Saturday, February 18, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows

On chilly evenings, we always have our fireplace on and our daughter likes to roast marshmallows. It wasn't so chilly last week, but out of the blue she wanted to roast some. Unfortunately we didn't have any marshmallows to roast. And then I remembered that there were several recipes in the blogosphere for homemade marshmallows. Then I thought, why not try to make some. So I settled with this recipe from The Brown Eyed Baker.

This recipe is pretty simple if you're organized. There are a lot of things going on at the same time, so you just have to have all the ingredients and appliances ready for a smooth process. Once its all said and done, these marshmallows come out so good. Mine didn't come out as pretty, but hey, they'll be floating and melting in my hot chocolate anyway.

1 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 (1/4 oz) packets unflavored gelatin
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup cold water
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. sugar

1) Using a rimmed baking sheet that is about an inch high, line it with parchment paper. Dust generously with cornstarch. Set aside.

2) In a medium saucepan, add 1/3 cup of the water, 1 1/4 cup sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Once sugar is dissolved, continue cooking (without stirring) until temperature reaches 265 deg F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

3) While syrup is cooking, pour remaining cold water (about 7 tablespoons) in a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and let sit for 5 minutes until it becomes spongy. Then heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to liquefy.

4) In a clean bowl of a stand-mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites over medium-high until firm, but still glossy. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.

5) As soon as the temperature of the syrup reaches 265 deg F, remove from heat. Lower mixer to medium speed, add syrup into egg whites, pouring in between the spinning beater and the sides of the bowl. Add gelatin and continue to beat for 3 minutes so that syrup and gelatin is fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract.

6) Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet. Spread to the corners of the pan, but try to maintain the height of the mixture at 1-inch. Dust the top of the marshmallows with a mixture of cornstarch and confectioner's sugar and set in a cool, dry place. Allow to set between 3-12 hours.

7) When ready to cut the marshmallows, have a bowl ready with a mixture of cornstarch and confectioner's sugar to dust. Cut marshmallows into desired shapes. Frequently rinse and dry the tool you are using to cut the marshmallows. Place cut marshmallows in bowl of cornstarch and confectioner's sugar and toss. Shake off excess powder and place on a serving platter or storage container. Store in a cool and dry place for up to 1 week.

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