also sells fruit and nut bars made with marshmallows! Her products are sold at The Depannuer on a regular basis and you can also find her line of I Love Puffy Love products at different markets around the city. Be sure to check her Facebook page to see where else she’s selling her yummy treats! I need to scope out other locations myself to get the full monty. Come the new year, I’ll be swimming in a sea of soft and yummy marshmallows made with love.
Mai Ha’s I Love Puffy Love marshmallow treats are sold at The Depannuer among other spots around the city. The Depannuer is located at 1033 College Street between Dovercourt Rd. and Dufferin Street. You can view The Depannuer’s Facebook page here and I Love Puffy Love’s Facebook page here.