In honor of Aug. 30 being “National Toasted Marshmallow Day,” I thought I’d share the story of the origins of one of our most popular toasted marshmallow dishes – “George’s Marshmallow Sundae” at Centro.

Sometimes when we create a new dish at one of our properties, there’s a rather interesting story about how it came to be. Maybe we were inspired by something we tasted on one of our many travels. Perhaps it comes about from using a combination of experience and experimentation to satisfy our “off the wall” cravings.

The Centro Sundae was a dream. Quite literally, in fact; those who know me know that I am a very restless sleeper. My brain gets full of recipes, ingredients and ideas and I can’t turn them off. So while other people are counting sheep, I’m thinking about all the ways I can turn them into lamb tacos!

On a particularly restless night, I had dessert on my mind. I’d spent most of the evening reading vintage confectionary books with a goal of making Halloween candy. I was focused on the section about marshmallow formulas (side note: Check out the local marshmallows from Beaverdale Confections – we carry them at Gateway).

My dream was centered on assembling the ultimate sundae. Although I was alternating between gelato and ice cream, I worked my way through a very specific ingredient list: dense fudge (rather than cake) brownie, a rich dark chocolate sauce, Virginia peanuts and marshmallow cream. As I completed the final touch – toasting the marshmallow on top – I woke up.

It’s like I had chugged a coffee and was ready to get to work. I had already worked the recipe out in my sleep; since I was experimenting with shakes for Zombie Burger, I had all the ingredients on hand. I sneaked down to the kitchen, gave it a quick test run, and it worked!

The next day, I picked up my pile of supplies and hightailed it downtown. After a quick preliminary stop at Django (which yielded little interest from the kitchen staff), I stopped by Centro. By the time I got there and started whipping up a couple test runs for the crew, the servers were starting to arrive and naturally their curiosity was piqued. I was greeted with many “what’s that” and “what ya making” greetings. My response was the popular “well, you’ll have to wait and see!”

I started with a little chocolate sauce, then a piece of brownie, a scoop of gelato and some marshmallow cream. I repeated the process, topped it with an overflowing dollop of the marshmallow cream and whipped out the torch to finish.

It was love at first site, greeted by the iPhone paparazzi and a swarm of spoons. In fact, the mass attack reminded me of a scene from Day of the Dead. In a few seconds, both sundaes were completely devoured – there was no way the chefs could tell the clambering staff that they were not going to put this on the menu. Once the public caught wind, a star was born!

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