Monday, March 28, 2011

heavenly clouds of sugar...the marshmallow (recipe)

Once you've had homemade marshmallows, you won't want to eat storebought ones again.  In my winter swap, I received a bag of these heavenly puffs and this rekindled my interest in marshmallows (which have 0 grams of fat!).  The ingredient list is below.  Click here for the full recipe.  Once you have a couple of batches under your belt, you can use different extracts like almond, orange, lemon, etc and even use a few drops of food coloring for added appeal.  (orange food coloring for orange, yellow for lemon, pink for strawberry, green for pistachio or lime, etc).

Ingredients

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon but others who made it recommended 3)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray
Tips and Tricks
  • It is VERY sticky, and you won't be able to scrape the bowl completely clean, but just soak it in water and it comes off very easy. I spread out a piece of newspaper over the counter where I coated my pan in powder to catch the excess that falls out and make cleanup easier.
  • The biggest trick to these seemed to be greasing the spatula, coating the pan VERY well with powder, and using a oiled and powdered pizza cutter to cut them (this was much easier than a regular knife. If you get the pan well covered with powder, the giant marshmallow flopped right out and excess powder just fell off the marshmallow.
  • Also, I used crushed up graham crackers instead of powdered sugar/cornstarch and they were AWESOME! Dipped it in some chocolate and it was like a s'more! I love that there are so many ways to experiment with this simple recipe.
  • These will last 3 weeks in an airtight container - chances are they will be gone before then!!
For comparison, I also found this recipe from the FRENCH LAUNDRY!  They are pretty similar except the recipe above has cornstarch. 

Make your own marshmallows with this recipe from gourmet restaurant, The French Laundry. Keep an eye on the mixer while beating because the marshmallow mixture tends to "walk" up the beaters to the motor. Scrape down frequently.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar for dredging

Preparation:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture. Scrape into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper). After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan.

Let mixture sit for a few hours. Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners' sugar and cut into 12 equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef's knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners' sugar.

Yield: 12 large marshmallows

Recipe Source: French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller (Artisan)
Reprinted with permission.

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